For many large corporate companies, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is an essential area of focus to ensure that every employee, client, supplier and visitor feels safe and welcome in their spaces. Furthermore, they want to make sure that they empower people with different abilities to achieve their full potential in the workplace.
Accessibility is therefore an important aspect of EDI: giving all people equal and independent access to an office building. People in wheelchairs and other mobility aids should be able to get into a building via the front entrance, and then access whatever level they require without needing special assistance. However, some existing buildings are more difficult to adapt for accessibility than others.
The London offices of a leading professional services firm located on the iconic South Bank of the Thames.
Although lifts are in use in the building, they did not provide step-free access to all areas of the building. However, the area of the building in need of additional accessibility could not structurally accommodate the construction of a vertical lift shaft. Demonstrating the firm’s commitment to EDI, the firm worked with lift and escalator consultants to find a solution that would make the building even more accessible.
The consultants decided that a stairlift in an existing stairwell would be the best possible solution, but building a multi-level inclined lift would be a significant engineering challenge. Stannah was then selected as the lift company to supply and install the lift.
Stannah installed a Stairiser CR model in pastel blue, featuring glazed panels and an upholstery folding seat. It is Stannah’s longest-ever inclined platform lift, travelling over 29 metres of travel and ascending 7 flights of stairs.
To safely and reliably accommodate the longer-than usual operation time travelling from the bottom to the top, a much stronger three-phase motor (0.75kw-1.1kw) and an increased power gearbox in the cabinet had to be custom installed. And to make sure the rails would securely hold the weight of the stairlift platform, plus its occupant, 64 support stanchions were installed to fix the stairlift to the floor.
Although the lift is typically used only once or twice a month, it will come as a relief for those with mobility challenges to know they can now come and go from floor to floor independently whenever they need to, no matter which part of the building they are in.