Residential Elevators


I'm doing this competition thing for long-term "green" housing.

I've been following the trend of trailer-sized stack boxes-- you know, 15-20' by 35-45' rectangular spaces... blah, blah, blah, stereotypical modernist modular home.

Well, the stipulations are that the home must feature terraced gardens and be more than one story-- kind of salt house meets garden flat meets pit greenhouse. I mean the stipulations kind of make the form to few basic permutations and the detailing doesn't have to be as specific because this is a "ideas" competition.

I'm naturally having trouble with stairs because of the small awkward space I've designed myself into.

But... I wanted to explain all of this.

My problem is this-- the first floor, to accommodate the garden terrace-to-green roof, is 12' high. I am aiming for accessibility here! So, if I were going to make this UBC (and ADA) compliant... I'd need like a 200' ramp. This... no matter how you look at it is not going to be pretty or functional.

So, I want to put in a wall void (I'm thinking 5' by 5') for "future elevator use."

What kind of walls studs should I plan for? Should it be insulated? Anyone ever spec an elevator before?

Mar 3, 10 11:34 pm

You can do it with 2x4 walls, with rated continuous drywall at the interior. It doesn't need to be insulated. Don't know how much you have to plan for but you also need a pit and overhead clearance, depending on the elevator type.

Mar 3, 10 11:42 pm  · 

So, the elevator framing (support structure) would go over the drywall?

So, smooth, entirely dry walled interior shaft? I figured the pit and overhead.

Thanks, though! I searched here, googled and couldn't find much for how a home elevator is actually done!

Mar 3, 10 11:56 pm  · 

Yes, it would go inside the rated space, & I believe it's 1" drywall. The major structure for a residential elev is usually at the top of the shaft (off to the side) so the main structure is accounted for elsewhere.

Mar 4, 10 12:10 am  · 

look up "residential lifts" and look at the size requirements (thyssen krup makes residential elevators - check the brochures, I think they show you how to frame the shaft walls to accommodate the guide rails) - 5x5 is probably the absolute smallest you could go.

personally, I think a 144' ramp + landings could be an interesting design element... especially if you are clever about it.

Mar 4, 10 10:19 am  · 

I believe you don't need a pit for residential elevators. and 12' is usually enough for overhead clearance - unless you are going all the way up to the roof garden. You just need ventilation for the shaft...

residential lifts are for one person only, so I think the driving system is different - especially if you are only going one story.

I did a "potential lift" space for two-story office building a while back and all I needed to do was provide space for it within the stairwell. you could also just make the stairs wider to accommodate one of those lifts that run along the side... you have more flexibility inside the units. if it's public space, then you're getting into rated shafts.

Mar 4, 10 10:41 am  · 

The only problem I have with a 150' is that if you take an absolute minimum width of the 36" plus the 1.5"x2 for handle space and the 3-4"x 2 for railings... you're looking at adding another 600 square feet under air to a house that's barely pushing 2000 square feet. That is... unless you except handicap people to brave the elements every time they go from the first floor to the second floor.

Looking at it in terms of cost... that 600 sq ft is around $60,000 (if we're going at 100$ per square foot). I'm sure you can do it cheaper. But to get it price competitive to an elevator, you'd have to get it around $25 sqft (assuming elevator would run around $15,000).

Realistically though, the elevator plus the 30 sqft it would take up would be about $45,000 ($15,000+$30,000). It's still going to be pretty hard to build a sheltered, interior handicap ramp, and make it look good, for less than $75 square ft.

In addition, assuming the $100 sq ft, the taxes (for sake of comparison... we'll go with New Haven, CT millage (42.21) [don't ask how I know that!]) on the house with the elevator would be ($200,000 + $15,000 + 15% value increase * 0.85 = $210162.50) $8870.95.

The taxes on the ramp model ($260,000 * 0.85) would be $9328.41.

So, that's a savings of about $457 a year. I did read that a home elevator would bump the price of your house up by 15-25%... but I'm not sure if the county would tax you on that particular amenity feature.

I think it's kind of a hard sell. That being said, if this competition didn't have bizarre stipulations, I might try something different.

Mar 4, 10 11:35 am  · 

I'm not sure if you're in the US or Europe (given the references to lifts in the thread). I'm assuming it will be similar, but this is typically what you need to provide:

Stud framing -- 2 x 6 may be better for the floor to floor height you indicated of 12' (if using wood studs)
5/8" type x gypsum board on each side of the stud wall to create an one hour rated enclosure
You will need a pit and it will vary depending on the type of elevator you use as a basis of design. As mentioned, ThyssenKrup makes residential models. Waupaca is another source. Also the Lula (believe it's made by Thyssen Krup)
You will need a machine room as well as the elevator. The size of the machine room depends on the elevator. The machine room is a separate room that is typically adjacent to the elevator, but many can be located remotely.
Overrun depends on model and cab height.

Link below will take you to a website with good residential info:

Hope this is helpful.

Mar 6, 10 2:19 am  · 

Link to a planning guide:|nnHhu54=

Mar 6, 10 2:22 am  · 

Wait. I thought this was an "ideas" competition.

Mar 6, 10 2:23 am  · 

Don't think the link worked to the planning guide....but if you check out the ThyssenKrup LEV model, you should see a link to a "planning guide". This will give you plan and section views....

Mar 6, 10 2:26 am  · 

It was standaman.

I tend to think in numbers before I think of design to establish the parameters of what kind of space I am looking at.

I decided to scrap my entry though. Maybe I'll finish what I have and post it here.

Mar 8, 10 11:06 pm  · 

In the last two houses we remodeled we cut in three stop elevators. We used 2x6 suds, and a 12" deep pit.

Mar 20, 10 3:23 pm  · 

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