Access to the elevator is mandatory for a building that’s more than four to five floors high. For most people, an elevator offers ease and convenience, and it makes life much easier for physically impaired persons.

Since elevators are mandatory for a building it is necessary to know the different types of elevators from which you can pick and elevator components to be used in the elevator.

Types of Elevators

There are many different kinds of elevators that you can pick from when designing a residential building or commercial building.­ Here you will learn about the different types of elevators based on their purpose and different components used in different types of elevators.

Here are the different types of elevators:

Passenger Elevators

A passenger elevator is a lift type that transports people through buildings. These elevators can vary tremendously in terms of size, speed and interior options depending on the use of the elevator. When most people think of elevators, they think of passengers lifts that transport passengers from floor to floor.

Their capacity is determined by the requirements of the specific building and can range from 5 to 25 people.

Home Elevators

Home elevators are less complex than a typical passenger elevator. Many residential elevators feature unique designs that allow them to blend in with the surrounding architecture. Some of these elevators are so small that they can only carry one or two passengers using a pneumatic lift system or traction lift system.

Capsule Elevators

Glass lifts or capsule lifts are elevators installed in your lobby or outside your building that can enrich the altitude and appearance of your building. Capsule lifts are available in hydraulic or traction machine based, dependent upon the location of the machine room.

Car Elevators

Car elevators are created with generous spacing. The liberal range of car parking lifts are made from the best-quality materials.  A hefty cabin and beamy door make it easier for drivers to co-load and release their cars. Outdoor car lifts are organized to solve parking problems that urban areas have.

Service Elevators / Hospital Elevators

A service elevator may be found in many commercial buildings and they are used to transport goods though the building by employees. They are also used in hospitals for transporting patients on hospital beds. To comply with safety code requirements, these elevators are typically more robust and deeper than standard passenger elevators.

Freight Elevators

A freight elevator is designed to move loads, such as heavy items found in a warehouse. These elevators are not designed for passengers but designed to manage tougher working conditions. This leads to more robust interiors, with heavy-duty materials like steel walls and floors.

The carrying load of freight elevators can vary between 2000 to 4500 kilograms. Most often their source of power are electric engines.


A dumbwaiter is a type of freight elevator. It’s just much smaller than other types. They are sometimes called lazy waiters and are used for transporting goods from floor to floor, such as food or books. They can also be found in both commercial, public and private buildings.

Scissor Lifts

Scissor Lifts are used on construction projects and are most often power operated. They require workers to be raised up heights and they have X-shaped support mechanisms. They can lift objects from floors to levels that people cannot reach manually. The parts of the machine rest on top of a vehicle which the scissor lift moves along with the passengers and cargo that it carries.

Basic Elevator Components

The Basic components of elevators are:

Hoistway or Shaft

The lift shaft should be clear of any equipment, except for the lift itself, which should be installed in the well. All internal surfaces of the lift should be kept smooth and flush. The side walls of the lift may also be made of reinforced concrete at least 15 cm thick. The enclosing lift shafts should have a fire resistance of not less than 2 hours. There should be an exit from the lift shaft.

Machine Room

The machine room is where the lift’s drive and control apparatus should be kept. It’s best to place the machine room above the lift well, as this has several advantages: it reduces the load, lowers the capital cost, requires a smaller lift well for a given size lift car, and consumes less power than if the machine room were located in the basement.

Lift Pit

The depth of the lift pit depends on how fast the car is moving and how much weight it is carrying. The faster the car moves, the more load it carries and the deeper the pit needs to be. The minimum pit depth should be 1.6 meters. Lift pits should be waterproofed to avoid water damage. When the lift pit is deeper than 1.6 meters, a ladder should be provided that is .75 meters above the floor of the pit.


Overheads vary depending on the car speed and load. The minimum height of overhead should be 4.8m. Overhead is the distance between the finished floor level of the last landing and the bottom of the machine room. In order to protect people in case the car or governor rope fails, and to prevent the car from over-speeding due to high voltages, there are safeguards in place.


Counterweights are the weights attached to one end of the rope to counter the balance of the weight of the lift car and the rated load of the car.

Guide Rails

Guide rails play an important role in both the movement of the car and counterweight, as well as keeping them in their correct positions.


The buffers are fixed on the floor of the pit to reduce the impact of the lift car if it overruns or the governing rope fails.

Lift cars are lifted by an electrical motor, which creates a transaction force. The lift car’s weight (plus 40 to 50 percent of its rated capacity) is balanced by counterweights on the other end. This minimizes tractive effort, or the amount of effort needed to move the object. The driving machinery typically consists of a motor, brake and drum or pulley.

On basis of method of power transmission, lift can be classified as drum type and transaction type which is in other words classified as geared and gearless type which was discussed in earlier article.

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