Services Vertical Transportation
VT Vertical Transportation
People movement in and around buildings is an essential part of good design, improving user experience and efficiency of the building or development.

Vertical Transportation

Our vertical transportation team provides specialist advice, design and management for all aspects of people movement in vertical transportation: lifts, escalators and facade access equipment. From double-deck lifts in 72-storey towers in the Middle East, to escalator upgrade and maintenance in local shopping centres, we offer a creative and dependable approach which is mindful of design intent whilst delivering safe, compliant and sustainable solutions.

We’ve assembled a team of experts with a considerable experience gained  in  lift and escalator manufacturing and consultancy, and provide vertical transportation advice either as part of combined multi-disciplinary  engineering  design or as an independent service. In addition our façade access consultants add  expertise in access and maintenance design for today’s increasingly complex buildings

Our service offer extends far beyond building design stage, encompassing the complete lifecycle of a building. We monitor installations for our clients, carry out witness testing and commissioning and offer a comprehensive range of supplementary services to make sure operations continue to run smoothly.

Our team has a detailed knowledge of current best practice, understanding new codes and market trends as they develop. We ensure that we are always informed of impending, local, European and global legislation, in order that we  deliver designs which anticipate future change and standards.

We research the latest design techniques and emerging software and technology, allowing us to deliver solutions which represent the latest thinking and technology, whether we’re advising during the planning stages of building projects or carrying out vertical transportation design and management.

For more information, please contact Divisional Director Matt Ingleton



  • Traffic analysis
  • Feasibility
  • Optimisation
  • Façade access


  • Employers requirements compliance services
  • Surveys and reports
  • Compliance with statutory legislation

Portfolio Management

  • Maintenance procurement
  • Regular portfolio audit services
  • Maintenance specifications
  • Forward and planned maintenance plans
  • Service level agreements

20 Fenchurch Street: Vertical Transportation

Completed in 2014, the 20 Fenchurch Street tower, designed by Architect Rafael Vinoly has become an iconic London landmark. The 160m tower, with a unique inclinatory façade, provides over 63,000 sq m of prime office space over 34 floors, along with a public sky garden at the top of the building offering 360 degree views of the city.

Appointed as vertical transportation consultants as part of a multi-disciplinary design service, the scheme represents one of the most advanced vertical transportation systems the practice has designed.

A key client requirement was the need to maximise the efficiency of the office floor plates within the context of a restricted site. In order to meet passenger capacity for the building while minimising floor space allocated to lift systems, we developed a solution for a state-of-the-art double deck lift system integrated with destination control to ensure the efficient transportation of visitors and occupants between building floors.

Other notable design features included two 20 tonne lorry lifts and three goods lifts to connect the basement levels to the roof top plant and public sky garden, with the building incorporating 20 vertical transportation systems comprising:

  • A low-rise group of seven double-deck lifts (4m/s)
  • A high-rise group of seven double-deck lifts (6m/s)
  • Two express sky garden lifts (5m/s)
  • Two 20 tonne lorry lifts
  • Two 3 tonne goods lifts
  • Two 800kg fire-fighting lifts
  • 4 escalators from the ground floor to the upper lobby

Along with these technical solutions, another important consideration was the need to provide a positive arrival and user experience for occupants and visitors. We therefore worked closely with the architectural team to develop an intuitive arrival experience which minimised signage to maintain the aesthetic quality of the lobby space, whilst simultaneously serving the functional requirements of the 34 storey commercial office. This included the location of the passenger interface terminals and the incorporation of way finding instruction on the touch screen terminals.

Landmark Tower: Vertical Transportation

One of the tallest buildings in Abu Dhabi, the 300m, 72 storey Landmark Tower provides over 1.7m sq ft of residential and commercial office space along with a health club, restaurants, a sky garden and a swimming pool. Hilson Moran were appointed as vertical transportation consultants for the scheme.

Our design comprised vertically stacked high and low rise office / residential lifts adopting destination control to group the lifts serving the low rise and high rise sections of the building, ensuring the efficient transportation of passengers to all floors. The destination control permitted shuttle lift service to the restaurant floors while maintaining a high level of independent service to the apartments below. Our design also incorporated office lifts, goods lifts and firefighters’ lifts.

As part of our scope, we also developed an evacuation strategy for a number of scenarios, which utilised the lift systems to evacuate the entire building in approximately 30 minutes.

The building incorporated a gymnasium on level 35 which provided access to low rise, high rise and firefighting lifts, and was designed to serve as a refuge in the event of a fire. In the event of a fire on the upper storeys when the high rise lifts would be unavailable, building occupants can use stairs to access the refuge floor and then be transported to the ground floor in the low rise lifts. In the event of a fire on the lower storeys when the low rise lifts would be unavailable, occupants can access the refuge floor using stairs, and be transported to the ground floor using the high rise lifts. The evacuation strategy is possible as the core has two independent vertical fire compartments.

Standard Life Investments: Vertical Transportation

Our Vertical Transportation group has played a key role in the strategic maintenance and lifecycle management of 13 portfolios for Standard Life Investments, which include over 90 retail, commercial and leisure properties across the UK. Our ongoing, long term appointment includes maintenance procurement, monitoring of contractor’s performance, lifecycle planning and a range of modernisation / replacement projects.

Key to the long term success of this appointment has been our focus on building and maintaining strong working relationships with both Standard Life and managing agents. This has allowed us to develop a strong understanding of both the investment and operational requirements of their buildings – large and small – allowing us to proactively contribute towards the specific requirements of each building. This strategic approach underpins our relationship which now extends to over 15 years, since 2000.

Our involvement in the management of procurement processes, along with ongoing equipment audits and assistance in the management of contractors, has been proven to reduce operational down-time. This ongoing process has contributed to the accuracy of 10-year lifecycle plans which allow careful planning of modernisation or replacement programmes, with examples which include the County Mall (Crawley) and Castlepoint (Bournemouth) shopping centres.

In addition, our involvement in the planning, procurement and implementation of numerous modernisation and replacement projects has contributed to improved reliability, safety and maintainability, and has provided energy savings. The combination of these factors ultimately helps to improve the overall performance of buildings, in many cases providing tailored solutions through the use of industry standard energy efficient equipment.

On a number of projects we have also provided strategic advice on Vertical Transportation systems to support the due diligence process during property acquisition, providing insight into the future operation of the building and allowing more informed investment decisions to be made.

Ultimately, all of these activities have helped Standard Life to improve the performance of, and maximise the returns on, their property portfolio.

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