In many cases, the need for lift modernisation arises from the following reasons: frequent equipment failures and malfunctions, service disruptions, increase in maintenance costs due to repairs, noise inconvenience caused by the lift and inaccurate stopping at the landing level. Apart from eliminating these problems, lift modernisation improves safety and accessibility, and the lifting height of the lift can also be extended, where necessary.
Repairs mean restoring the lift or component to the original condition, or replacing a component with a component identical or equivalent to the original component. The requirements in effect at the time of original installation of the lift are applicable to the repairs.
Alteration means the replacement of a component or structural subsystem with a component or subsystem that deviates from the original assembly. These upgraded components or structural subsystems installed to the lift must conform to the technical requirements currently in effect.
When new components or structural subsystems in conformity with the current requirements are retrofitted to existing lifts, the overall impact of such an alteration on the operation of the entire lift assembly must be ascertained. A risk assessment must be carried out in connection with alterations in order to ensure that the safety of the lift will not deteriorate in any respect.
In connection with refurbishment, the lift is upgraded only partially. The electrical and control systems, the operating system, the alarm system, the carrier and the doors are typically upgraded in connection with renovation. If only the structures of the building core reserved for the lift (lift shaft and machine room) remain intact, this kind of modernisation is not considered refurbishment but, instead, installation of a new lift. In connection with refurbishment, the essential structures or components of the original lift assembly must remain intact or be restored to their original condition.
In terms of safety, the best option is to replace the existing lift by installing an entirely new lift. In this case, the lift in its entirety will conform to the requirements currently in effect.
The structures of the existing lift can be used in the installation of the new lift, if such structures conform to the requirements currently in effect.
As a rule, the new lift installed to replace an existing lift is subject to the same requirements as new lifts. There are, however, some exceptions in the technical requirements. These exceptions are specified in standard SFS-EN 81-21.
The obligations of lift installers and the conformity assessment and verification procedures are set out in the Lifts Directive 2014/33/EU. Before taking the lift into use, the applicable conformity verification procedures (e.g. the final inspection) are carried out on the lift, a CE marking is affixed on the lift, and a declaration of conformity is issued.