Types Of Lifts For Different Buildings


Published on: 01-01-2017

A lift, also called elevator, is one among the most underrated pieces of human invention. It’s a vertical transport equipment that moves goods or people between floors or levels of a vessel, building, etc. Not many people realise if it hadn’t been for lifts, the skyscrapers or tall buildings adorning most modern cities’ skylines wouldn’t have been possible. A lift may seem like a simple piece of technology and engineering.

However, if you dig deep, you’ll find out there’s more than what meets the eye. There are several components and mechanisms making up a lift – such as counterweight systems, hydraulic fluid, and traction cables, to name a few. In this article, we’ll focus on the types of lifts for different buildings.


Lifts can be categorised based on their mechanism, building height and type, location, and uses/purpose. The following are the most common categories:

• Passenger Lift

A passenger lift is quite common and usually found in almost all buildings that have six floors or more. These lifts could be of different types and sizes, based on a building’s requirements or likely passenger loads. The domestic lift is basically a type of passenger lift. This lift is built either outside or inside the house and could be electric, cable, pneumatic, or hydraulic.

• Hoist Lift

A hoist lift is operated using a pulley(s) and it could be a simple cage or platform that carries heavy materials or humans up and down in an industrial setup. Basically, a pulley controls a chain or rope that’s wrapping a drum, which is causing the lift to descend or rise. A hoist lift could be powered by air or electricity. At the site, a hoist lift can be usually seen carrying equipment and materials upwards as per requirements during the building’s construction. Also, they’re commonly used for loading supplies and equipment on big sea vessels.

• Goods/Cargo Lift

As the name indicates, a goods lift helps transport heavy items so that foot traffic is cut down. These lifts are commonly found in commercial establishments – for instance, restaurants, stores, offices, etc. Compared to hoist lifts, a cargo lift is much more efficient at unloading and loading cargo as there aren’t any stoppages. All the action happens in a single fluid motion. When used for industrial purposes, these lifts are mobile and temporary, with most of them being on wheels.

• Domestic Lift

Also called residential lift, domestic lifts help move individuals between different floors of a residential building. Domestic lifts made for residences usually have a load capacity of 2-4 people. These could be built inside or outside a house. The ones built inside a house are specifically for people in the family with independent mobility issues. Generally, the lift is set up alongside a staircase, following the stairs’ shape. The lift can also be remotely controlled, regardless of whether it’s built outside or within a house.

• Custom Lift  

Also known as bespoke lift, a custom lift is tailor-made to suit a specific requirement or purpose. These lifts are usually preferred by private users looking for a lift that’s made keeping their needs at the core – such as for handicapped users in a multi-story private residence. The customisation not just ends with functionality, but the lift’s interiors can also be custom-designed.

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