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Commercial Accessibility

Lifts and elevators for full accessibility

If you need accessibility for your commercial building, place of worship, school or any public building, Savaria can help you find the best solution. The most suitable product takes into consideration your site-specific requirements such as whether the lift will be positioned indoors or out, how far the lift needs to travel, and if you need to meet ADA requirements. 

Your local Savaria dealer will consult with you to ensure that your lift meets all local code requirements. A site assessment will allow the dealer to provide you an accurate quotation for the proper installation of the lift. 

To get ideas about what solutions might be right for you, you can get started if you already have some information about your site. Read more about what’s involved in selecting an appropriate solution. 

Choosing capacity

If you are looking for a product that has a high capacity and can accommodate multiple passengers, the Savaria Orion LU/LA elevator is an excellent choice as it is rated for up to 1400 lb.

Many commercial and public buildings use a vertical platform lift (VPL) for accessibility. A VPL is generally rated for 750 lb capacity which is appropriate to carry one user with a manual or powered wheelchair and an attendant. Some models, such as the Savaria Prolift, can accommodate up to 1400 lb.  

An inclined platform lift (IPL) travels over the stairs and has a slightly lower capacity than a vertical platform lift (550 to 660 lb). The lift can carry one person in a manual or powered wheelchair.

Motorized devices such as power wheelchairs and scooters can be heavy without the user, and must be factored into the capacity needs of platform lifts.

A stairlift, which requires a person to travel without the wheelchair, can accommodate up to 350 lb. A stairlift must be used by someone who can safely sit and get on and off the chair. 

/resource/dm/Savaria capacity limit sticker on vpl
ADA and accessibility considerations

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards provide guidelines for public spaces, so that your lift or elevator can be used by someone with a physical limitation. ADA guidelines generally only apply to US federal buildings; for most other projects in the US, the International Building Code (IBC) accessibility guide A117.1 applies and provides more flexibility in terms of product choice, particularly for the use of LU/LA elevators in new construction. In Canada, the standard is B651.

All Savaria wheelchair lifts and LU/LA elevators are available in configurations to meet accessibility requirements. These include minimum platform or cab sizes, which vary depending on product type and entry/exit configurations. Other requirements include the location of call stations, entry/exit clearances (usually 5'), a hands-free phone on vertical platform lifts and accessibility (LU/LA) elevators, minimum landing door width and automatic door requirements for vertical platform lifts, as well as ramp angle ratios for all platform lifts. 

Your architect or local Savaria dealer will be able to advise you which accessibility guidelines apply to your project, and the product configuration needed to comply.

Stops & travel distance

A LU/LA elevator can service up to 6 stops, and is limited by code to 25' of travel.

Often, wheelchair lifts are built to serve 2 stops – so taking you from point A to point B only. Some models are available to serve up to 6 stops over a maximum travel distance of about 23 feet, depending on local code.

The travel distance is measured from the lowest landing to the bottom of the top landing. The maximum travel distance is specified by applicable code. For example, a vertical platform lift cannot travel more than 14' when in a shaftway or enclosure. An unenclosed lift cannot travel more than 5' (ASME 18.1 code). 

/resource/dm/travel distance for elevator image
Enclosure, open or in a hoistway?

Vertical platform lifts (VPLs) are available in several styles. The best option for the project depends on a few factors, such as travel distance, whether the lift is indoors or out, and if protection from the elements is desired.

An unenclosed model is an economical option for low-rise travel up to 60". This style works well for interior commercial applications adjacent to short flights of stairs as it requires less space than a ramp. It is also suitable for outdoor use to access the porch or deck on the exterior of a building. Unenclosed lifts can also be used to access a stage.

A VPL with an enclosure built by the lift manufacturer is ideal for outdoor applications, especially when equipped with a domed roof. The enclosure can be built 3-sided to attach to and penetrate a building’s exterior wall. Enclosed VPLs can be used for interior applications, and are often seen attached to a mezzanine; however, they cannot penetrate a floor since the enclosure isn’t fire rated.

Some VPL models can be placed within a shaft or hoistway made by a general contractor. Small unenclosed cabs are popular for this application, or lifts such as the Prolift or V-1504 can be designed with an enclosed cab to emulate the feel of an elevator. Shaftway model VPLs are ideal for use when penetrating a floor that has a fire barrier, and are a cost-effective alternative to a limited use/limited application (LU/LA) elevator.

Constant pressure vs fully automatic operation

Vertical and inclined platform lifts operate using constant pressure controls. This means that a person in the lift must press and hold the controls for the lift to move up or down. A fully automatic solution, such as the Savaria Orion LU/LA elevator, allows a passenger with limited mobility in hands or arms to operate the lift independently.

Types of drive systems

Screw drive: simple technology that may be less costly; often used in low rise accessibility lifts.
Hydraulic: typically faster, smoother, quieter performance than screw drive; robust and durable with easy emergency manual lowering capabilities.
Geared traction: ultra-quiet operation with an eco-conscious design that is energy efficient and requires no hydraulic oil; suitable for more frequent trips than hydraulic drive.
Rack and pinion: simple, sturdy and economical drive used mainly for straight inclined lifts and stairlifts; typically, all drive components will be housed on the carriage eliminating the need for a cabinet or controller box.
Rope sprocket: flexible design used mainly for curved inclined lifts.

Platform entry/exit configurations

Vertical platform lifts and LU/LA elevators can be configured in different ways to allow entry and exit points on different levels (stops). The images below illustrate the various options. Some come configurations are not available on all products.

/resource/dm/platform entry and configurations diagrams Type 1 Left and Right
/resource/dm/platform entry and configurations diagrams Type 2 and Type 3
/resource/dm/platform entry and configurations diagrams Type 4 and Type 5
Fire rating

Fire rating requirements are dictated by local building codes. Typically, when penetrating a floor in commercial setting a fire-rated shaft and product will be required. Savaria lifts are available with fire rated doors and materials; your Savaria dealer will be able to advise you which products and options are needed to comply with local code.

Construction

Lift installations generally require work by other trades to prepare the site. Savaria offers planning guides and architectural drawings that detail work by others including clearances required, support wall construction parameters, pit floor load requirements and specific electrical needs and disconnects. Local building code may also dictate how a lift can be installed.

It is wise to involve your Savaria dealer early in the project to ensure the infrastructure for the lift is built correctly.

Find possible solutions

Select from the options listed on the left. 
If there aren’t products that meet all of the requirements you have selected, contact your local Savaria dealer to confirm if there is a product that will meet your needs.

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Savaria V-1504 Unenclosed VPL
V-1504
  • Built to carry a wheelchair and passenger up to 4 stops
  • Fast, quiet hydraulic system; no machine room needed
  • Versatile design; many configuration and finish options
  • Constant pressure controls for easy operation
  • Local code may limit travel distance
Savaria V-1504 Enclosure VPL
V-1504 enclosure
  • Built to carry a wheelchair and passenger up to 4 stops
  • Fast, quiet hydraulic system; no machine room needed
  • Completely enclosed unit; optional domed ventilated roof
  • Aluminum, acrylic or glass inserts for enclosure and landing gates/doors
  • Constant pressure controls for easy operation
  • Local code may limit travel distance
Savaria V-1504 Prestige VPL
V-1504 Prestige
  • Built from half-inch structural tempered glass; no visible frame
  • Designed to carry a wheelchair and passenger between 2 or 3 stops (framed model)
  • Versatile design; many configuration and finish options
  • Fast, quiet hydraulic system; no machine room needed
  • Constant pressure controls for easy operation
Savaria V-1504 Lux VPL
V-1504 Lux
  • Beautifully framed in stainless steel with glass inserts
  • Built to carry a wheelchair and passenger up to 4 stops
  • Versatile design; many configuration and finish options
  • Fast, quiet hydraulic system; no machine room needed
  • Constant pressure controls for easy operation
  • Local code may limit travel distance
Savaria Multilift Unenclosed VPL
Multilift unenclosed
  • Designed for low-rise 2-stop travel
  • Durable eco-conscious design with reliable ACME screw drive
  • Affordable accessibility option; carries a passenger in a wheelchair
  • Operated by constant pressure controls
  • Not available for commercial use in Ontario
Savaria Multilift Enclosure VPL
Multilift enclosure
  • Built for low-rise 2-stop travel for a passenger in a wheelchair
  • Durable eco-conscious design with reliable ACME screw drive
  • Completely enclosed unit; optional domed ventilated roof
  • Aluminum, acrylic or glass inserts for enclosure and landing gates
  • Operated by constant pressure controls
  • Not available for commercial use in Ontario
Savaria Multilift Mobile & 3G
Multilift mobile + 3G
  • For 2 stops, up to 4' of travel; 750 lb capacity
  • Mobile unit provides temporary accessibility with 2 platform gates
  • 3G unit structure creates an unobstructive partial enclosure (not available in Canada)
  • Reliable ACME screw drive housed in tower; 8 ft/min speed
  • Suitable for indoor or outdoor use (in moderate climates)
  • Mobile unit not available for commercial use in Ontario
Savaria Prolift VPL
Prolift
  • Our fastest VPL; operated by constant pressure controls
  • Enclosed interior looks and feels like a traditional elevator
  • Wide selection of finish choices and platform sizes
  • Efficient hydraulic drive delivers a smooth, quiet ride
  • Local code may limit travel distance
Savaria Delta Inclined Platform Lift
Delta straight
  • Designed for access over a single flight of straight stairs
  • Carries a wheelchair and/or seated passenger
  • Platform available in ADA-compliant size; folds up for easy stair access
  • Motor is on board the unit; no machine room needed
  • Battery powered; allows operation during a power outage
  • Outdoor applications limited to moderate climates
Savaria Omega Inclined Platform Lift
Omega curved
  • Designed for access over stairs with multiple levels, curves or intermediate landings
  • Carries a wheelchair and/or seated passenger
  • Custom built to your specifications
  • Foldaway platform allows access to stairs when lift not in use
  • ADA-compliant version includes fold-out seat and audio-visual movement alarm
  • Outdoor applications limited to moderate climates
Orion Elevator
Orion LU/LA elevator
  • Fully automatic accessibility
  • Smooth ride from an efficient hydraulic drive system
  • High-rise look and feel in an affordable package; includes sliding doors and commercial fixtures
  • Meets limited use/limited application (LU/LA) elevator code
  • Ideal for low-rise buildings up to 3 stories
Orion MRL Elevator
Orion MRL LU/LA elevator
  • Automatic accessibility for more frequent limited use
  • Quiet, eco-conscious traction counterweight design; no machine room required
  • High-rise look and feel in an affordable package; includes sliding doors and commercial fixtures
  • Meets limited use/limited application (LU/LA) elevator code
  • Ideal for low-rise buildings up to 3 stories
K2 Plus straight stairlift
  • Designed for access on a straight run of stairs
  • Carries a passenger only (no mobility devices)
  • Choose from a spacious Plus seat or more compact L seat
  • Seat folds up for access to stairs when lift not in use
  • Battery powered; allows operation during a power outage
  • Not available for commercial use in Ontario
Savaria Stairfriend Curved Stairlift
Stairfriend curved stairlift
  • Designed for access over stairs with multiple levels, curves or intermediate landings
  • Carries a passenger only (no mobility devices)
  • Durable double rail custom bent to exact specifications; out-of-the-way parking option
  • Seat folds up for access to stairs when lift not in use
  • Battery powered; allows operation during a power outage
  • Outdoor applications limited to moderate climates