Build – General Contractor Work

Congratulations, your elevator is ordered.  Now you have to make sure it is installed properly.  Below is an outline of the General Contractor’s scope of work.

Step 1: Order the Elevator

Approximate lead time is 8 weeks+ for a hydraulic modular elevator and approximately 20 weeks + for a traction or MRL. If you have ordered a custom elevator it could be even longer depending on the job. Once you issue us a PO, we’ll produce submittal drawings for your review.  When you approve those, we will slot your elevator in a manufacturing slot that will be assured to arrive when you want it. Meanwhile you can do the site work needed to prepare for the elevator.

Detailed Timeline

Step 2: Site Prep - Pour the Pit

Dig and pour a concrete pit for the hoistway, with cast-in-place anchor bolts in the corners.  It is highly recommended that you purchase a template to make sure the anchor bolts are in the right place. You need to engineer the pit foundation and reinforcement based on the elevator’s pit reactions that our engineer supplies to you, the jobsite’s soil conditions, and your local code requirements.

Typical pits have 8” walls and 12” floors.  See pit layout drawings for precise measurements for your job.

If you have a sump hole, cover it with a non-combustible material, typically a sheet of metal.

Pour a concrete slab for the modular machine room, if ordered.  Purchase epoxy anchors to bolt it to the foundation after it is set.

If the machine room is not adjacent to the hoistway, piping and electrical must be run underground or overhead.   Coordinate with PME and the installer to determine any building preparations needed to accommodate this.

Lastly, once the pit has been poured and the anchor bolts are in place download this Pit Drawing Form. Fill out all the blanks with exact measurements and make sure to include the project name at the top.  Email the form to us. With this completed form the holes for the anchors will be as accurate as possible.

If this is new construction, retrofit or modular, and the elevator is going in after construction begins or through a roof, make sure that you leave 3″ in excess of the hoistway dimensions on all sides, all the way to the pit to accommodate the hoistway being craned into the building.  

Pour the Pit

Step 3: Make Door Penetrations

Make proper rough openings at each landing.  Refer to project drawings for precise width.  They can be as narrow as the door opening or as wide as the entire front wall of the hoistway.

Barricade each landing in accordance with OSHA Standards.

Door Penetrations

Step 4: Site Prep - Build the Machine Room

If a modular machine room has been ordered, then you need only a slab and electrical stub-ups.

If you are building the machine room, provide for the following:

→ Ensure machine room floor is complete and level, room is dry, walls are complete and fire rated with the same rating as the hoistway.

→ Equip with overhead light, switch, and GFCI outlet.

→ Install exterior door that is a minimum of 29.5” wide (36” preferred), self-closing and self-locking.

→ Install electrical power, including disconnects (see Electrical section)

→ Provide for climate control if the natural environment will not maintain the machine room temperature between 50 and 100 degrees, and humidity less than 85%.  This is required for the controller to work properly and by Rule

Step 5: Schedule the Crane

Schedule the crane. Four hours is sufficient for a single tower, including setup and takedown.  The crane size requirement depends on the elevator size and how far the crane has to reach to set it.  For more details on sizing and rigging, as well as a video of a modular elevator being set, click the link below.

Crane Info

Step 6: Install Electric

Provide four electrical stub-ups to the machine room.

Elevator power: 3-phase power, 208-480 volt dedicated circuit with lockable disconnect. Amperage requirements depend on project voltage and motor size.  Contact us and we’ll provide job-specific starting and full-load amperage so that you can size the power feed and disconnect.

Car power (lights and alarm): 120 volt, 20 amp dedicated circuit with lockable disconnect.

Hoistway power (pit light and outlet): Two 120 volt, 20 amp dedicated circuits. Disconnect not required, as this can land directly into the controller.

Machine room power (light and outlet): 120 volt, 20 amp dedicated circuit.  Ties directly into room light and outlet.

(Optional) PTAC unit power: If a modular machine room is ordered with a PTAC unit for climate control, it needs a 208/230 volt, 20 amp dedicated circuit, wired directly into the outlet.

Provide a dedicated phone line to the machine room.  The installer will connect this to the ADA phone in the elevator car.  When operational, this line must provide two-way communications that are monitored 24 hours a day.  See Rule

Step 7: Install Fire Life Safety

Install Automatic Fire Alarm Initiating Devices:  As required by ASME A17.1 & NFPA – 72 or per local code.

Smoke Detectors:  Install smoke detectors in each hallway and wire them to building electrical supply.  They may also be required in the machine room and/or hoistway.  See elevator layout drawings for smoke detector wiring requirements. The installer will make the final connections of the smoke detectors to the controller.

Fire Sprinklers: Local building codes may require fire sprinklers in the hoistway and/or machine room.  If required in the machine room, you will also need a means to remove power from the equipment prior to sprinklers turning on (shunt trip).  Consult your local code official for specific requirements.  If sprinklers are required, they must be installed after the elevator installation is complete and must be installed in accordance with Rule 2.8.3 (ASME A17.1).

Hoistway Venting: IBC requires hoistway venting to the exterior for any building of more than three stories.  Local jurisdictions may have additional requirements.  See ASME/ANSI A 17.1.  When required, PME supplies a dampered vent, which you will need to install and wire into building power.

Step 8: Complete Interior and Exterior Building Tie-Ins

Roof: Flash around the joint between the elevator and roof to prevent water penetration

Exterior:  If elevator is on the exterior of the building, or protrudes above the roof, apply final finish.  Hoistway standard exterior is fiberglass gypsum type X sheathing (Densglass or equivalent), so any building finish may be applied directly.  Standard roof is EPDM or Duro-Last that is glued to the roof and tacked around the sides.  After finish is applied to the walls, this should be terminated over the siding.

Interior:  Any hoistway walls that are exposed on the interior may be taped, mudded and finished like any standard drywall.  Tie hoistway walls into building walls and openings with drywall or expansion joints.

Floor:  Install cab flooring.  A ¾” allowance below the sill is provided.  Extend building flooring to hoistway sill.  An aluminum threshold plate is an available option.

Foundation: Flash bottom of hoistway to outside of pit wall, and bottom of machine room to slab.

Tie In And Finishing

Step 9: Final Details

Ground the hoistway by means of the provided lug, located in the pit on the interior of the hoistway.

Install non-shrink grout under tower, jacks & buffer stands.

Patch any holes from piping and electrical wiring in the hoistway and machine room walls to meet applicable building code fire rating requirements.

Install a Class ABC fire extinguisher in the machine room.  See Rule

Things We Don't Do

Believe it or not there are a few things we do not provide and are not in our scope. Know as the GC you need to coordinate with subs to get these things done. Here is a good list, but if you have any questions at all please contact us:

→ The floor of the elevator car. We do not provide carpet, tile or other covering and do not install it in the factory.

→ Fire/Life/Safety – Sprinklers if required or desired are totally up to you.

→ Coordination of various trades. It is up to you to schedule electricians, carpentry, construction, concrete work, fire/life/safety, building inspectors or plumbers (sump pump). You even need to coordinate with the elevator installer.

→ Structural Connections – We can give advice and assistance, but we do not make the tie-ins.

→ Emergency Egress Phones – These are the phones located at landings (not in the elevator cars) in some cases and are not allowed to be in the elevator hoistway.

→ Sump Pumps – If requested we can provide a receptacle and wiring, but the pump is not in our scope.

We hope that the information above will help you with the elevator installation. It is our goal to make the process as easy as possible. If you have any suggestions or questions feel free to contact us at your convenience.

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