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"Morphing" wheelchair lift design concept
November 18, 2014
11:52 pm
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richard liberatoscioli
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October 22, 2014
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Hi Fred!

 

I don't know the answer to your question (I'm day one with wheelchair lift design codes).

 

I thought ASME A17.1 is for elevators and escalators and ASME 18.1 was created to directly address the vertical and inclined wheelchair platform lift standards.

 

This effort in design attempts to better address the under 5ft wheelchair platform lifts in the commercial retrofit market affording significant cost savings and functionality. The current products offered for this specific application are overly bulky, intrusive and unsightly.

 

An example of this is in the many two and three step enclosed platform lifts. They look as if they could easily survive a drive by shooting!  :  (

 

I certainly understand the need for a safety door from an open landing to a straight drop to the bottom landing. This design never presents an "open landing", the upper landing to lower landing transition always has "steps".

 

I also understand the need for a safety door at the bottom landing so no one could possibly be crushed by the descending platform. This design never presents such a possibility. Its literally "safe to the touch" on every moving surface.

 

 On the electronics side of things, electronic safety curtains (light beam break detection) easily affords exclusive wheelchair use and roll off protection stopping the lift.

 

 

November 18, 2014
9:39 pm
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fgrable@iccsafe.org
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Richard, that is very interesting! Didn't know that existed!  Is that a standard reference by ASME A17.1 ? I was thinking about how a code official would go about approving the equipment as A18.1 is not directly referenced in the IBC.

November 4, 2014
2:53 am
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richard liberatoscioli
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Hi Fred!

This concept lift was based on the interpetation presented in the "Approved ASME A18.1 Interpretations"

Interpretation: 04-01
Subject: Paragraph 1.1.1 Equipments Covered by This Standard
Edition: ASME A18.1-2003
Date of Issued: June 16, 2004
Question: Is it permitted for a lift which is used to transport mobility impaired persons to also
serve as a stationary platform for people without disabilities?

Reply: Yes.

This was in sharp contrast to the "exclusive use by disabled people only" for wheelchair lifts.

This concept lift creats a new "mixed use" or hybrid "staircase/lift" being mutually exclusive in eather mode of operation. 

The  greatest contention now is that of the required "doors and side guards" for a vertical lift.

Since this hybrid presents no "clifts" for someone to fall from ..... would be my request for variance to this requirement.

 

November 1, 2014
10:23 pm
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fgrable@iccsafe.org
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An interesting concept. I think this would have to be covered under the requirements for elevators in ANSI A17.1 standard (code) for elevator machinery or something like that. I'm not sure that a code official would accept passenger moving machinery that didn't meet some standard. ANSI A17.1 is the first one that comes to mind.

October 22, 2014
5:09 pm
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richard liberatoscioli
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Prelude:

Commercial motel environment

Existing building 50 + yrs

Split level - lobby on bottom floor with guest rooms on top floor

1:20 ramp of any shape ..... forget it!

Total lift elevation rise 22 inches (bottom floor, step, step, top floor)

Staircase width 6 ft.(wall to wall)

Typical wheelchair lift would permanently obstruct halve the staircase

Typical inclined lift not desirable .... un-folding at lobby level would obstruct side hallway, too slow for this high traffic area and must always be immediately  returned to top floor to park unobstructed. The large permanent physical presence of either would be aesthetically grave.

 

 

Design concept:

An "invisible" vertical lift "landing"........ (aka platform)

 

Basically,

Think of this staircase about 10 ft in front of you. You see the two 6 ft wide steps leading to the top landing. You approach the steps in your wheelchair and press the "up" button.

The landing starts to rise to the top of the first step. This first step then joins in the upward travel with this rising landing. As this first step "morphs" into a "landing".... a "new" first step "morphs" out of the rising landing behind you. Continuing upwards the same process "morphs" the second step in front of you and installs a "new" second step behind you. When you reach the top of the upper floor (in aprox. 10 seconds) you simply proceed un-obstructed to your destination.  

My rational to this concept is this lift system would not require any doors or side walls as no dangerous "fall off cliffs" or mechanical entrapment points are presented in its operation.

The two hand rails flanking the lift will also synchronically "morph"  (via telescopic hand rail links) to the current state of the lift.

The lift can remain in the "up" position or the "down" position ..... it doesn't matter!