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A Positive Outcome!


Read how teamwork and dedication helped deliver a project in the face of adversity

Ardent Lift Consultancy were commissioned by HML Block Management in late 2018 to undertake a Lift Condition Survey of a single passenger lift within a modern apartment block in the Poplar area of London.

We were invited to undertake the survey to ascertain lift condition due to component failure and prolonged periods of unreliable service.

The property is a high-rise apartment block of 14 stories, all served by the lift
(from Basement car park to the 12th floor).

Due to the height of the property the top floor is over 18m from the access floor and the regulations required the lift was installed as a firefighting unit to form part of the property’s fire strategy.

Building Design

The property was designed with the single lift installation provided for residents, despite the scale of the building.

This meant that whenever the lift broke down, the residents were left with stairs as their only option to reach their apartment (often carrying shopping or with children).

When selecting the lift for the installation, the building developer did not take the need for a robust and reliable service into consideration and selected a lift of basic design and compliancy. The unit was of a value engineered type commonly found within low-midrise environments.

Original Lift Equipment

During our survey we found the operational components, though only 12 years old, were operating at the ceiling of their useful lifespan.

The lift appeared to have been well installed from a mechanical standpoint; however, the electrical components and wiring protocols were poor, indicating a long history of trouble shooting and repairs had been undertaken by lift maintenance providers.

Our Lift Condition Survey provided the Client with clear insight on lift condition, anticipated lifespan and offered our recommendations (including budget costs) to enable required works to be planned.

All outstanding health and safety and lift compliancy issues were highlighted within our report to detail safe working practices for maintenance personnel and the safe travel for the end user.


When undertaking remedial works to a lift, refurbishment often offers the most cost-effective solution to provide reliable lift service over the long term.

Refurbishment schemes utilise the existing lift static components i.e. guiderails, car slings, etc. which do not endure wear during operation.

The benefits of retaining this equipment reduces onsite programme (reducing the period of no lift service at the property during the works) reduced material and labour costs and has significant environmental benefits (preventing the removal, manufacture and replacement of similar equipment).

Design Considerations

Whenever we undertake Lift Condition Surveys, we look at a number of factors, including the environment the lift is operating within, the lift shaft design and its limitations, the level of service within the building and if this can be improved. This ultimately enables us to offer the scheme of greatest value to the client.

Increase in Capacity

The survey revealed the originally constructed lift shaft dimensions were generous allowing the potential to increase car size and load capacity by 25% from an 8 person/630kg to 10 person/800kg

Increase in Performance

A new installation could also facilitate a 60% increase in speed (from 1.0m/s to 1.6m/s) therefore improving, waiting times for the residents and provide a more energy efficient service.

These two elements combined could improve the experience of the residents with shorter waiting and travel times from the lift, which would help to offset such a large property only being equipped with a single lift installation. Therefore, we recommended a new installation over a refurbishment due to the original lower quality equipment not lending itself to future usage and the potential to improve the performance of the lift to the benefit of the users.

Client Requirements & Design Duties

Following the issue of our report we were asked to provide the Client with a full range of professional services for this project including specification writing and tendering the project (to both independent lift contractors and major manufacturers), undertake a full tender analysis (comparing components, procurement of materials, onsite programme, and cost) to ensure the Client received best overall value.

Ardent undertook post tender interviews with the two most competitive tender returns to ensure the specification had been fully understood and see if further value could be obtained. Once the interview process was complete a contractor was selected, and the project commenced. The winning contractor offered a new firefighting passenger lift, compliant to regulations with an increased car size, load capacity, lift speed, performance, and improved energy efficiency.

Project Planning

The programmed works involved the lift being out of service for approximately 14 weeks, an inconvenience for the residents which highlighted the cost cutting decision by the developer to install a single lift.

However, unlike unforeseen breakdown/repairs, these were scheduled well in advance to enable residents who rely upon the lift to make alternative arrangements.

This also meant that keeping the works on programme was of critical importance to help make the process as painless as possible for those who live in the property.

Essential Works During Lockdown 

The project commenced in February 2020 and was progressing well, when the Covid-19 pandemic struck taking everyone by surprise. As all around the country people tried to put things in place (both at home and at work) to mitigate the situation, the residents of the property were facing the prospect of life without lift service for the foreseeable future.

However, after careful consideration and a full risk assessment, the installation team were able to come up with a safe plan of action to continue the installation whilst adhering to Governmental guidelines and maintaining social distancing. The contractor’s decision to use staff located within a 3-4-mile radius enabled the team to cycle to the property without the need of public transport, minimising risk to both their team and also the residents within the building.

Project Management

As part of our role we continued to undertake regular site visits and produced progress reports to ensure the project was running smoothly and adhering to programme, reassuring residents via these bulletin updates.

Once works were completed we undertook a witness and produced snagging items to ensure the new installation was compliant and installed to our standards and Clients expectations.

The project was delivered one week behind the original programme; however, the dedication shown by the Aspect Lifts and their staff during the early stages of the pandemic to ensure the residents were not left without lift service for an extended period was greatly appreciated by Ardent Lift Consultancy, HML Block Management, Client and all the residents.

Client Testimonial

Don’t take our word for it – here’s what our client had to say:

One of our residential developments in London had lift reliability issues, so we engaged with Ardent Lift Consultancy to advise our Client on the options available to them to ensure reliable lift service at the property. For HML and our Client, it was paramount Ardent delivered a cost-effective solution.

The Ardent team recommended a new lift installation rather than refurbishing the existing lift which offered greater load capacity, operational speed, and lift performance. Gareth and Chris successfully managed the project during the Covid19 situation and ensured the lift contractors could safely deliver the project.

From our initial dealings with Ardent to the completion of the project, we have been impressed by their work ethic and would highly recommend Ardent Lift Consultancy.

Wayne Savage BA (Hons), MIRPM AssocRICS

Senior Property Manager

Why not contact us and find out how ARDENT Lift Consultancy can add value to your lift requirements?