Issue 41 – August 2012
Standards New Zealand has published a new Standard for Platform lifts and low-speed lifts, NZS 4334:2012. Users of the Standard include councils, designers, architects, engineers, building owners, and lift manufacturers. The lifts described in NZS 4334 are suitable in domestic and public buildings for low-rise, low speed, and low use applications. The Standard will provide uniformity of approach for the installation of platform lifts.
NZS 4334 aims to help New Zealanders by ensuring that the lifts are safe and fit for purpose. It is expected that these lifts will be most frequently used by those persons with reduced mobility who have difficulty negotiating stairs.
The Standard provides the specifications to build and maintain New Zealand Building Code (NZBC) compliant platform and low-speed lifts for both domestic and public settings. NZS 4334 is intended to complement the existing Standards for mechanical installations for access; NZS 4332:1997 Non-domestic passenger and goods lifts and BS EN 81 Safety rules for the construction and installation of lifts Parts 1 (electric lifts) and 2 (hydraulic lifts), which are referenced in the NZBC Compliance Document D2 Mechanical installations for access.
Platform and low-rise lifts are becoming more popular in houses and small buildings where a commercial lift is not warranted. These lifts, built to NZS 4334, provide a safe, easy-to-use, and practical solution. The Standard:
- specifies requirements for platform lifts and low-speed lifts that are installed in a new or existing building and that provide access to and within the building
- limits lift speed and travel distance to reduce potential hazards and enable Building Code compliant lifts to be built without all the features, and therefore cost, of lifts complying with NZS 4332 or BS EN 81 Parts 1 and 2
- is expected to replace the existing Rules for power lifts not exceeding 750 watts (less than one horsepower) as an up-to-date reference in Acceptable Solution D2/AS2 in the NZBC Compliance Document D2 Mechanical installations for access.
NZS 4334 was developed by an expert committee using a consensus-based approach. This included widespread consultation, review by industry experts, and public input. The committee consisted of representatives of the following nominating organisations:
- CCS Disability Action
- Department of Building and Housing
- Disabled Persons Assembly New Zealand (Consumer representative)
- Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand
- Low Rise Elevation Suppliers' Association
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Health
- Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind
- NZS 4332:1997 Non-domestic passenger and goods lifts
- BS EN 81-1:1998+A3:2009 Safety rules for the construction and installation of lifts – Electric lifts
- BS EN 81-2:1998+A3:2009 Safety rules for the construction and installation of lifts – Hydraulic lifts