When Basis Independent School was being built in Brooklyn, New York they considered everything from what curriculum to teach to the floor plan of the new building. But, when it came to assisting with mobility it was Phoenix Modular Elevator (PME) from southern Illinois that was the solution. The modular elevator has now been officially approved and is ready for use.
The challenge was to provide a durable elevator that was ecologically sound while minimizing the footprint for the seven story structure. The answer was a high quality, Phoenix Modular Elevator that had no bulky machine room that would normally take up more space. This specific type of elevator is called a machine roomless or MRL elevator. The machine that moves the elevator car resides at the top of the shaft or hoistway instead of in a complete room accessed from the rooftop. This is possible because the machine is smaller and more efficient than in a traditional traction elevator design.
Also, studies have found that MRL elevators consume less energy than traction elevators and they do not use hydraulic oil that can spill or leak. A study from VTT, Technical Research Centre concluded that an MRL can consume approximately half the energy of a traction elevator and about one third of the energy of typical hydraulic machine.
Durability was not a challenge for PME. They have become school elevator experts with nearly 300 elevators installed in California schools alone. The result is a design that takes into consideration wear and tear that a school elevator will encounter.
The elevator consists of a prefabricated fire-rated shaft with all the elevator components installed and wired in the factory. They are manufactured horizontally with greater quality controls, faster production and installation time and at a lower overall cost. The old way of building an elevator is to build the shaft on a job site vertically, then assemble the numerous components inside the vertical shaft in less than optimal conditions. This dated method is less safe and requires more time to build, slowing up construction and increasing costs.
A Phoenix Modular Elevator is built to exact specifications and then shipped on a truck and hoisted into place at the job site. Because Basis Independent was a seven stop elevator it was shipped on three trucks, in three sections and then each section was hoisted into place and bolted to the one below.