Efficient vertical mobility is a critical component of high-rise building development. High-rise buildings exist by the grace of skyrise elevators. In constructional terms, the lift core is considered as a spine of the high-rise buildings. It has a direct impact on the construction costs and timelines

It doesn’t just support the structure, but it is also considered as the safe and viable option for transporting people. The skyrise elevators have fuelled the growth of high-rise construction across the globe. And the limits are being pushed by developing some of the tallest buildings like “Burj Khalifa”, which is measuring 828 m and is the world’s tallest building. 

So, every second, someone, somewhere in the world is using the lift. There are so many variations in types and styles of lifts available in the market. In such a scenario, it is difficult to figure out which types of lifts in buildings can be used, specifically when you’re planning for a high-rise one. Since high-rise building construction is more expensive, efficient lift planning, arrangement, and installation remains crucial. 

Tall buildings and elevators – these two are complex businesses to deal with and there are plenty of opportunities that may cost you a lot. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can efficiently plan vertical transportation in high-rise buildings. 

High-rise Building Lift PLANNING

Building access plays a vital role in the feasibility of tall building construction. Internal transport systems act as blood vessels of a building. Moreover, the lift system in the high-rise building serves as a support structure, specifically for the narrow constructions. For this reason, it is crucial to involve a traffic flow specialist as well as a structural developer, engineer, and architect while finalizing the design criteria of elevator service in a tall building. Moreover, specifications for the internal transportation must be designed in a way routing and usage remains logical without occupying much space. Apart from this, the capacity needed for elevators, stairs, and shafts must be determined.


Before you jump into detailed planning for a skyscraper elevator, you must know the expected capacity of your building, waiting time, and its impact on lift requirements. You must place the initial estimations applied to the usage and functions of the building lift. The purpose of building, i.e. office space, hotel, or residential, the rough count of the population, and peak demand are a few important factors that can help you estimate the capacity and waiting time. There are some guidelines you can follow to calculate capacity. However, the guidelines may vary based on geographic conditions or regional differences. You can easily calculate the required capacity by following a simple formula:

“Required Capacity = Population * Occupancy * Peak Demand”

But you can surely follow the above-mentioned parameters in conjunction with the project characteristics, conditions, and ambitions.


Traffic flow is crucial when deciding and planning lift systems in high-rise buildings. The building should be examined thoroughly to establish the details like:

Identifying and determining these factors will help you determine the traffic flow and lift calculation for residential buildings. However, there are a couple of issues that must be taken care of for adequate traffic flow management in high-rise buildings such as:

It is important to consider these conditions while determining traffic flow. A common mistake that happens most of the time in the event of unfavourable outcomes, i.e. traffic flow vs elevator capacity mismatch. Instead of adjusting the basics of the elevator, the basic assumptions are altered. So, try to avoid making such mistakes when planning for high-rise lifts.


One of the most important design criteria of elevator service in a tall building is to consider quantity and quality of service. While the quality of service is something measured based on the number of passengers moving to their destination, quality of service is measured based on the interval between the arrivals. The quantity of services you must consider includes handling capacity and waiting interval.

You can easily calculate handling capacity by using the formula:

For the waiting interval, you can use the following formula:

Building Vs Lift Space

One of the most important aspects, when you design and plan for high-rise lifts, is to consider building space vs lift space. If you look at any normal passenger lift, it will need a pit depth of around 1100 mm and a headroom of 3400 mm. In case you have additional pit space, you can easily get an extra ramp installed on the lowest floor of your high-rise building. The more space you have in a building, the more flexibility you will get in terms of installing the right kind of skyscraper lift.

High-rise lift POSITION 

When planning for the smartest elevator for your high-rise building, you must consider its position. A thorough analysis must be performed in order to identify the best suitable position for a skyscraper lift in a building. In the high-rise building, there are multiple lifts and with a high-load bearing capacity. Additionally, the right position helps in a smooth functioning lift system in a high-rise building. You can decide whether a lift should be positioned inside the building, outside the building, or next to the staircase. You can even decide to get a lift on the floor deck. However, it is important that the design of your high-rise building has adequate floor deck space. It is important that when you decide on the position of a lift, you don’t change any building design standards.


High rise buildings lifts should be arranged considering a series of design factors including the type of occupancy, speed, dimensions, traffic flow, total vertical distance, and time of travel to destination. Apart from this, there are a couple of other factors like safety, quality, capacity, and the type of building where the elevator is to be used. Most of the residential lifts are 3’ wide by 4’ deep or 0.91 x 1.22 m in size. The door width is somewhere between 36 inches. On the other hand, if you have a commercial high-rise building, lifts are 6’ wide and 5’ deep in dimensions. And the door width is usually 4’ wide.

TYPES of lifts in high-rise buildings

Double-deck lifts – Double-deck lifts are usually used by the workers and staff in the company as well as used for transferring goods in commercial or residential buildings. Such types of lifts in the buildings have two separate cabs built into a single unit. They are built based on the height of a building. The main advantage of this kind of lift is that the cars open in different levels, some serve odd-numbered floors and others serve even-numbered floors. With double-deck lifts, the possible number of stops is reduced by half and core efficiency is improved significantly.

2 car lifts – These types of lifts have a low-capacity dimension and are mostly used in buildings having limited load or capacity. Such lifts are ideal for offices with floor area around 90,000 sq. ft., hotels having 150 rooms, and residential projects with 180 units. This type of lift has a width of 18’ m and a depth of 18’6” m and an adjacent waiting area of somewhere around 10’/3 m.

Shuttle Lifts & Sky lobbies – The shuttle lifts move between the lobby floors at a much higher speed. In order to travel to the required destinations, the passenger needs to transfer to a local elevator on a lobby floor. Due to their high capacity and speed, shuttle lifts with local elevators provide efficient travel in high-rise buildings.

Ropeless Elevators – It is one of the unique building lifts used extensively for high-rise and mega high-rise buildings. You will find plenty of variations in the way it is applied and the technology used. With extensive handling capacities compared to other roped lifts, you will save huge with building height.

High-rise lifts are the need of an hour, but it demands meticulous and huge capacity analysis and detailed simulation. Not just building, but you must focus and analyze population and peak demand of lift. The correct choice of lift system in high-rise buildings plays a vital role in the success of vertical transportation. A variety of additional technical measures are to be considered for the safety and comfort within the building lift. 

Also, there are a lot of tools and applications available in the market that can help you automate the entire lift design process. Whether you want lift traffic analysis, traffic predictions, optimized lift design, automated reporting, or BIM output, you can do almost everything for high-rise lift planning. Want help in planning vertical transportation in high-rise buildings? Do you feel software could be handy for your high-rise lift planning headache? Why not try adsimulo – an expert lift traffic analyser and simulation application.