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Elevator Shaft Dimensions

Elevator shaft dimensions

What Size Elevator Do You Need For Your Building?

The necessary size and capacity of an elevator will depend on several factors. The first is the application. For example, an office building will require wider elevator cabs than residential elevators in order for large groups of people to enter and exit in an orderly fashion.

Elevator requirements can also vary by state. Each state has unique elevator codes and regulations that need to be followed, including dimensions and the number of elevators required in certain buildings.

In addition to the location of your elevator, there are several background questions to consider before modernization or installation:

  • Are you designing an office building or an apartment building?
  • How many elevators would a state code require in either case?
  • If you’ll require transport for 15,000 people during the course of a day, how many elevators do you need?
  • Will your building require a service elevator?
  • Is a traction elevator or hydraulic elevator better for your particular project?

Elevator capacity requirements

The capacity for standard, commercial elevators will depend on the type of building and its usage. Residential elevators will have the lowest capacity requirements while freight elevator capacities will have the highest. Capacity requirements will ultimately be determined by the intended use of the elevator, state and local codes and the elevator’s functionality.

Hoistway dimensions rely on a number of factors including:

  • Capacity
  • Expected number of passengers
  • Speed
  • Number of elevator cabs
  • Floor layout

ADA Compliance for Commercial Elevators

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has specific guidelines in place for commercial elevators in buildings based on number of stories or total square feet per floor. These regulations are necessary to ensure that public elevator systems are easily accessible for people who are handicapped, as well as those who may be visually or hearing impaired.

ADA requirements will vary by state and/or region. For example, Massachusetts has very strict codes in place compared to other locations. Contact Stanley Elevator to check that your Massachusetts elevators are following ADA rules.

Since wheelchairs and ambulance stretchers must be able to enter and exit an elevator with ease, most states require a minimum opening width must be 36 inches, but some states vary. The depth of the car should be at least 51 inches and the width should be 68 inches. If the elevator’s doors open in the center, a width of at least 80 inches is required.

Commercial elevators must be available to visitors in easily accessible areas. Elevator call buttons must be 42 inches from the floor and should readily indicate which direction the elevator is traveling.

Here is a reference table including the elevator cab requirements for ADA compliance:

Minimum Size
Opening Width 36″
Depth of Cab 51″
Width of Cab 68″
Width of Cab
(Center-opening doors)

There are additional specifications for elevator ADA compliance beyond cab size, including:

  • Slip-resistant floors or firmly attached carpet
  • Emergency communications must be present
  • Emergency call button must be made prominent

Get a Free Consultation

If you’re modifying existing elevators or installing new elevators, we’re happy to help!

Stanley Elevator services elevators in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island. If your project is located in any of these states, contact us today to schedule a free consultation!