GSA Courthouse Management Group
Mechanical Lift Analysis
diagrams of both systems at the end of this section.) Portable and inclined platform lifts
were eliminated from consideration as practical solutions because of difficulties in
maneuvering the portable unit in the courtroom and the necessary exposure of the
apparatus related to an inclined platform system.
Limiting the feasible system concepts minimizes the impact on the design of the
courtroom well. The only unique requirement that differentiates the two systems
identified as practical for this situation is the equipment tower required for the
cantilevered platform lift with the rear access panel for service, which can be concealed
behind a wall.
PLATFORM AND PIT STANDARDIZATION
Without standardization of the platform size throughout the industry, it is impossible to
determine specific dimensional requirements for incorporation of the system into the
construction documents for bidding. This situation is the primary reason for inadequate
coordination of finishes and details required for system incorporation.
Both the hydraulic/scissors and the cantilevered platform lifts will integrate better into the
courtroom well environment if a pit is provided. This will allow the resting (non-
operating) position of the lift to be at the lowest level, contiguous with the elevation of
the adjacent courtroom well floor.
RECOMMENDED DESIGN CRITERIA
Every effort should be made to follow the suggested prototypical architectural planning
layout, illustrated in Section Three, which includes the lift as an independent element.
This concept will adapt to either of the recommended generic lift systems. It will also
allow effective coordination of architectural detailing related to millwork, as well as
platform finish conditions, to become part of the project construction documents for
Not all efforts to incorporate the lift platform into the normal path of travel to the witness
box and judge's bench have been effective because of operational and architectural finish
detail problems. These problems include the inability to maintain a raised position over
an extended period of time (hydraulic / scissor lift) and excessive gaps between the
platform and the fixed floor landing.
The basic architectural conditions that need to be included with the construction
documents for bidding are the following:
Courtroom well finish floor edge and return into the equipment pit;
Lift platform surface finish and all edge conditions;
HDR Architecture, Inc.