Enclosed Elevator Lobby Alternatives: Part 1

Elevator shafts can often act like chimneys in multi-story buildings as they enable large amounts of air to move from floor to floor. Because of this, elevator shafts can easily transport smoke throughout a building in the case of a fire. Therefore, installing a fire and smoke containment system within an elevator shaft is crucial for building fire safety.

When a building contains 3 or more stories connected by an elevator shaft, the International Building Code (IBC) requires architects to isolate each floor from the elevator shaft. This stops smoke and fire from invading all floors within a matter of moments.

Enclosed elevator lobbies are the most common options, but are highly intrusive to the design process. Over the years, new systems and techniques have been developed to achieve similar, if not better, results without sacrificing aesthetics. Furthermore, the IBC has adjusted to allow for a few exceptions.

A rolling magnetic gasketing system creates a smoke barrier at the elevator shaft opening. The system deploys a reinforced, transparent film when smoke is detected in the area. The edges of the film have flexible magnetic strips that attach to metal rails on either side of the elevator doorway and thus creates an almost airtight seal. Together with fire-rated elevator doors, the magnetic gasketing system provides the smoke protection necessary to comply with fire safety codes.

Rather than containing the smoke within a couple hundred square feet, the rolling magnetic gasketing system contains the smoke right in front of the elevator door opening that is a mere 3 inches deep. While the design benefits are obvious, the rolling magnetic gasketing system can also be easily maintained by facility managers or maintenance staff.

If you are looking for an alternative to an enclosed elevator lobby, Smoke Guard California has a variety of options to provide excellent fire and smoke safety without compromising design. Contact us today for more information and specifications.