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Elevator Planning Guide


Elevator Shaft Design

Elevator Shaft Design

Figure 1

Hoistway Size

Cab SizeModelHoistway Size
36" x 48"3648R/3648L52" x 54"
36" x 60"3660R/3660L52" x 66"
42" x 54"4254R/4254L58" x 60"
36" x 36"3636R/3636L52" x 42"
36" x 48"3648PT54" x 50"
36" x 60"3660PT54" x 62"
48" x 36"4836R/4836L56" x 49"

Framing Guidelines

One side wall of the elevator shaft will need to be designated as the support wall, which must be able to support 300 pounds of pullout force, with a maximum deflection on 1/8". The support wall will be the side wall perpendicular to the swing door hinges as shown in Figure 2.
Framing Guidelines

Figure 2

Door Jamb Offset

A critical measurement in the elevator shaft construction is the door jamb offset, which will vary for each elevator cab size. The door jamb offset is the measurement from the inside support wall to the door jamb hinge as shown in Figure 2.

*Consult with your sales agent if door jamb offset measurement is not possible.

ModelDoor Jamb Offset
The support wall must be able to support 300 lbs. of pullout force, with a maximum deflection on 1/8".

Support Wall

The recommended method for constructing the shaft support wall is doubled 2" x 12", with 2" x 4" caps on the ends running vertically from the pit to the very top of the elevator shaft. Boards must be recessed inside the wall (not surface mounted) as shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3.
Framing Guidelines

Figure 3

Alternative Framing Options

Horizontal 2" x 12": An alternative framing method is doubled 2" x 12", running horizontally, recessed inside the wall (not surface mounted) placed every 5' from center to center, starting at the pit floor up to top of hoist way. The top 2" x 12" needs to be 18" down from ceiling to center of 2" x 12".

Masonry Shaft Construction:

Another alternative method is utilizing masonry shaft construction, and grouting specific cells solid. This will achieve the required pull out forces. See Figure 4.

Alternative Framing Options

Figure 4


A pit recessed 12" down (8" bare minimum) from the bottom landing finished floor must also be provided. The dimensions of the pit must match the inside clear dimensions of the elevator shaft.The pit floor must be structurally adequate to hold approximately 3,800 pounds, as all forces from the lift are transferred down to the pit floor.

Shaft Lighting

Shaft lighting may be installed at the very top of the elevator shaft and must be capable of adequately illuminating the entire shaft, first and second floors (Note: shaft lighting is not required).

Hoistway Doors

Hoistway doors should be solid core construction and are provided bye the general contractor. Hoistway doors must be installed in compliance with the 3-5 Rule as regulated by A17.1 National Elevator Code. A Standard hoist way door can be either 80" or 96" in height.

Figure 6 below shows the correct door installation by the general contractor.

The gap between the rear side of the door and front wall of the elevator shaft must be 3" or LESS. A gap greater than 3" will not pass code.

Hoistway Doors

Figure 6

Access Hatch

An access hatch will be required at the top of the shaft to provide maintenance-related and emergency lowering access. The access hatch must be a minimum of 18" x 18". See Figure 5.
Access Hatch

Figure 5

Overhead Requirements

All elevators must have adequate space above the cab for mechanical clearance. This space is referred to as the "overhead clearance". Overhead clearance is measured from the top finished floor, to the nearest obstruction in the elevator shaft.

Electrical Requirements

Lockable and fusible disconnects should be installed with (1) 220v single phase/30 amp circuit and (1) 110V/15 AMP circuit. Disconnects should be located where controller will be installed.

A functioning phone is required. See Phone Requirements for more information.

Phone Requirements

A functioning phone in the elevator cab is required. Using a cell phone will not pass inspection. For most elevator installations, a VOIP phone that works over your home's internet connection is the easiest solution for passing this requirement. A landline phone is the more traditional route to take, especially if there is already a landline wired near the elevator.

Machine Room

A machine room is not required; however, a closet or other suitable location will be required to install the controller to the lift. This should be in an easily accessible location for future maintenance and service. This controller may be located in the shaft where allowable by local code authorities.