GSA Courthouse Management Group
Mechanical Lift Analysis
The depth of the base frame and attached equipment varies depending on the system
design. (The cantilever platform lift design requires a maximum of a 4 in. recess, while
the hydraulic/scissors concept needs as much as 8 in.) This variance is due to the
fundamental differences in the design of the two (2) systems.
If it is the intent of GSA to keep options open for attracting several manufacturers of both
systems to the bidding process, the guidelines must indicate a required pit depth of 8 in.
The structural engineer on the design A/E team should be made aware of the size and
placement of each pit during the preparation of construction documents for bidding, and
then be able to adapt the pit depth to the lesser dimension in the shop drawing review
process if the manufacturer of the cantilevered platform system is the successful bidder.
Standard Lift Accommodation
The lift must be recognized as a piece of equipment, or machinery, that needs to be
accommodated in its standard configuration in order to achieve the intended performance.
Rarely does the architect dictate the shape of a mass-produced service element within the
built environment. The designer must recognize the functional limits of the standard lift
and incorporate them into the overall plan configurations and millwork elements for the
Providing the lift system and the related enclosure elements as independent design
elements, as this Analysis recommends, would eliminate several of the design and
functional problems observed during the site visits, including the need for a retained
raised platform condition, and the requirement for wheel-stop elements between levels.
Integrated Architectural Finishes and Details
GSA must develop design criteria, including an outline of all conditions requiring
comprehensive architectural detailing related to the lift system installation.
Architectural finishes for the lift enclosure and platform surface should be thoroughly
addressed as part of the project construction documents for bidding. Throughout this
Analysis it was apparent that most lifts, and the related enclosure elements, were
integrated as part of the product Submittal for Approval process during the construction
administration phase of each project. This is not the appropriate time to develop
millwork and floor finish details, because related construction trades have already
committed to their scope of work on the project. The minimum basic architectural
conditions requiring detailing are:
Courtroom well finish floor edge and return into the equipment pit;
Lift platform surface finish and all edge conditions;
Millwork enclosure, including gates; and**
Remotely located equipment access panel finishes, plus edge conditions.
HDR Architecture, Inc.