How do elevators work - what types are there?

There are several different types of elevators to meet different needs and requirements in buildings and homes.

Conventional elevators

The most common elevators for general use are rope elevators, hydraulic elevators, pneumatic elevators and other conventional elevators. These elevators are powered by belts, oil and counterweights and move a cabin (a basket) up and down.

Such passenger elevators are suitable for multi-story hotels, airports and other public buildings that require sufficient speed and capacity to transport thousands of people. These passenger elevators require a lot of safety space both under and above the elevator, a separate shaft and a lot of construction work including landing doors and a 3-phase installation. Normally, such elevators are not planned in private homes.

Platform lifts

At other public places such as museums, railway stations, schools, a platform lift provides a simpler and cheaper alternative. These are usually slow elevators and are usually installed to meet accessibility requirements for people with disabilities, strollers or other mobility restrictions. A platform lift can be driven by a screw and nut system, chains or hydraulic solutions. The design must be very robust to withstand rain, dirt, vandalism or otherwise more demanding use. Neither of these elevators are usually installed in a private home.

Elevators for the elderly and disabled

There are also several accessibility elevator solutions for the elderly and disabled. These include stair elevators, “hole-through-floor lifts”, chair lifts, as well as pneumatic villa elevators and vacuum elevators. Most of these elevators have a design language that focuses on meeting disabled people and their needs. The aim is to solve an accessibility problem and to keep the cost low. Of course, these solutions do the job of moving people between floors, but they do not fit well in a beautiful living room or in homes where there is not a direct disability problem.

Home elevators

SWIFT was created to meet the growing demand for functional and luxurious home elevators that put design in focus instead of accessibility. A SWIFT home elevator combines the best of traditional elevators with new cutting-edge technology and design. SWIFT takes advantage of the simple and functional character of a platform lift, while retaining the beauty and power of a conventional elevator.

SWIFT is an “all-inclusive” home elevator with a platform and a shaft made as building blocks. The shaft can be personalised with glass panels or shaft panels depending on your interior design and floor plan. There is no need for an external shaft, extra doors on the floor, or safety spaces above the elevator. The home elevator can be installed directly on the floor or recessed in a 50mm pit (Elevator pit – how it works >>)

The drive system is based on a screw and nut solution. When the nut rotates, the elevator moves up or down. The screw and nut system was originally developed in Sweden and is extremely reliable, safe, and efficient. Read more about screw and nut >>

Whether you’re renovating an existing home or designing a brand new house, and regardless of whether you’re young or old, a home elevator is a good investment. Our home elevator is designed based on the conditions in a typical modern home with a typical modern family.

Read more about how SWIFT works >>

Elevators for homes by SWIFT

Learn more about our domestic lifts >>