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Ardent Lift Consultancy makes client a substantial saving

Case Study: 14-16 Great Pulteney Street, London

Further to the article on refurbishment/replacement in the September issue of Flat Living Magazine, we felt a case study would further demonstrate the benefits of correctly specifying lift works to ensure the client obtains the best value.

We were instructed to advise on renewal of a passenger lift located within a multi-let office block in the Soho region of London. The lift was originally installed in the 1960’s and has since undergone two partial refurbishment schemes. The first was during the late 80’s, when the lift’s main components (controller and machine) were replaced. The second refurbishment scheme took place in 2012 and saw the replacement of the ageing car door operator and landing door equipment.

In 2016 the lift machinery and control system (now 20 years old) had reached a stage where further investment would be required to provide a safe, efficient and reliable service to the property over the long term. Also for the lift to comply with current statutory requirements for Disabled Access.

Sir Richard Sutton Limited had been advised by the incumbent service provider that the lift’s control system and hoisting machine were in worn condition and required replacement. As a result an ‘in house lift consultant’ from a major firm of managing agents was appointed to inspect the equipment. Following their inspection, SRSL were advised that a full replacement exercise needed to be undertaken at an approximate cost of £118,000.

Ardent Lift Consultancy had recently advised Sir Richard Sutton Ltd on another project (the refurbishment of their Head Office lift). Following on from this they were asked to inspect the lift at 14-16 Great Pulteney Street and provide a professional second opinion on the required level of works.

Ardent Lift Consultancy were instructed to prepare a lift condition survey report and offer advice on the levels of works required. The report concluded that a partial refurbishment scheme was necessary to replace the lift’s dated control system and worn hoisting machine. Works would also include shaft rewiring, updating the car interior and upgrading the existing health and safety compliance (due to changes in regulations).

Some works had been undertaken in 2012 which addressed the car door operator and the landing door equipment on all floors B, G, 1-5 (totalling 7 floors) which were both replaced by GAL (a robust and quality product well known within the lift industry). Since this was only 4 years old a replacement was not necessary to provide the property with a reliable lift service over the long term (circa 20 years). We therefore advised that a partial refurbishment should be considered (retaining the lift car door operator and all landing door equipment). A budget price of £69,500 was recommended by Ardent Lift Consultancy to the client.






Above: GAL car door operator installed 2012 and landing door equipment installed 2012

The project was subsequently awarded to Ardent Lift Consultancy; a partial refurbishment scheme was recommended to the client and fully discussed to ensure reliability, safety and performance levels were achieved within the properties budgetary constraints. The project was specified and tendered to five contractors to obtain a competitive price for the client. Two of the five tender returns were within our original budget costs, outlined within our initial survey report. The two most competitive tenderers were invited to a post-tender meeting to discuss the proposed equipment being offered, length of site programmes, warranty periods, etc. to ensure our client obtained best value. The successful lift contractor was then appointed to undertake refurbishment of the lifts, which included all remedial building works.

The successful contractor submitted a budget cost of £69,031 saving the client a total of £48,969 from the original quote given by the ‘in house consultant’. Ardent Lift Consultancy will always strive to ensure the client receives the best possible advice and value, without sacrificing quality.

Summary of Works

Lift Car Interior

The old lift car interior was outdated and in a worn condition. It was originally finished in a patterned stainless steel to the lower sections and the upper sections were finished with mirrored panels. The car flooring was a hard-wearing grey rubber finish and was too utilitarian. The interior required complete replacement to suit the recently decorated office space.

The interior panels have been replaced by a white back painted glass to both the upper and lower section (the rear panel has been fitted with a mid-height hand rail and a mirror to the upper section) The lift car lighting has been replaced with a modern energy efficient LED lighting contained within a white suspended ceiling. The GAL car door operator was retained; however, new brushed stainless-steel car door panels have been installed incorporating full height non-contact safety edges to protect the passenger from accidental collision. A new hard-wearing tile effect cream flooring has been installed and the surrounding car skirting has been finished in timber. The car operating panel has been finished in brushed stainless-steel with TFT screen indication. The floor buttons have a blue illumination. Timber matching the low-level skirting has been installed above and below the car operating panel to complete the car finishes.









The original lift car interior was utilitarian in design and was replaced as part of the refurbishment works to suit a modern office environment

Lift Motor Room

The refurbishment works undertaken within the motor room have included the replacement of the hoisting machine, lift control system and upgrading health and safety compliances. The lift machine has been replaced with a gearless type, to provide a smooth and comfortable ride and to ensure EN81-A3 compliance. The motor room floor has been sealed and painted in an oil retardant red paint. New localised machine guarding has been added. The controller has been relocated to the machine room’s upper level with new steps and grab handrails installed to improve access and provide additional space within the machine room.

The controller has been replaced with a UK based open protocol control system and a drive unit utilising VVVF (Variable Voltage, Variable Frequency) technology, increasing energy efficiency and providing a smooth and controlled ride with near perfect floor levelling accuracy. The advantage of the new control system being UK based and open protocol in design means maintenance can now be competitively tendered to the open market thus reducing long term maintenance costs. Furthermore, in the unfortunate event of component failure, replacement parts can be sourced within days rather than months (if having to be obtained from the European market) reducing time and inconvenience to occupants.










The outmoded lift control system and geared machine have been replaced by a UK based open protocol control system and VVVF drive unit. They have been coupled to a new gearless machine to improve performance, energy efficiency and comply with A3 compliances.

Lift Shaft and Pit

The original equipment housed on the lift car top was in worn condition and poorly positioned, restricting working man space. The car top controls have been upgraded and repositioned to provide clear working space and emergency car top lighting and RCD protected sockets to ensure safe maintenance practices for personnel. The shaft lighting levels were acceptable, however, to improve lux levels the shaft has been painted white and new fittings strategically placed (top and bottom of the shaft) incorperating emergency lighting facilities to improve access and egress for engineers during an emergency situation. The GAL car door operator was installed in 2012 and in good condition so therefore retained. The refurbishment of the lift car has increased the available working man space on the car and has provided a safer and brighter working environment for maintenance personnel which will, in turn, increase lift maintenance levels, reliability and promote longevity of equipment.

The landing doors were replaced in 2012 by GAL units well known for their good quality and robust design. All of the doors running components were still in as new condtion and door service was reliable at the property. The Landing notification has been upgraded to TFT screen displays (on all floors) this technology provides the user with lift direction, lift position, status, and can be programmed to display time and date. The stainless-steel panels had minor surface damage that have been polished out during the refurbishment works to provide an ‘as new’ finish.









Above: GAL landing doors and car door operator installed during the partial refurbishement in 2012

Below: After pictures of the level of works undertaken to the lift shaft, car top in our recent refurbishment scheme









The lift pit was full of debris and had water ingress issues. During the refurbishment works the water issue was addressed (the pit was sealed with a tanking compound and the debris removed). As part of the works the pit has been sealed in an oil retardant red paint. Polyurethane car and counterweight buffers have been installed to aid with energy absorption in the event of collision (protecting passengers and equipment alike). An additional low level emergency stop switch and an electrically switched pit ladder have also been installed. These upgrades have created a much improved and safer working environment for maintenance personnel.









The above photographs show the lift pit area before and after our refurbishment scheme

The project was carefully managed by ourselves, Sir Richard Sutton Limited and the lift contractor. Careful consideration was put into the programme of works to ensure the lift works undertaken at the property caused minimal disruption to office employees who relied on the lift installation. The lift works consisted of an eight-week installation. The refurbishment works were undertaken to a high standard and the lift was returned to service within a 7-week period (one week earlier than agreed within the original programme of works).

Ardent Lift Consultancy has undertaken a witness test of the lift to confirm it has been refurbished to the correct standard. This ensures that the new equipment highlighted within our specification, complies with the relevant regulations and compliances, thus ensuring that the client has received what he has paid for. (The accepted tender also includes a 12 month manufacturer’s warranty and defects liability period and 12 month fully comprehensive lift maintenance program).

The project had to ensure that budgetary constraints were adhered to and provided a compliant and reliable lift service with a design life of circa 20-25 years. The alternative of installing a new lift would have doubled the client’s expenditure, prolonged the programme of works and caused greater disruption to staff. The property now benefits from a modern and reliable lift service, boasting a new gearless hoisting machine and control equipment coupled with VVVF drives to ensure an energy efficient, smooth, comfortable and reassuring service.

Ardent Lift Consultancy provided an expert second opinion on the level of lift works required at the property which included an accurate and honest review of the condition of the existing equipment. This combined with a well planned and executed refurbishment scheme has proven to be of great financial benefit, saving the client in total £48,969. Additionally, these savings could increase further over the long term as UK based open-protocol systems formed part of our technical specification, which ensures cost effective maintenance and low-down time in the event of component failure.

Client Comments

“We were really pleased with the advice and service provided by Ardent Lift Consultancy. They saved us a significant amount of money by recommending the essential refurbishment works necessary to modernise this lift and avoided us wasting money on replacing components that were perfectly sound. The work was carried out within budget and completed on time.”

Peter Thomas FRICS – Property Manager for Sir Richard Sutton Limited