Commercial and public spaces are at their best when every guest can fully use them. However, space limitations may present an obstacle to full mobility. Whether it’s a medical building, place of worship, school, or office, sometimes the design won’t accommodate a full-sized commercial elevator. Fortunately, you can still create an accessible and ADA compliant location. LULA lifts provide a practical and affordable mobility solution for tight spaces.
A LULA lift is a limited use/limited application elevator resembling a standard passenger elevator. They are smaller in size and designed to travel shorter distances. The average LULA elevator can hold 1 to 5 people and travel up to 25 feet, making them ideal for 2-3 story buildings. LULA lifts provide a wheelchair accessibility option for spaces that are too small for standard elevators but require more capacity than vertical platform lifts.
Arrow Lift offers fully customizable LULA lifts designed to fit your space, aesthetic, and ADA compliance needs. To help determine if this type of ADA lift is the right solution for your commercial or public space, let’s compare them to full-size elevators and vertical platform lifts.
LULA Lifts vs. Larger Commercial Elevators
At first glance, a LULA lift, also called a wheelchair elevator, resembles a full-size commercial elevator. Here are some similarities and differences between LULA lifts and larger elevators.
How LULA Lifts Are Similar to Full-Size Commercial Elevators
LULA lifts and full-size elevators have three things in common:
- Both are elevators. LULA lifts have many of the same features as a full-sized elevator, just on a smaller scale.
- Both are commercial. LULAs comply with the American National Standards Institute regulations, making them a perfect fit for commercial spaces like offices, places of worship, medical buildings, and retail shops.
- Both are ADA-accessible. When appropriately installed, LULA lifts satisfy ADA accessibility standards and requirements, including having an ADA hands-free phone.
How LULA Lifts Are Different from Full-Size Commercial Elevators
There are three key differences between LULA lifts and full-sized elevators:
- LULAs are limited to 25 feet of vertical travel. While they can’t travel as high as full-sized elevators, LULA elevators meet most small-scale commercial building needs.
- LULA lifts have a shallower pit and less overhead. LULAs only need a 14-inch pit and 8 feet, 10 inches of overhead clearance, much less than the 4-foot pit and 12-foot clearance full-sized elevators typically require. This often helps building owners save money on construction costs when remodeling an existing building.
- LULAs have a smaller footprint. LULAs have a much smaller footprint than full-sized commercial elevators. At 48” x 54”, the interior of the car is 18 square feet.
LULA Lifts vs. Vertical Platform Lifts
While LULA wheelchair elevators and vertical platform lifts are both ADA-compliant, they’re best used in different applications. Mainly, a LULA lift can accommodate more people. Here are some similarities and differences between these ADA elevators and vertical platform lifts.
How LULA Lifts Are Similar to Vertical Platform Lifts
LULA lifts and vertical platform lifts (VPLs) have the following things in common:
- Both are compact. These compact commercial lifts are designed to take up less space than full-size commercial elevators.
- Both are intended for limited use. Because of their small compact design, LULAs and VPLs are intended for limited use for a few individuals rather than busy areas such as hotel lobbies.
- Both have reduced maintenance. While commercial elevators require monthly service, LULA lifts and vertical platform lifts only require maintenance every 3 to 6 months.
- Both comply with ADA requirements. LULAs and VPLs are ADA-compliant and can be retrofitted to bring an existing building up to code.
How LULA Lifts Are Different from Vertical Platform Lifts
While LULA lifts and VPLs serve a similar function, often as a wheelchair lift, there are a few key differences between them:
- LULAs hold more people. LULAs can accommodate 2-5 people at a time, compared to VPLs which are only meant to carry 1-2 people.
- LULAs work like an elevator. LULA elevators work like full-sized elevators. The doors close at the single push of a button, and the lift moves you to your desired level. Conversely, vertical platform lifts require pressing and holding a button to move the lift.
- LULAs have sliding doors. Like a traditional elevator, LULA lifts have sliding doors. VPLs have swing doors that open out onto the landing.
- LULAs travel further. While both are limited in travel, LULAs can travel up to 25 vertical feet, and VPLs can only travel 14 feet.
- LULAs have enclosed cabins. Like a standard elevator, LULA lifts have fully enclosed cabins that can be customized. However, VPLs comprise a platform with 42-inch high-side walls and open overhead space.
Where Can You Install a LULA Lift?
You can install a LULA lift in various commercial and public spaces. Thanks to all the LULA lift advantages, these ADA lifts are common accessibility solutions for:
- Places of worship
- Office buildings
- Small- to medium-sized medical buildings
- Eateries with a compact second story
- Boutique motels or inns
- Small- to medium-sized auditoriums
- Retail spaces
- And more!
Does a LULA elevator sound like an efficient mobility option for your space? Get a quote today.
LULA Lift Customization Options
Just like full-sized commercial elevators, LULA elevators are fully customizable. You can select interior panels in various finishes and colors, as well as install custom fixtures and doors. With a wide range of design options, you can design a LULA to beautifully coordinate with the rest of your space — no matter the style.
How to Purchase a LULA Lift
Purchasing a LULA lift is simple when you consult with an experienced team. It’s best to start planning for your lift and request a free consultation early in the design phase to ensure it works seamlessly in the building design.
You’ll want to work with a reputable company with many years of experience installing ADA lifts. That way, you know you can trust the advice of a respected team that can help evaluate your space, needs, and design to help determine if a LULA lift is the right fit.
Elevate Your Accessibility with a LULA Lift
LULA elevators offer many similar functions to full-sized elevators yet work within small spaces to provide mobility solutions for small groups. Compact and efficient, LULAs are an excellent solution for meeting the accessibility requirements of commercial spaces while staying on budget and within the confines of the available space.
To ensure a LULA lift suits your needs, consult a trusted lift company like Arrow Lift.
Family-owned since 1985, our Elevator Experts have the know-how and experience to guide you to a custom lift option.