An elevator consultant provides advice and assistance for companies installing and renovating people moving equipment like elevators, escalators, and walkways. Consulting can take place in the early planning phases of new construction, renovations, and reuse plans. These construction specialists can also offer advice on maintenance, rehabilitation of aging equipment, and modernization to make equipment safer and more efficient. This work typically involves travel to visit building sites and meet with building owners and designers to discuss elevators and planned construction activities.
One part of the job of an elevator consultant takes place during new construction. Consultants provide advice about the placement, size, and arrangement of elevators and other equipment to meet internal transportation needs. These include not just people moving around a facility, but also cargo, and special needs. Special considerations may include elevators used to move patients between floors, where elevators may need to accommodate hospital beds, life support equipment, and personnel. The consultant can study the building plans and offer suggestions, working with an engineer on elevator placement and programming to ensure they will meet the needs of occupants.
When buildings are remodeled, the company may install elevators or retrofit them. An elevator consultant can evaluate the building and the plans to develop suggestions. For adaptive reuse, where companies want to retain a building's historic character while making it accessible and more functional, the consultant must consider discreet integration of features to modernize the building without ruining the look and feel. Particularly for historic landmarks, which may be protected, this requires special skills.
Companies can also call in an elevator consultant to get advice on modernizing an elevator system to make it safer and more efficient. The work can include consulting on scheduled maintenance and similar activities to keep elevators running smoothly and safely. Consultants, unlike technicians, do not perform repairs and maintenance, but they do need to be familiar with the systems and any relevant laws so they can advise companies on safe and appropriate maintenance schedules.
No special qualifications are required to work as an elevator consultant, and they come from a variety of backgrounds. Some may be engineers, designers, or former elevator technicians. Others have experience in construction and contracting, or have learned on the job while working for a consulting business. Like other contracting consultants, elevator consultants need to keep up with developments in the industry to offer the highest quality service to their customers, ensuring that companies get advice that is legally and architecturally sound.