By
Rob Isabelle, Chief Operations Officer
Martin Ouimet, Senior Associate, General Manager – Ottawa
Catherine Grammatikos, Senior Associate
Erica Gray, Senior Account Executive


Understand your system’s passenger handling capabilities based on two passengers, three passengers, and four passengers during peak periods. No two buildings are the same. Our engineers have the ability to accurately determine the number of passengers that your system can handle as office return to work ramps up.

Pre-COVID, elevators normally operated without restricting the number of passengers per trip, and capacity in peak hours.

Now, occupancy has been reduced to respect physical distancing protocols, and if the 2 metre guideline was strictly enforced, only 1 or maybe 2 passengers can fit in most office building elevators. 

This results in longer wait times and larger groups of users waiting for elevator service.

3 passengers presents challenges in meeting a 2 metre distancing guideline, but may offer a good compromise between maintaining physical distancing in elevators and keeping lobby queues reasonable in busy buildings.

KJA has a wealth of traffic modelling data and experience, and we have collected best practices in elevator management, and can offer these suggestions for post-pandemic elevator operations:

  • Promote staggered arrival and departure times for your tenants to reduce peak loading periods.  Even spreading usage over 15 minute intervals can have a significant impact on wait times and lobby congestion.
  • Encourage the use of stairs for inter-floor trips. Provide easy access to lower floors from the lobby level, and to multi-floor tenants.
  • Use signage, barriers, and wayfinding in lobbies to minimize congestion and for crowd control. Position personnel in lobbies during peak hours to encourage respect for social distancing.
  • Increase cleaning efforts and access to sanitization stations and install HEPA filters in cab fans. Handrails, buttons, kiosks, and other high-touch surfaces require frequent cleaning.
  • Coordinate service and repairs with your maintenance contractor to avoid taking cars out of service during peak periods.  Consider addressing major repairs and Category 5 testing now while building occupancy is lower.  For example, your contractor can adjust load weighing features to prevent cars from stopping for hall calls when loaded with 3 – 4 passengers. 
  • Understand your elevator system’s traffic handling capabilities.  There are no “one size fits all” solutions to elevator traffic management.  Ask KJA to conduct a traffic analysis of your building, based on your specific elevator system and tenant profile, to develop a customized plan that suits your tenants and building management objectives.
Example Elevator

Here at KJA we can use specialized simulation tools to provide optimal elevator performance for the occupants and to assist with better management of current physical distancing protocols.

We regularly work with Building Owners and Managers to determine the timing and extent of upgrades to existing elevators and escalators. We can provide a comprehensive maintenance management program anchored by inspections, regular contractor meetings and a web portal for key operating metrics that allows Building Owners and Managers to proactively track and address elevator service concerns.

KJA is here to help with any of your vertical transportation needs.

  • October 22, 2021

  • September 10, 2021