BLOG CATEGORIES

The Hottest Current Elevator Upgrade : Machine Room-Less Elevator

The Hottest Current Elevator Upgrade : Machine Room-Less Elevator

Machine Room-Less Elevators (MRLs) are becoming more and more common in the United States. Is this something you should consider for your property? Learn the pros, cons and code requirements associated with the upgrade.

Elevator modernization: sooner or later, it has to happen. After all, elevators are highly frequented areas on your property. You have to keep up with tenants’ expectations when it comes to look, feel, safety and even factors such as speed and wait time. Unfortunately, elevator modernization can sometimes get complicated and expensive. The elevator industry has come a long way and has taken well to technology, but there are often long stretches when not much new is happening. However, a new wave of elevator tech is being adapted that is believed to save money and energy, and to increase tenant satisfaction: machine room-less elevators (MRLs). Here, we tell you why the demand for MRLs is going up and help you to consider whether such an upgrade is the right fit for your property.

Find out how to improve safety and reduce costs at your property

Our best-in-class emergency phone + monitoring solutions provide peace of mind and are backed by decades of expertise

Learn More

2022 ELLIES WINNER
Best Supplier -
Communication System

Ready to make some elevator updates? See our free Elevator Modernization guide >>

*Remember, if you are a Kings III customer and are modernizing your elevator, we will replace your emergency phone free of charge.

Machine Room-Less Elevator pros

Machine Room-Less Elevators are currently the hottest product in the elevator upgrade game. Millennials and green-loving tenants will be very happy with this: MRLs allow for a reduction in the size of electrical motors used with any traction equipment. These vehicles are designed with permanent magnet motors (PMMs) which locate and connect with the machines in the overhead hoistway. That means no need for a machine room over the hoistway.

According to elevator consultant Andrew Smith: with an MRL elevator you do not have to allocate the additional space to house the drive mechanism. Depending on the drive system and whether the installation is residential or commercial (B-355), a machine room could require anywhere from 12 to 20 square feet. This is space that could be used for storage, a larger elevator car, or a revenue opportunity (like a couple of extra tables in a restaurant).

In a nutshell, the MRL is a gearless traction machine, which is meant to produce a smoother performance compared with hydraulic elevators. This new technology can also operate at faster speeds, increasing riders’ perception of quality.

The key difference when measured against hydraulic technology: MRL elevators eliminate the cost and environmental concerns of buried hydraulic cylinders, which are filled with hydraulic oil.

See our free download with an in-depth look at elevator communication codes and easy elevator phone testing methods >>

MRLs have been big outside of the U.S. for at least the last 15 years and they are becoming a common upgrade in low- to mid-rise buildings. The reason for the slow introduction: U.S. code requirements and the limited number of manufacturers offering the product. Eventually, KONE introduced it in the U.S.

Local code officials have since been warming up to the idea of MRLs, and the product has since expanded to include more elevator types and sizes.

Compared with hydraulic elevators, MRL elevators are estimated to save a significant amount of energy (about 70-80 percent, according to buildings.com).

More advantages, according to construction.com: elevator door operators are designed with more efficient permanent-magnet synchronous drive motors that require less power to operate than conventional door systems. The reason: a drive motor centered directly above door panels and a simplified torque transmission that eliminate complicated cam mechanisms.

Machine Room-Less Elevator cons

The technology does raise some red flags, however. Because it’s so new, it doesn’t have a solid, proven performance track record of reliability. Also, the MRL design has not yet been specifically addressed in the ASME A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators, although many states are allowing it to be installed under a project-specific variance. Certain manufacturers include alternative suspension systems to the traditional steep ropes; this may require review by local code authorities.

Click here to read our blog post on how to benefit from a quick and easy elevator code checklist.

MRLs may also be more expensive to service than traditional elevators; parts may be expensive and not as easily available. They include many proprietary parts, so you may have to stick to the initial installing contractor for maintenance.

Looking at the long run

Although it may currently cost more to install an MRL elevator (compared to traditional elevators), it will save money in the long run. According to an elevator consultant with Arizona Elevator Solutions, “MRL elevators are a little more expensive compared to traditional elevators, but enable the architects to offer clients less expensive construction options, as they do not need to build an additional structure for machinery. In addition, this improves the building’s health.”

Looking for a full elevator modernization? According to Arizona Elevator Solutions, that will cost you, on average, around $175,000.

No matter what kind of modernization you’re considering, the #1 consideration is always safety. Whether your elevator is traditional or an MRL, be sure it contains the most dependable emergency communications. Kings III solutions help you to reduce risk, liability and cost. And when you modernize, Kings III will replace your elevator emergency phones free of charge. Learn more at www.kingsiii.com.

Elevator Modernization

KEEP LEARNING

Kings III Makes The Dallas Morning News Top 100 Places to Work List Becoming a 4x Winner

We're honored to be recognized by our employees and The Dallas Morning News by making the daily newspaper’s Top 100 Places to Work list for the 4th year in a row, falling in at 26th in the midsize companies category.

January 2024 Elevator Code Updates in Florida

Florida property managers have finally completed DLM requirements in their elevators (hopefully). But wait, there's more! Florida will adopt ASME 2019 starting January 1, 2024. Learn what this means, how you can comply, and get guidance from our code experts.

Survey Reveals Gaps in Building Emergency Communications Plans

A recent survey of property management professionals revealed that while more than 60 percent of respondents were aware that telecom companies are phasing out POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service, also known as analog copper land lines), nearly half reported their elevator emergency communication systems are still based on this endangered technology.

Successful Hotel CO Inspections

A CO is a vital requirement before opening your new-build/renovated hotel. One area we often see overlooked within the process is telecommunications. To help get you started, we’ve compiled a checklist of key telecom-specific items to consider that may be subject to inspection.

How is Elevator Liability Defined?

One of a building owner’s worst nightmares: a passenger gets into an elevator in perfect health but ends the ride with a serious physical or psychological injury. Thankfully, this is an extremely rare scenario, but all those involved in building management should know exactly how to define elevator liability and take action if an incident occurs.

How is Your Premise Liability Law IQ?

A premises liability lawsuit holds a property owner responsible for any damages arising out of an injury on that person or entity's property. Keeping your property safe is, therefore, your number-one priority. Here's exactly what you need to know.

Kings III of America Announces CEO Transition

Kings III today announced that as part of a thoughtful succession process, Dennis Mason will be stepping down as Chief Executive Officer and transitioning to Senior Advisor. Norm Nelson, who has served as Chief Operating Officer since 2018, will succeed Mr. Mason as CEO.

Apple iPhone Setting Ties Up 911 Call Centers

A recent news story highlights how an iPhone safety feature may be adversely affecting 911 call centers. Here's what property managers should be thinking about when it comes to their own onsite emergencies.

Types of Emergency Phones: Glossary and Resources

If you are looking into information on emergency phones, it’s worth getting some context on all emergency response options at a high level. Here, we’ll attempt to do just that with a ‘types of emergency phones’ glossary where we’ll provide important facts and links to outside resources for ALL types of emergency phones, along with special considerations.

Kings III makes it easy as a single point-of-contact for all your emergency response needs. With expertise in line connectivity, compliance codes, equipment maintenance and safety protocol, we offer the total package.