Elevators and contamination

One of the high risk contamination areas in Office Buildings is the elevator cabin. This presents multiple problems:

  1. The limited size of the cabin and, as such, the close proximity people sit to each other, especially during rush hour
  2. The poor ventilation of the cabin
  3. The touch-panel or the command button
Credit: Shutterstock

Germ transmission while using the elevators can be limited by:

  1. Restricting the number of people that use the elevator at the same time to 1 or maximum 2 persons. Unfortunately this would generate extreme long lines in the lobbies, especially in the morning and at lunch time. Therefore such a limitation will work only if the office building will determine tenants to enforce different working schedules. Even so, current elevator configurations will generate much longer waiting times and overcrowding in lobbies. Careful calculations need to be made in relation to floor-size, number of floors, elevator cabin size to determine optimal timing for each tenant. In addition reprogramming of the elevator soft not to stop on other floors while occupied will need to be made. Destination control cabin assignment can improve waiting times even under such restrictions.
  2. Improving the ventilation of the cabin by providing filtered fresh air input and controlled powerful extraction when the cabin is unoccupied.
  3. Using a card based destination control input for tenants to reduce objects to be touched in public areas. This will only be possible through redesign of current control terminals or panels, but it is estimated as an easy to do adaptation.
  4. For older push-button elevators, users shall be trained to use a touch pen/device. There are several such devices on the market already, but something as simple as a toothpick, earpick or key chain can be used with better results in limiting germ spread than gloves or hands.
  5. In low rise buildings a foot-push button can be implemented, but this would need to be easy to read and interpret and action.
  6. On the high-end of no-touch elevator control systems, a phone app to input your landing floor and communicate it to the elevator system can be easily developed.
  7. Ensure elevator cabin, control panels, air filters are cleaned often.
  8. Introducing a UV sterilizer lamp that should function when the cabin is unoccupied.

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