The “new normal” is normal we are living in now. Every industry witnessed a change in the way they used to operate. It was a bumpy road but with time, people are adjusting to the new restrictions and new ways of carrying out their jobs. Similarly, if you are a property/building owner, you must have faced some challenges in order to keep your elevators running according to the new guidelines for public safety that were imposed in your regions. Here are some important considerations for building owners and property managers to keep their elevators operating efficiently and to make them safe, while COVID-19 restrictions are in place.
- Foot Traffic Evaluation:
People are returning to work in different capacities. What will the flow of tenants look like as they try to return to their offices and or homes? Some of the metrics to measure could be:
- Busiest and slowest times
- Average wait times
- Longest wait times.
- The pattern of elevator usage throughout the day
- A number of people trying to enter the elevator.
Keeping track of this information and by measuring these metrics, you can evaluate the average foot traffic of your building and then plan the further changes based on that information.
2. Guideline formation and Presentation:
The first step is to develop your guideline. Study the public health and safety manuals and come up with guidelines that are relevant to your building, keeping in mind the metrics that you measured in the first step.
Once you have developed the guideline for your building’s elevators. It’s time to display it properly. Make it visible, use bold fonts and colors. Display it where it catches the eye. For example, when recommending physical distancing, you know it can be challenging in the confined space of an elevator. Depending on the elevator’s size, some buildings have limited the number of riders to only 2, or 3 at a time. So, when you ask people to physically distance themselves, do not forget to include a reminder to stay 6 feet apart.
All of the recommended safety measures can certainly increase your operational budget, but it will make the passengers more comfortable when using the elevators.
3. Limit touchpoints:
To combat the spread, install a hands-free sanitizer in front of the elevator entrances allowing for the patrons to take advantage. It possible, wear gloves when activating a button or use a cloth to inhibit your hands from making contact. There are some new innovations that have been introduced to the market which eliminate the requirement to physically touch the buttons. They are completely touchless and they operate via an infra-red detector.
4. Installation of air circulation equipment:
All elevators should be equipped with a properly rated exhaust fan which is usually installed on the top of the cab. The purpose of the fan is not to blow in the fresh air but merely serves to exhaust the air from the cab. Although they are not capable of removing the Covid-19, it will provide for a constant movement of airflow.
5. Take advantage of Slow Time:
If elevators are not used as frequently due to lower building occupancy, it could be an ideal opportunity to complete preventative maintenance, repairs, or upgrades. In order to undertake any of the aforementioned, this usually requires shutting down one elevator which can create havoc when the Building is functioning at full capacity.
6. Can Buildings actually go back to normal?
The reality is that it may be a while before one is able to ride in an elevator without the need to wear a mask. Further, the requirement of physical distancing will exist for quite some time. So when the Buildings start to reach their original capacities, the problem will be how to transport all of the patrons when only a limited amount will be able to occupy the elevator at any given time. Prior to Covid-19, it wasn’t unusual to enter any building at peak hours and there would be a lineup to use the elevators. Most elevators have a minimum capacity of ten (10) persons, but with the present day’s limitations, simply doing the math, it can take hours to transport everyone to their destinations. Careful consideration should be provided with respect to this issue before it can become a serious problem.
7. Review your contract:
It is also an ideal time to protect your investment and review your contract and see how you can save money. The costs of operating an elevator building are expensive, but any downtime, repairs, and non-compliance fees can add up quickly. Review the contract with your elevator service provider and ensure that you are getting the services and items that you are paying for. If you are not satisfied, more than likely the Contractor is not fulfilling their contractual obligations. Our audits are perfect for revealing all of the current and future potential issues. You may be very surprised to learn that there are so many facets that are not being looked after by the Contractor. We will further assist by forwarding all deficiencies to the Contractor to ensure that compliance is obtained. Subsequently, after everything is completed, you can expect to have a very efficient and reliable operating elevator(s).
The above-mentioned steps can not only help a building operate efficiently and safely, but may also help you mitigate any future problems while weathering COVID-19. Since the pandemic started, BH Elevator Consultants Inc has been busy assisting our current clients to help them operate efficiently with all the restrictions in place. We are confident that we can save you money, alleviate problems and ensure that satisfaction is derived.