Only next-gen lifts for big builders

Only next-gen lifts for big builders

Builders in the branded section never take chances with safety of a building, complex or mall. In particular, builders don’t take chances with lifts and escalators.

They go in for the latest technology used worldwide where safety is the primary concern.

Suresh Malgathy, a builder working in residential sector, says the plan for the lifts is chalked out along with the design of a building. “In fact, we do it much before the design is ready. From a safety point of view, we work out in advance the space required for the lift, the number of people it can take and how it will function.”

Malgathy says that he commissions only branded lifts such as Johnson or Schindler, Otis and Kone, mostly the first two. “Branded lifts typically don’t crash.

They are gearless and work with a motor placed on the lift itself. Earlier we had to build a room and house the motor and machinery, now its set on top of the lift itself. We also decide in advance the number of stops and the extent of shaft or the inner dimensions of the space within which the lift is installed.

 We follow what is called the Annual Maintenance Contract with the company from which we purchased the lift. The company takes overall dimensions of maintenance and does so annually for a fee.”

Uday Garudachar, owner of Garuda Mall, says crashes are mostly of the unbranded and local versions of lifts.

 “We go for internationally approved lifts.

We hold periodic checks of the rope that runs top-down. If not checked often, it may develop cracks, as typically the unbranded versions experience. We also run an annual maintenance programme with a particular company and ask them to check lifts every year. In the middle, we get experts in lift operations to check on ropes, motor, in-built braking system, locks and other electronic accessories to be inspected every two months apart from the annual check. We maintain a schedule and make it a point to maintain the lifts as per the schedule.”

Ram Chandnani, senior professional in the real estate sector who interacts with a variety of builders says the concern of safe lifts has to be addressed immediately by non-branded lifts. “Branded lifts don’t crash. They are electronically designed to move to a particular point and stop in case there is a snag.

 The lift won’t drop down like a stone, but gently move to one of the levels and stop. Then, of course, there is the emergency switch that can be operated. There will also be signals if snag has occurred. The lifts now are non-geared – movement is electronically controlled. There were belts which were necessary in earlier lifts, the new generation one is automated, so there is no worry about erosion of belts and cables.”

Malgathy points out that there is a hotline between the lift and the company which installs the lift. The companies have to respond within 24 hours. A switch inside leads to an alert. Things are taken up initially by an association, but experts in lift maintenance have to be called in. Chandnani says lift plans are drawn up simultaneously with design of the complex. There is information about lifts well before the final draft of the complex design comes in.

There is unanimous perception that unbranded lifts are the cause of lift accidents as they are not checked periodically and don’t have maintenance programmes.

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