Goods Lifts. Who Needs Them?

Len Halsey

Wednesday 19th September 2018

Much has been written about the importance of passenger lifts, their performance and passenger traffic analysis in office and residential buildings over many years. The same cannot be said of goods lifts, even though they play a vital role in the efficient running of buildings. The movement of goods, plant, furniture, and the needs of the emergency services, all need to be considered when assessing the services necessary to ensure the smooth back of house operations that contribute to well managed buildings and satisfied tenants. The move to higher population densities in office buildings combined with introduction of magnet attractions such as roof top restaurants and retail outlets brings to light the need to reassess both the role of the goods lift and how goods lift provision is assessed. Goods lifts are a key part of building logistics and failure to meet the needs of tenants and owners can be both expensive and frustrating. The humble goods lift provides a wide range of services from everyday deliveries and the movement of back of house personnel to enabling fit out and refurbishment works to be undertaken whilst minimising the impact on passenger lift usage. Recent years has seen the growth in public access to major landmark buildings with restaurants, retail outlets and viewing areas being located within and at the tops of tall buildings. This together with higher office density levels brings new meaning to planning building logistics and the need for correlation between loading bay and delivery capacities and the ability to distribute goods and materials efficiently and quickly up the building. In addition, the removal of waste is a key use of goods lift time and the ability to manage this aspect of building operations should form a key part of the design associated with goods lift use and building logistics. The management and operation of goods lifts is something largely overlooked in building design and yet the poor provision of such services has a significant impact on both building operations and tenant satisfaction. This paper looks at the changing operational needs of office buildings. The current guidance provided, and the key points of reference are examined and assessed against todays demanding requirements for efficient management of modern buildings.

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