Symmetry Elevators Blog: Articles About Home Elevators & Lifts

What is a LULA Elevator and What are Their Applications

The Limited Use, Limited Application elevator (LULA) is an elevator designed to provide access in low occupancy/low rise commercial buildings where a traditional passenger elevator is not feasible or required by code. These elevators are limited in use and in application and provide an ideal solution for specific settings like schools, churches, multi-family housing units, libraries, and more. If you are considering including an elevator in this type of project, it is important to understand the capabilities and limitations of a LULA elevator.

The Appropriate Setting for LULA Elevators

LULA Elevators are passenger elevators that can be used in lieu of a vertical platform lift or residential elevator.  They cannot be used as a substitute for commercial elevators.  In new construction situations, where an accessible route is required, a commercial elevator may be the only available option. While state and local codes may require access beyond what is mandated by federal law, an accessible route is typically not required in the following circumstances:

  • A private facility with less than 3 stories of 3,000 square feet per floor, unless the building is a shopping center with 5 or more retail establishments, a professional office of a healthcare provider, a public transit facility or an airport terminal.
  • A two story building with no public use space, five or fewer occupants and no required connectivity between the floors.
  • Other exceptions may exist.

Specifications of a Limited Use Limited Application Elevator

When used, LULA elevators must meet the same requirements for elevators, but will be limited in the following ways: 

  • Size is permitted to be 42” x 54” minimum
    • Car doors on the narrow end of the platform must be 32 inches minimum clear width
    • Cars that provide a clear width of 51 inches minimum shall be permitted to provide a clear depth of 51 inches minimum as long as the car doors provide a clear opening of 36 inches minimum
    • Inside net platform area must not exceed 18 square feet
  • Speed shall not exceed 30 feet per minute
    • Note: the average commercial elevator travels at a speed of 100 feet per minute or more
  • Travel distance shall not be more than 25 feet (50 feet with variance)
  • Capacity shall not exceed 1400 pounds
  • The types of doors allowed are expanded to allow swing doors at the landing

Next Steps

If you think a LULA elevator may be a fit for your project, contact a local elevator company. These professionals can answer any questions you have about the similarities and differences between a LULA and a commercial elevator. They can also assist you in determining if a LULA is an appropriate solution and designing a custom elevator for your project.

Looking for a professional?

Leave a Comment