Building regulations can be restrictive under normal circumstances but when the building is also listed things, can be particularly difficult. Faced with this, compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and only six weeks until opening, Leeds University called in moveman , the UK's leading wheelchair lift supplier, to help provide disabled access to The Skill Centre.
Applying its extensive knowledge and experience of platform lifts, moveman recommended the installation of a Prestige platform lift to travel the distance of 2.77m between two floors. Access to the building is at the basement level where the shaft, complete with fire-proof doors to comply with health and safety laws, was installed. To suit the stringent planning regulations applying to listed buildings, the enclosure was fabricated from glass panels so that the view from the existing glass picture windows was not obscured.
As the lift is floor mounted and needs no additional supporting structure, building work was kept to a minimum, and moveman worked with the building contractors to install the lift within only six weeks so that The Skill Centre was opened on time.
Ted Long, Architectural Office for Leeds University Estates Manager was co-ordinating the project and explains: "We usually use a different lift manufacturer but they weren't able to supply within the six week period we had available so we called in moveman and they were superb. They were definitely the right choice for the job and it is lovely to know that all our students can now take advantage of The Skill Centre's facilities."
The Prestige lift is specially designed for use by the less able and is also an ideal solution to compliance with the DDA. The lift includes special features to aid the user, including landing doors which incorporate self closers and tactile control buttons which make it easier for those with sensory impairments to summon the platform. The lift will also not operate unless constant pressure is applied to the up or down button thereby ensuring that the lift cannot travel until the occupant is ready.
Fully compliant with Part M of the UK Building Regulations, the lift is also CE marked as a declaration of conformity with the EC Machinery and Eletromagnetic compatibility (EMC) directives. This is a guarantee that the product is fit for the purpose for which it is sold and that reasonable precautions are taken to protect the user against injury.