- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 30 Jun 2019
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. There are many different types of lift which can be used in different applications, serving different purposes.
Platform lifts 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 they tend to move more slowly than passenger lifts and are often used for disabled access in buildings where most people will take the stairs.
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. 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. These lifts appear 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 are a type of passenger lift that have glass walls and doors. They can be used in any situation that a regular passenger lift would be used in, but they can offer a stylish alternative. They are often chosen for their aesthetics and can provide a way of maintaining the style of a building whilst providing a means of transportation.
Service lifts tend to not be designed to carry passengers, but usually carry goods of some description. This also means that these lifts may not have to meet the same level of standards required of passenger lifts.
 Dumb waiters
Dumb waiters are 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.. They can also be used in other settings such as hospitals or offices.
Trolley lifts are designed to transport larger goods on trolleys and roll cages. They are often found within a shop setting or any other environment where you may need to take deliveries and transport them between floors.
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 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 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 can take many forms and may be as simple as a small platform or can be something more complex.
In general it is not appropriate to use lifts when there is a fire in the building because there is always the danger of people being trapped in a lift that has become immobilised as a result of the fire. However, in some circumstances a lift may be provided as part of a management plan for evacuating people.
A lift designed to have additional protection, with controls that enable it to be used under the direct control of the fire and rescue service in fighting a fire. A firefighting lift is required if the building has a floor more than 18m above, or more than 10m below fire service vehicle access level.
Other types of lifts include:
- Home lifts.
- Lifting device.
- Lifts for office buildings.
- Through-floor lifts.
- Wheelchair platform stairlifts.
 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)
Featured articles and news
How do we measure air tightness in buildings?
The Housing Infrastructure Fund
Encouraging access to local amenities and sustainable transport.
Publish your thought leadership articles on Designing Buildings Wiki – for free.
Competence Steering Group publishes interim proposals to deliver safer buildings.
Indoor environments should provide a multi-sensory experience.
We have a great range of introductory articles written by ECA.
7 of the most common myths, busted.
Consider a career in the electrotechnical industry.
Exploring local assets of community significance. Book review.