Inclined Wheelchair Platform Lift in Poole, Dorset

We were approached by a couple from Poole who were looking to make their home more accessible due to unforeseen circumstances. Poole is located on the South coast and similar to many seaside towns and villages, the land undulates around the coastline. The client's home was no different with the driveway and garage situated at the street level then their house situated at the top of the hill. The garden then sat between the two with a paved pathway leading from the driveway all the way up to the front door. After several discussions between the clients and our team we decided that an inclined wheelchair platform lift would be the best option. The main issue that became immediately apparent is how the pathway winds up the side of the garden. The pathway includes several twists and turns with some points narrower than others.

We attended site and completed a digital survey, mapping the exact dimensions of every single step. The survey revealed that the total distance the inclined wheelchair platform lift would travel would be over 13 metres and a total rise of 5 metres. This is by no means our longest inclined platform lift but it posed a unique challenge due to the number of turns and the narrowness of the pathway. We managed to fit an inclined wheelchair platform lift with a platform measuring 750mm x 1000mm. All materials of the lift are made out of 316 stainless steel to prevent any rust or corrosion meaning that the lift can stand up to any adverse weather conditions.

After completing the project the client had this to say, "I wanted to thank you and your team for all your help, hard work and knowledge, your service has been amazing. Your engineers in particular were unbelievably helpful.

"You enabled us to carry on living in our lovely house."

To see more examples of our outdoor lifts and garden lifts click on the following projects: Outdoor Inclined Platform Lift in DartmouthOutdoor Garden Platform lift in Parkstone, Residential Glass Lift in BoshamExternal Home Lift in Branksome, Outdoor Home Lift in Powys and Outdoor Stairlift in Kingswear.

Location: Dorset

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2018

Inclined Wheelchair Platform Lift in Poole, Dorset
Outdoor Garden Lift in Poole, Dorset
Outdoor Garden Lift
Curved Inclined Platform Lift
Outdoor Wheelchair Platform Lift
Inclined Wheelchair Platform Lift in a Garden

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

Small Residential Lift in Witchampton

We were approached by a couple who lived in Witchampton, just North of Wimborne, because they were looking to have a small residential lift installed in their cottage. The couple were looking to make their cottage more accessible and provide another access route to the upstairs of their home that would be close to the master bedroom. The most feasible option was a small residential lift to the right of the front door - the major sticking point for the project was that the cottage had sloping ceilings and so reduced headroom on the first floor.

We designed and installed a small residential lift that was situated inside the cottage travelling 2550mm from beside the front door to the first floor landing, close to the master bedroom. Due to the reduced space and lack of headroom in the cottage the lift had a cabin that measured 850mm x 720mm and  height that measured 1100mm. The small residential lift was finished in a painted stainless steel structure with glass panels. The glass panels and white painted structure allowed in as much light as possible to dissipate from the window above the lift shaft on the first floor. We fitted the lift with glass swing landing doors so that they took up as little space as possible as well as letting as much light flood through the house.

Location: Dorset

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2017

Residential Glass Lift

Small Residential Lift in Painted Stainless Steel Shaft

Small Home Elevator

Small Domestic Lift in Witchampton - Ground Floor

Small House Lift

Small Home Elevator with Reduced Headroom

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

 

Platform Lifts at the National Army Museum

We were approached by BDP, the architecture firm responsible for the £23.75 million redevelopment of the National Army Museum in London. They were looking to fit platform lifts within the museum so visitors would be able to access every part of the museum and make full use of the new services. The refurbishment completely modernised the museum and they wanted  a trio of platform lifts that would match the new look of the museum. The locations that they needed to fit platform lifts were from the main reception to the education centre, to the Discover More gallery and for staff from outside the building to access the lower basement entrance.  

We designed and installed a platform lift between the main reception and education centre. This lift is mainly used for groups and school pupils who visit the museum and use the education centre. The education centre is a great tool where large groups can learn about British history from the Civil War up to the present day conflicts. The lift was finished in stainless steel with glass panels to match the newly refurbished modern look of the building and the travel distance was 1.8 metres.

We fitted and installed a platform lift for access to the Discover More gallery, it was also finished in stainless steel and glass to suit the new aesthetics of the building. The cabin length of 1650mm allows both a large wheelchair or mobility scoot and carer to easily and safely use the lift. The platform lift travels just 980mm but can hold a load of up to 300kg.

The third lift we designed and installed was for staff access from outside the building to the lower basement floor. The outdoor platform lift was finished in RAL 7016 painted steel with a travel distance of 1180mm. The platform lift that the client wanted was a cost effective product that would withstand any adverse weather conditions that could be thrown at it. The lift would provide disabled access for staff and workers at the National Army Museum.

All three lifts were fitted within 2 weeks and were ready for the National Army Museum's Grand Opening in March 2017.

Location: London

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2017

To see projects similar to the National Army Museum click on the following links:

200 Gray's Inn Road | Brunel House | Seven Dials Warehouse | Venture House | Southwark Council | 24 Chiswell Street | Elm Yard

Disabled Wheelchair Lift in the National Army Museum
Disabled Access Lift in the National Army Museum
Outside Disabled Access Lift for Museum
Outdoor Wheelchair Lift at the National Army Museum
External Platform Lift for Museums
Wheelchair Platform Lift in the National Army Museum
Disabled Platform Lift in Museums

For more information about lifts like the ones above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

Inclined Platform Lift in Grade II Listed Waterworks

We were approached by Blackbottle Ltd, a building contractor, as they were looking to install a number of lifts at a site in Hampton. Blackbottle is responsible for the renovation and refurbishment of a Grade II listed Victorian waterworks located on the banks of the River Thames in Hampton. They are in the process of building several scientific research laboratories as well as premium office space for small, scientific-based businesses within the waterworks. The first lift that Blackbottle were looking to install was an inclined platform lift in the "Boilerhouse." We are specialists in the installation of inclined platform lifts in listed buildings and have fitted a number around the country therefore we know that getting the right product and style is paramount.

We designed and installed an inclined platform lift with a platform measuring 800m x 1200mm and a load capacity of 300kg with the lift travelling 1500mm up 5 steps. The large platform space allows for both electric-powered wheelchairs as well as smaller manual wheelchairs for visitors and workers of the businesses within the building. 

Location: London

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2018

To see projects similar to Morelands Riverdale click on the following links:

National Army Museum | 200 Gray's Inn Road | Brunel House | Seven Dials Warehouse | Venture House | Southwark Council | 24 Chiswell Street | Elm Yard

Inclined Platform Lift in the Boilerhouse at Morelands Riverdale
Wheelchair Platform Lift for Blackbottle Ltd
Inclined Platform Lift in Grade II Listed Waterworks
Inclined Platform Lift in Grade II Listed Office Building
Inclined Platform Lifts in Commercial Buildings

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

Indoor House Lift in Chichester, West Sussex

We were approached by a private client in Chichester who was looking to incorporate an indoor house lift within their home. Chichester is a cathedral city and the county town of West Sussex, situated on the Southern edge of the South Downs National park close to the popular seaside town of Bognor Regis. As with many of our clients they were looking to future-proof home - lifts are becoming more common in the home and can even be a necessity in order to sell a house in some areas. The client wanted an indoor house lift that matched the modern aesthetics of their home and would like stylish against the light and airy appearance throughout the house.

We installed the indoor house lift in its own purpose built shaft that connected the ground floor hall and the first floor landing. The lift's cabin measures 900mm x 12500mm. The lift travels a total distance of 2800mm across 2 floors with lift entry on one side and has a safe working load of 300kg. The house lift was finished with white doors with dark glass panels to match the modern appearance of the client's house. The client then painted the cabin in a stylish monochrome design with white and black horizontal stripes.

To see more examples of our domestic lifts by clicking on the following links: Residential Glass Lift in Bosham, Home Platform Lift in Whitecliff, Small Passenger Lift in Mayfair, Glass Home Lift in St John's Wood, Glass Lift in Flats in Weymouth and Outdoor Glass Lift in Branksome

Location: West Sussex

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2016

Indoor House Lift in Chichester
Residential Elevator in Chichester
Personal Home Lift with Glass Panels

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

Home Platform Lift in Ringwood, Hampshire

We were approached by a couple who had recently built their new home in Ringwood, Hampshire and were looking for a lift at the front of their property. Ringwood is a market town located on the Dorset-Hampshire border adjacent to the New Forest. The couple had built a lift shaft to the front of the property and were looking for the right home platform lift. This is when they got in touch with us to discuss the possible options available to them. They were looking for a lift that would match the modern aesthetics of their home and be able to stand up to day-to-day usage. After meeting with the couple and discussing their vision for the lift, our team created technical drawings of what the lift would look like and how it would fit in the shaft. After reviewing the plans, the client liked the design of the lift and gave us the go ahead to order the lift.

We designed and installed a home platform lift in the purpose built lift shaft. The lift travels nearly 3 metres from the hallway by the front door on the ground floor to the living-dining area on the first floor. The home platform lift has cabin dimensions of 770mm x 1060mm and a rated load of 300kg.  The lift was fitted with 750mm wide swing landing doors with glass windows to allow lots of light into the shaft and to give the lift a spacious feel.

To see more examples of our home lifts click onto following links: Glass Lift in a Stairwell in Torquay, Small Domestic Lift in Mayfair, Glass Residential Lift in St John's Wood, Small Residential lift in Witchampton and Residential Glass Lift in Bosham

Location: Hampshire

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2013

Home Platform Lift in Ringwood
Home Platform Lift in House in Hampshire
Home Platform Lift in Purpose Built Lift Shaft
2 Floor Home Platform Lift

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

Glass Lift for Offices at Meriden Hall

We were approached by Hasker Architects who were designing a new glass office building attached to the Grade II listed Meriden Hall. E Manton were the principal contractors running the construction of the new build - they are one of the leading building contractors within the Midlands and take on projects in both the private and public sectors. Hasker Architects are an architectural practice based in Solihull with projects nationwide, their projects vary from one-off houses to multimillion pound industrial projects. For this particular project, the architect wanted a lift for offices which were spread across the two floors in the newly constructed building. The lift was to be finished in pinned glass as to match the building's external facade.

We installed an enclosed platform lift within its own structure in the stairwell leading up to 1st floor. The lift's cabin measured 1400mm x 1100mm with the total travel distance between the floors measuring 4 metres. The safe working load for this lift is 400kg which equals 5 people. The lift's structure was finished in RAL colour 7015 with pinned glass on all four sides and two points of entry from the same side. The lift was fitted with double automatic glass doors on both floors. Tiles were fitted on both the lift platform and in the lift shaft under the lift, these aligned with the existing tiled flooring on both floors. We were also asked to design and install a custom made steel handrail to match the existing handrail on the other side of the stairs. Working with a local metal fabricator we created a steel handrail which was fitted through the panes of glass onto the lift's steel structure to complete an impressive look.

Location: West Midlands

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2017

To see projects similar to Meriden Hall click on the following links:

The Base at Greenham | British Library | New Forest Ice Cream | Paternoster SquareBranksome Park | Powys | Whitecliff | Bosham

Glass Lift at Pertemps Headquarters, Meriden Hall
Glass Office Lift at Meriden Hall, Warwickshire
Glass Lift with Custom Made Handrail at Meriden Hall
Glass Lift in Newly Built Office for Pertemps
Glass Lift at Meriden Hall Finished with Pinned Glass

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

24 Chiswell Street

We were approached by Como part of the Mace Group as they were undertaking major refurbishment of Cat A offices at 24 Chiswell Street in Central London. The whole ground floor was being lowered by 970mm to the street level outside the building. This would make the building accessible from the street however it would in turn create accessibility issues further into the building. The specific challenge of this project was that there was very little space to create an accessible route to these offices. There was no room for a conventional disabled platform lift let alone a ramp. The only space available for a lift would fit was the existing stairwell which leads to one of ground floor offices.

We installed a specialist platform lift that takes the appearance of a set of steps. As you can see in the below photos the whole stairwell descends flat with the lower floor level. The user then gets onto the lift and ascends to the upper level. The metal barrier then lowers into the system and the user can travel off of the lift. The specialist platform lift is equipped with key fob radio controls so that the lift can be operated by a member of staff at the front desk or the user themselves. When not in use the lift is a symmetrical copy of the stairwell opposite complete with the same tiles as the rest of the building’s entrance.

This specialist platform lift is a great alternative when space is at a premium and for existing stairwells where designers and contractors are finding it difficult to make space. The lift’s steps can be finished with existing materials such as the tiles used in this project. The lift at 24 Chiswell Street  blends into its surroundings seamlessly and without previous knowledge it is difficult to realise the lift is there.

Location: Central London

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2016

To see projects similar to 24 Chiswell Street click on the following links:

National Army Museum | 200 Gray's Inn RoadSeven Dials Warehouse | Venture House | Southwark Council | Elm Yard | Morelands RiversideBrunel House

The entrance of 24 Chiswell Street
Main reception area of 24 Chiswell Street
Stairwell at 24 Chiswell Street
Steps descending at 24 Chiswell Street
Lift fully descended at 24 Chiswell Street

 

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65, email us or click here to be taken to our hidden lifts page

Disabled Access on Trains – Challenges & Solutions

We know it can be difficult getting around the country via trains regardless of having a disability. Every week there seems to be more cancellations and delays than the week before and we constantly hear about the ongoing disputes between the companies and workers' unions. The continuous strikes mean that we, the public, are left with a very fractured service and we can't get anywhere fast. It recently took me over 3 hours to travel to London, a journey that used to take under 2 hours. To think these journeys are extremely stressful is an understatement. Having a disability can compound this further, it should be easy for a wheelchair user to use every type of public transport but it seems it is becoming more difficult on trains in recent years. There is hope on the horizon with a £250m investment to Midland Metro being announced by Theresa May this morning but then that targets only a small area of the country. The long term project of High Speed 2 is, from the outside, promising but then it'll not start services for over 9 years if it's on time. It is also poses the questions will the brand new trains be compatible with the current stations along those lines. 

Expensive Fares

This is not predominantly a factor affecting disabled people however I thought I would mention it as it is an issue that affects everyone. Train fares have risen in recent times to extortionate levels and I've experienced a poorer service as time has gone on. Every week there seems to be a delay or cancellation for some reason or another and it can become very frustrating. If train operators are going to rise ticket prices then I expect an increase in the standard of service however that's not what I've seen, with people getting lower value for money. Disabled people can find it difficult using trains at the best of times but having to use a dodgy ramp to embark and disembark the train makes the experience worse. You'd have thought that with an increase in fares the train operators would invest more in disabled access but it doesn't seem apparent. Across Europe the large French and German operators have invested heavily into disabled access supplying lifts from the train to the platform. Compared with the UK, they've made it far easier for disabled people to use the train network and therefore get around the country. It doesn't seem like there is going to be a massive reduction in fares in the near future so it would be great to see our money being invested more wisely into integral services such as disabled access. 

Mind the Gap

A common sight on British railways

Old Trains

An issue that affects everyone and not just those with a disability is that trains from the 1980s still exist in certain parts of the country. Are these trains that are nearly 40 years old fit for service for the general public let alone wheelchair users? Simple answer - no they're not. The average age of a train on Britain's railways is over 20 years old and with an ever ageing and growing population, can these trains handle the demand? These older trains can be up to half a metre higher than the platform level and so makes disabled access a nightmare. A standard disability ramp in the UK has to have a gradient of between 1:12 to 1:20 - that would mean a 50cm height difference would have to have a 6 metre long ramp. Conventional disabled access ramps like these are cumbersome and difficult to manoeuvre in the short space of time a train stops at a station, in addition many platforms do not have 6 metres of space to work with.

Differing Heights and Trains

It seems strange that trains and platforms would vary in height so much, the apparent reason is due to constant network development with several stations being built over the decades since the Victorian Era. However you'd expect that there would be a standard height of platform or train floor but that doesn't seem to be the case. This is compounded by different train operators having slightly different designs and different types of trains having completely different operating heights. For example in the UK the "standard height" of a platform is 915mm but this can still vary, the Heathrow Express has platforms that measure 1100mm high. High Speed 1 connecting London to the Channel Tunnel has platforms measuring 760mm high and High Speed 2 will either have 550mm or 760mm platforms. These discrepancies are illogical but they exist and so we need to find a way to bridge these gaps. Sometimes these gaps between the train floor height and the platform are not manageable for able bodied people let alone wheelchair users.

This can be a difficult problem to solve for a station manager especially if he has more than one type of train going through his station. He could have different lengths of ramp depending on the train floor height but then he would have to have several different ramps and places to store them as well as the additional cost. Ease of use of should be at the forefront of everyone's minds, how can we make these services better for the customers. A simple but effective method to get around varying train heights is to have a portable train lift, easy to use and can rise up to a 1 metre to meet the train's floor level. Portable disabled access lifts are affordable and can be easily moved into position something station managers can find difficult with cumbersome ramps. 

Old Southern Rail Train

Old Southern Rail Train

Some London Underground platforms are inaccessible to wheelchair users

Time

Trains are a time critical service, a small amount of time lost at one station can impact the onward journey and make a train late at it's terminal stop. It seems like we're stuck in the dark ages when it comes to disabled access for trains, several years behind Europe. With great variation within the distance between the train and the platform, getting the right ramp can be an arduous process and can be very time consuming. It can require 2 or more staff to manoeuvre into position then help the disabled passenger disembark the train. This can take a relatively long period of time and depending on the height of the train, the station manager might have to use different ramps. A simple solution to these problems is the portable disabled access train lift. It can be stored on the platform and then easily wheeled out when needed. As it is an adjustable platform lift it could operate at any height up to 1 metre and only needs one person to wheel it out and use it rather than 2 or more that can be used when positioning a ramp. 

The Solution

Disabled access is pretty lacklustre across Britain with ramps the predominantly used solution. However with varying platform sizes across the country and train operators using different carriage designs you would need more than one ramp. Ramps can also be cumbersome and take more than one person to simply position it in place ready for a disabled passenger. A portable train lift can be kept on the platform and simply wheeled out when needed. The lift can cover heights of up to 1 metre above the platform level and can be easily driven up and down to meet the train's floor level. In addition it only takes one person to move it into position then operate it. This frees up time for the other station staff to carry out other tasks therefore makes the station more efficient. 

Portable Train Life

Portable Train Lift

Disabled Access for Trains

Disabled Access for Trains

Platform Lift for Trains

Platform Lift for Trains

For more information about our disabled access solutions for the transport sector click here 

0800 65 252 65

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The Challenges of Historic and Listed Buildings

Firstly, as a company we are very grateful to visit some beautiful historic and listed buildings that warrant national and international acclaim. We also love working in this fantastic locations and tackling the complicated problems that for the most part centuries old buildings can throw at us. We all know that they can be tricky to deal with whether you're the building's owner, a construction management company or even a lift engineering business like us. In this following article we're going to look at the challenges that can present themselves when working in a historic or listed buildings and how we can overcome them.

Removal or Alteration of a Building

It's all well and good being asked to come to site to measure and provide a quotation for a lift for a historic or listed building. However due to listings even getting a lift into position can prove challenging. Unlike normal buildings where you could simply remove part of a wall or make a small change, do that on a listed building and you'll have hell to pay for it. Sometimes this can be good as it allows us to use our creative side to design and develop a lift that has to overcome this tricky obstacle. We do love working in historic and listed buildings and designing lifts that seamlessly blend into the surrounding aesthetics.

Lift in the Historic Wool House in Southampton
Lift in Grade 1 Listed Pub & Brewery
Passenger Lift at the National Theatre

Finding Something Unexpected

These are the issues that can stop your project before it's even got started or put the start date back by several months or even years. In buildings that are several hundreds of years old you should expect to find something of historic importance but it is always a surprise when they appear. The "surprises" can vary from a secretive Jacobean era priest hole that needs to be preserved or even bones of a 11th Century monk. Excavation is a very important part of the initial building process especially when lifts require a pit below the floor level. Churches seem to have the greatest risk of presenting surprises due to the age and the quantity of people being buried in the building or in the grounds. You always have your fingers crossed when you get a phone call from the site management company when you know they've just excavated where the lift is supposedly going. 

Sizes and Awkwardness

We've had lifts delivered to tiny areas or put into very small spaces but listed buildings can be another kettle of fish. The simple task of moving the lift from where it was delivered to where it is actually going to be can take hours to navigate tiny passageways. We are usually one of the last trades on site as the builders have laid our structure, the plasterers have already done their job and the decorators are splashing the walls with paint so we are up against a time constraint. This combined with a difficult to navigate site means it can extend lift installation. In order to make it more manageable and easier to move around site we can have our lifts delivered in smaller parts however that can extend the process of installation.

Electrical issues

For the most part publicly owned historic or listed buildings are fairly well covered with modern wiring found around the whole of the building. However in private projects the story can be the polar opposite. I live in a Grade II listed house and know the difficulties of trying to modernise even basic features. A lot of the privately owned listed buildings that we have had a pleasure of working on are from 18th Century or before and sometimes it seems like their wiring is also from these times. The majority of our lifts run off single phase 240V actuators and so are easy to connect to the mains and are energy efficient. However in some listed buildings even this can prove difficult. Every single listed site that we visit is unique and poses its own challenges and part of the fun of the job is tackling these issues and adding more skills to our repertoire.

Theatre Lift
York Theatre Royal Lift

Matching Aesthetics

Ok so this isn't really issue and we love creating lifts that are "hidden" in plain sight but some designs can be more difficult than others. In the past we've had to use the exact same materials or original suppliers. For example at the National Theatre on London's Southbank we had to have the ceiling anodised bronze, it was done by the same company that anodised the original ceiling in 1976, we even used the same original carpet from 1971 on the lift's floor. For more about that particular project click here. Historic and listed buildings provide us the opportunity to create a very high specification of product which we love doing, being able to put all our skills on show is why we're in this business. To give you an example of what the work we're currently undertaking is that we're retrofitting an 1850s lift into a modern lift, using the same rosewood panelling and even the same Victorian lift curtain. We love creating unique lifts that are tailor made to the highest standards and quality.

For more information about our projects in historic and listed buildings click here and to see photos of our lifts in historic and listed buildings click here

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