How building managers and maintenance providers can work together

As a building professional, there are some unique considerations to manage if you have any type of people-moving equipment on property, such as elevators and escalators. This is something that you can work closely on with your service provider.

Some of these include:

  • Safety
  • Budget
  • Required maintenance
  • Safety Test Process and Violations
  • Parts Replacement
  • Capital Planning
  • Environmental Factors



First and foremost, it’s important to ensure that your equipment is in safe working order for the benefit of the riding public and to reduce any liability for your building(s).

Selecting a reputable maintenance provider, keeping up with inspections and replacing the equipment once its life expectancy is reached are all ways to provide a safer experience for your passengers and peace of mind for your stakeholders.

Various safety products are available to meet your building’s needs. Some of these include air purifiers, handrail sanitization and emergency return units.



Depending on the number of units and the age of your equipment, elevators can be a minimal or primary portion of the annual budget you manage.

In selecting the right service agreement for your property, consider the scope (maintenance and parts replacement) and length of agreement, as well as any annual price increases to determine which option is the best value for your property. All of these factors can influence your monthly costs.


Required Maintenance

Conveyance equipment such as elevators and escalators have Code-driven requirements that must be performed at certain intervals based on the type of equipment. The North American Code is generated by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). A17.1 and its different versions are applied depending on your state. Learn more here:

Required maintenance tasks may be completed by a service provider during one or multiple visits, depending on the number of units and type of equipment.


Safety Test Process and Violations

The most common inspection requirement is annual; however, there are variations to the requirements based on the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). Some of these differences could include whether the testing is witnessed by a state or county official versus a third-party company, and the frequency of the testing (every one, three or five years, e.g.).

Different equipment types also dictate what types of tests are required. An example of this would be an annual pressure test for a hydraulic elevator, compared to an annual load or five-year full load for traction elevators. Each test takes a different amount of time to complete as well.

You’ll want to know what’s required for your equipment so that you can properly prepare your building’s tenants for any interruptions.

If there are any violations noted after the safety test, it’s important to know who’s responsible for the corrections - your building or the service provider. This should be discussed with your maintenance provider representative and corrected within the appropriate time frame (usually within 90 days, but may vary).


Parts Replacement

Understanding what replacement parts are available for your equipment is extremely valuable. You want to be sure that if one of your units needs a part to keep it in operation or return it to operational that your service provider can have the part and complete the repair as soon as possible.

Ask your service provider if they have a local warehouse with parts, if they have parts for your equipment, and, if the parts aren’t local, how long it usually takes to obtain them.

If you have any units critical to your passengers or equipment with parts that aren’t as easily available, you may also want to consider purchasing parts to keep on your property in the event that a shutdown occurs. Your maintenance provider can recommend which would make the most sense for your building usage and equipment type.

The scope of parts replacement can make a big difference in your contract price. Essentially, the more risk you take to pay for any replacement parts, the lower your price will be. Likewise, the more risk or coverage you’d like the elevator company to supply, the price will increase. In thinking about the best mix for your property and budget, you’ll want to consider the type and age of your equipment along with its usage.


Capital Planning

Just like your car, computer or phone, elevator equipment has a life expectancy and needs to periodically be replaced. The frequency of replacement can largely depend on the type of equipment, its usage, and equipment obsolescence.

Capital planning can be a life-saver for your budget and stakeholder satisfaction. No one likes the surprise of a large, unexpected expense, nor the units being unavailable for longer than necessary.

Your service provider contact should provide an idea of capital planning to you so you have an idea of the potential expense, time to order materials and roadmap for installation. These are all details you’ll want to know so that you can plan the work at the right time for your property.

Something else to consider is that if you have tenants who absolutely need the elevators during this time, they may need to make other arrangements during certain portions of the modernization process, unless your maintenance provider has an alternate solution for them.


Environmental Factors

Certain environmental factors can impact the effective use of your elevator equipment. This could include storms, power outages, or floods, to name a few. You’ll want to know what’s covered (or not) in your maintenance service agreement.

In addition to notifying your maintenance provider if any of these events occur, you’ll also want to be aware of any preventative measures to help protect your equipment and passengers. An example would be to consider the placement of your elevators if your building is located in an area that receives seasonal hurricanes.


The Hurricane season is coming. If you want to learn how to protect your elevator, download our latest ebook: Protect elevators from storms and hurricanes


mockup_brochure_linkescalator_esp copia-1