Last edited 09 May 2018

Main author

Nathan Massey Website

Types of Lifts

Lifts and elevators have become an essential part of everyday life, particularly for those who work or live in high-rise buildings. The lift has allowed for high-rise buildings to become possible, adding height to the skylines of cities across the world.

There are many different types of lifts which can be used in different applications, serving different purposes.

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Platform Lifts

A platform lift can take a number of different forms, but they are usually used in low-rise buildings where they will only travel a few floors at most. This means that they tend to move slower than passenger lifts and are often used for disabled access in buildings where most people will take the stairs, but disabled access is necessary.

Passenger Lifts

Passenger lifts are designed to carry people and can come in a variety of forms. As these lifts carry passengers, they should meet specific requirements and standards to ensure that they are safe for human travel. They can come in a range of sizes, transporting different numbers of passengers.

These lifts can be customised with different designs, both inside and outside of the cabin, so they can fit in with the design and style of the space around it.

You can expect to see these lifts in a variety of settings, from shopping centres to private residences. They also tend to travel faster than other lift types as they are often used in high-rise buildings where passengers may be travelling through multiple floors.

Glass Lifts

Glass lifts are a type of passenger lift that have glass walls and doors. This lift can be used in any situation that a regular passenger lift would be used in, but they can offer a stylish option that provides a number of benefits.

These lifts can are often chosen for their aesthetic and can provide a way of maintaining the style of a building whilst providing a means of transportation.

Service Lifts

Service lifts tend to not be designed to carry passengers, but usually carry goods of some description. This also means that these lifts often don’t have to meet the same level of standards required of passenger lifts.

Dumb Waiters

The dumb waiter is most often used in a kitchen setting, in restaurants, bars, hotels, etc. These small lifts are used to transport food from the kitchen to a serving area, allowing for a more efficient way of serving food. They can also be used in other settings such as hospitals or offices.

Trolley Lifts

Trolley lifts are designed to transport larger goods on trolleys and roll cages. This means that they are ideal for use within a shop setting or any other environment where you may need to take deliveries and transport them between floors.

Disabled Access Lifts

Disabled access lifts can take a variety of forms and can fall under many different categories, while serving the purpose of transporting those with mobility issues.

Stair Lifts

Stair lifts are most commonly used in the home and provide an easy way for individuals to move up and down stairs. This usually involves them sitting in a motorised seat which takes them from one level to another.

This, however, is not suitable for individuals who are confined to a wheelchair.

Step Lifts

Step lifts can be rather simple lifts as they usually provide access when a few steps are present. This can be one or two steps or a small incline inside or outside of a building. The step lift, again, can take many forms and may be as simple as a small platform or can be something more complex such as the convertible lift known as a FlexStep .


Passenger Lifts

Disabled access lifts can also take the form of passenger lifts, providing an enclosed space for the passenger.

Find Out More

Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki:

A Brief History of Lifts Over the Years

Benefits of a Glass Lift in Your Business

Benefits of Installing a Home Lift

Considerations When Installing a Residential Lift

Disabled Access Lifts

Different Types of Service Lifts and Their Uses

Factors that Affect the Cost of a Lift

Lifts for Buildings

Lifts for Office Buildings

Lift Standards: EN 81-20 and EN 81-50

The Science of Lifts

Top Factors to Consider When Planning to Install a Lift

Types of Commercial Lifts and Their Uses

--Nathan Massey 17:19, 09 May 2018 (BST)