A Guide to Platform Lifts & Listed Buildings
The term ‘listed’ is used to describe a building, object or structure which is of national interest or/and has historical significance. Grading a building as ‘listed’ helps protect it so future generations can enjoy the buildings and also helps ensure buildings are saved from demolition.
Nowadays – many listed buildings have been turned into shops, hotels, homes and even restaurants! This presents a new problem for the businesses or homeowners living within such properties – what happens when disabled access is required?
Here at Invalifts, we specialise in providing and installing high quality, innovative platform lifts. Our experience means we have the skills required to install and provide access in listed, historical buildings. Unlike traditional lifts, platform lifts take up little floor space and can be modified to suit a specific style or interior design scheme.
Structural Care & Design
When working within a listed building one of the most important factors to consider is the installation of a lift and the damage this may cause to structure within the building. Listed buildings may be delicate or made from unusual materials no longer used in modern buildings. Unlike a traditional lift, a platform lift is much smaller and can be fitted into a tighter space – this helps prevent the need to remove walls or damage ceilings.
Design & Look
One of the key concerns when working in a listed building is how the lift will look. For example – in a Cathedral, a shiny stainless steel lift would look very out of place. Here at Invalifts, we specialise in creating lift solutions which blend into the natural design of a building.
We can ensure a lift is made to suit a specific colour scheme and add glass panels to help a modern platform lift blend into historical surroundings. The MC2000 Platform Lift is recognised as one of the premier platform lift models available on the market right now. The twin guided chain drive system means this lift can be glazed on all sides. Adding glazing to all sides of a lift can help it blend into surroundings and also means features like stone walls are not covered up.
The MC2000 is extremely flexible – it’s perfect for awkward building arrangements often found within listed and historical property.
Working at Sheffield Cathedral
Sheffield Cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in the city – a church has been on this site for over 1000 years! The current building has been developed over many years and is now open to the public. One problem the Cathedral faced was the inaccessibility of the crypt; stairs made this section of the church inaccessible for wheelchair users and those who were differently abled.
Invalifts visited the Cathedral and recommended their Inva Stair Riser; this unit was the ideal solution for the six stairs preventing access to the crypt. The area next the stairs had a recess, meaning more traditional stair lifts were not applicable to the space.
The Inva Stair Riser was fitted into the space – the clean technology of this lift allows the upper rail of the lift to work as a handrail. The base of the stair lift was applied to the stairs themselves, reducing the amount of space or damage to the walls. The stair riser fitted perfectly into the Cathedral – it’s sleek, minimal design and quiet motor made it ideal for the Cathedral design and atmosphere.
How to Pick the Right Solution
Picking the right solution for a listed building is important – applying for planning permission can be a lengthy process, so you need to ensure you explore all options available. Here at Invalifts our team have worked in nearly every type of building out there – they can work with you or your building team to find the right option for your needs and space.
There are currently 376,470 listed buildings in England. As more and more of them are transformed into businesses or homes it’s important we retain their history by not damaging structure or style. If you need to add access to your listed building don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team on 0845 4682543 – we can work with you to find the right platform lift solution.