Many building managers and property owners struggle to choose between commercial elevators and commercial lifts when looking for accessibility solutions for their low-rise buildings. It can be a confusing choice; between jurisdictional requirements, property characteristics, budget, and countless other factors, it can be challenging to figure out what you really need to make your property accessible for your guests.
With over 30 years of experience in residential and commercial mobility, RAM Elevators + Lifts has helped customers across North America find the right accessibility products for their property’s needs. To help you make the right decision, you’ll find more information about the difference between commercial elevators and commercial lifts below.
The Right Solution for Your Space
When most people imagine a “commercial lift,” they think of a barebone, industrial-looking product designed more for function than to complement a commercial property’s aesthetics. Today, however, this isn’t necessarily the case; many commercial lifts look and feel like regular closed-car elevators found in high-rise buildings, such as RAM’s Stratus and Crystal Series commercial lifts.
So, if a commercial lift can look and feel the same as a regular elevator, what is the difference?
The most significant difference between commercial elevators and lifts is how passengers operate them. Commercial elevators have automatic one-touch controls; passengers push the floor selection button, and the car automatically starts moving. In contrast, a lift relies on “constant pressure operation,” requiring passengers to maintain pressure on the floor and call buttons to continue moving. As such, lifts are better suited for shorter travel distances.
Although this may seem like a minor difference, commercial elevators are extremely expensive compared to lifts. All-in, a two-storey commercial elevator can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on installation and labour costs. On the other hand, commercial lifts available today can be bought and installed for nearly a third of that price.
Every commercial property is different; every building, building owner, and customer base will have unique needs. However, property owners must consider what they’re actually paying for if they choose a commercial elevator. It’s certainly not aesthetics, given that modern commercial lifts can offer the same look and feel like an elevator. It isn’t performance either, given that a high-quality commercial lift will be just as dependable as a properly-maintained elevator. In effect, property owners are paying triple the price for a commercial elevator’s automatic one-touch controls. While one-touch controls would be essential in a high-rise building, it’s a difficult expense to justify for two-storey or smaller properties.
RAM’s Standard-Setting Commercial Lifts
When choosing an accessibility solution for a commercial property, every building owner wants the best value for their investment. The ideal product would be affordable to install and maintain while still providing passengers with an easy, comfortable, and convenient experience.
Since 1987, RAM Elevators + Lifts has engineered and manufactured innovative mobility products for residential and commercial customers across North America. Our current line of commercial lifts sets new standards for contemporary function and form while adhering to the strictest regulations for commercial accessibility. Every RAM product is thoughtfully designed to provide passengers with a barrier-free experience, meeting their accessibility and mobility needs while enjoying your property.
Engineered for low-rise commercial structures, our units can travel up to 25 vertical feet (approximately three stories) while providing a clean, quiet, and comfortable ride. RAM products incorporate exclusive Smart Space Design elements, including shallow pit requirements, machine room-less drive systems, and low overhead profiles. These features mean your RAM commercial lift will require virtually no modification to existing structures, while its modular assemblies allow fast, easy installation in any commercial space.
Whether your property needs the Traction LULA’s adherence to accessibility regulations, the comfort and convenience of the Stratus, or the Crystal series’ complete customizability, RAM brings thoughtful engineering, world-class performance, and unbeatable value to commercial buildings across North America.