As a property manager or building owner, you understand the importance of capital planning and creating a detailed budget to keep your property running smoothly each year. Closing out the year and planning for the next one is also an ideal time to think strategically about the lifecycle of your elevator or escalator, beyond routine preventive maintenance budgeting, so you can stay ahead of performance and reliability issues that increase over time with aging equipment. Capital planning takes time and thoughtful consideration, especially when it comes to elevators and the continued safety of your passengers.

Rise in Labor Costs
Employment of elevator and escalator installers and repairers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for these workers is closely tied to nonresidential construction, such as office buildings and stores that have elevators and escalators. This type of construction is expected to increase during the next decade, which will in turn increase labor costs. Make sure to factor in those increases when creating your budget.
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Evaluate Potential Upgrades
Your elevator contractor should be able to provide a comprehensive technical assessment of equipment and elevator service history, including repairs, maintenance, inspections, testing and callbacks. This will give you a clear picture of the remaining useful life of the equipment and where issues may be looming. Options for improving reliability and performance are going to be unique to your building, equipment and capital investment priorities. Whether you need a small repair or a full modernization, develop a game plan of preventative care that gives you the additional time needed to adequately plan and budget.

Did You Know?
Elevators should typically be modernized every 20 years. However, it can depend on what was done during the previous modernization and how well the work was performed. Some elevators can go about 25 years but some will need it after just 15 years. Your specific elevator system and equipment, and its past completed work, will determine if it’s time for you to modernize.
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New Safety Requirements
Besides basic upgrades and repairs, you should also consider potential equipment additions due to new requirements. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has developed uniform elevator safety requirements and continuously updates them to improve safety standards. One of the newest additions is installing a hand rail in the elevator shaft for the safety of technicians working in the hoistway.

Inspections and Testing
Although inspections are done through a third-party witnessing inspector, the building owner/manager is responsible for the costs associated with the inspections and mandatory testing by your elevator contractor. Although they’re extremely important, they’re the most often missed when creating budgets. Inspections are done annually and testing is done every 12 months (CAT 1) and every 5 years (CAT 5). CAT 1 includes basic testing, while CAT 5 is a more rigorous test. Both are vital in ensuring your equipment meets safety standards and your building is code-compliant.