The concept of people flow is something that we encounter on a daily basis, but it’s not a topic that tends to be talked about all that much. Quite simply, ‘people flow’ refers to the organised, comfortable and safe movement of people around a building. Quite naturally, this process requires the implementation of a wide range of design measures, such as escalators and stairs, but equally naturally we’re primarily concerned with the use of passenger lifts in this context.
People flow has only really become an issue since global urbanisation took place. With well over 50% of the worldwide population living in cities, more people now live in close proximity to each other than at any other point in history. The process of using lifts to ensure smooth people flow does not necessitate a uniform plan though, as different lifts are suitable for various environments.
People flow is very different within certain environments. For example, a large office block may house literally tens of different company offices, but because things like arrival, departure and break times tend to be fairly standardised, any lifts within such a building will be tremendously busy at certain times of the day (such as just before 9.00am, for example). However, outside of these select times they will tend to lie fairly idle.
On the other hand, a supermarket will see even more footfall go through it on a daily basis, but the people flow through these lifts will be very different indeed. People flow in a supermarket will be far less sporadic than within an office, with a steady stream of people all using the elevators throughout the day. There may be fewer times when a huge ‘traffic spike’ is experienced, but the lifts will see far more regular and evenly spread usage.
The Ideal Lifts
Taking the aforementioned situations as examples, different lifts would be required as an optimal solution within each environment. Within an office block, a large passenger lift would perhaps be the best fit installation. There would be no point in ferrying one or two people up and down floors when a group of five or six would regularly need to use it simultaneously, so the six or even eight person capacity would be far more useful. Such a lift also wouldn’t need to make constant journeys, so its larger power usage would therefore be less of a concern.
However, whilst such a lift could (and in some cases should) be used within a supermarket, there would be many cases where it would be housing only one or two passengers. Such a consistent flow of passengers in ‘dribs and drabs’ would hardly be an efficient use of an eight-person lift, so something like a machinery directive or platform lift might be more appealing. Cost-effective efficiency would be a greater priority in such an environment than raw capacity, so smaller lifts definitely have their place.
As you can see, comfortable and safe people traffic within a building relies upon far more than ‘just installing a lift’, as the question of ‘which lift?’ is also very important. Here at Axess2, we specialise in providing high quality lifts according to a variety of specifications, and we can even design these elevators to meet very unusual requirements as well. If you’d like to find out more about our products and services, or would like to discuss your need for a suitable lift in more detail, then please be sure to contact our friendly and professional team. Call us now on 01200 405 005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help.