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Retrofitting Passenger Lifts in Existing Buildings

Lift modernisation, also known as lift upgrades, is a crucial process that ensures elevator systems meet current standards and incorporate the latest technologies. This process not only enhances the visual appeal of elevators but also significantly improves their safety and compliance with regulatory requirements.

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of lift modernisation, the specific components involved, and the tangible benefits it brings, illustrated through a case study of the recent modernisation project at New Bridge Road.

Lift Modernisation Explained

Lift modernisation, also known as lift upgrades, involves updating and enhancing elevator systems to meet current standards and incorporate new technologies. This process is crucial for maintaining the efficiency, safety, and aesthetics of elevators.

By upgrading various critical components, such as controllers, motors, car operating panels, and door mechanisms, lift modernisation transforms older systems into modern, more reliable units that better serve the needs of today’s users.

Lift modernisation can vary in extent, from minor upgrades to major overhauls:

  • Minor lift upgrades These typically include replacing parts like car operating panels, landing buttons, and indicators with modern counterparts that often feature enhancements such as audible signals and designs compliant with current disability standards.

  • Major lift upgrades More extensive upgrades may involve replacing major mechanical elements like the door operating mechanisms with advanced models, substantially improving the performance and safety of the elevator.

Passenger Lifts Explained

A passenger lift is designed to transport people vertically within a commercial building. It operates within a fully enclosed cabin and shaft, ensuring safety and comfort for passengers. The size of the cabin and shaft can vary, accommodating different building designs and passenger needs. Lifting mechanisms for passenger lifts typically include traction and hydraulic methods, which provide efficient and reliable movement between floors.

BELIFT provides Passenger Traction Elevators that enhance both mobility and comfort, offering efficient and swift vertical transportation with limitless styling possibilities.

Our premier model, the CES-7800, ensures an unparalleled ride experience by combining innovation with seamless operation.

These elevators are customisable to fit various environments, whether it's a sleek, modern design for high-end offices or a robust, reliable system for residential buildings.

Importance of Modernising Your Passenger Lifts

Modernisation is essential not only for maintaining a lift's efficiency and aesthetics but also for ensuring safety and adherence to regulations.

In Singapore, these regulations are set by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). The BCA mandates servicing of older lifts, especially those operating beyond 15 years, to enhance their reliability and performance.

The BCA focuses on the following eight components to increase lift safety.

  1. Ascending Car Overspeed Protection (ACOP) stops the lift car in case of uncontrolled or overspeed movement in the upward direction.

  2. Unintended Car Movement Protection (UCMP) prevents unintended lift car movement when the door is open, protecting passengers from injury.

  3. Slack governor rope electrical safety device monitors the governor rope and stops the lift car if a rope break is detected.

  4. Light curtain door protective device reopens lift doors when an obstruction is detected, ensuring passenger safety without contact.

  5. Door electrical safety interlocking ensures all lift car and landing door panels are fully closed before allowing the lift to move.

  6. Car apron prevents passengers from falling into the lift pit during emergency evacuations when the car stops above a floor landing.

  7. Telephone intercom systems establish communication between the fire command center or a 24/7 emergency hotline, reassuring passengers that help is on the way.

  8. Automatic Rescue Device (ARD) enables the lift to move to the nearest floor and allow trapped passengers to exit in the event of a power failure.

Consequently, lift modernisation is a crucial process that upgrades older elevator systems into reliable and visually appealing units by replacing and enhancing various essential components. The introduction of new technologies improves operational efficiency, decreases energy consumption, and reduces maintenance costs. It also updates the lift's design, aligning it with modern design trends, and making it more attractive within new or renovated building interiors. For a comprehensive exploration of these insights on the benefits of lift modernisation visit, refer to "Lift Modernisation: Future-Proofing Your Elevators".

Passenger Lift Modernisation in New Bridge Road

To demonstrate the benefits of lift modernisation, we will examine the passenger lift modernisation engagement at New Bridge Road. The project showcases how modernisation can transform an older lift system into a state-of-the-art unit, better serving today's users and increasing the building's appeal.

The passenger lift at New Bridge Road, equipped with a display indicator and hall-lantern at the top transom, as well as a landing operating panel with a call button beside the door entrance, was part of an older lift system. The client planned to modernise it for enhanced safety and compliance with current standards.

After consulting with BELIFT, the client chose an advanced modernisation package. This involved replacing several key lift components, including the lift controller, the main machine's encoder unit, hoistway and travelling cables, levelling sensor, and limit switches.

Subsequent to these replacements, the lift was fitted with a full-height stainless transom featuring a hall-lantern. Also, a landing operating panel with a display indicator and call button was positioned beside the door entrance.

This comprehensive modernisation transformed the passenger lift in the six-story office building into a state-of-the-art model that meets current safety standards. The selected black stainless steel finish contrasts strikingly with the lift lobby's white marble finishes, and the addition of a card access system enhances security by controlling access within the building.

By deciding to modernise the passenger lift, the client significantly improved both the functionality and aesthetics of the lift, thereby enhancing the building’s overall appeal and safety.


In conclusion, lift modernisation is a vital process that upgrades older passenger lift systems, enhancing their efficiency, safety, and aesthetics. By incorporating new technologies and adhering to stringent safety regulations set by authorities like the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in Singapore, modernisation ensures that lifts remain reliable and compliant.

The advanced modernisation project at New Bridge Road exemplifies these benefits, transforming an outdated lift into a state-of-the-art unit that not only meets current safety standards but also enhances the building's overall appeal and functionality. Such upgrades underscore the importance of modernisation in providing superior vertical transportation solutions that cater to contemporary needs and preferences. Are you interested in learning how we can modernise your passenger lift? Provide your contact so one of our team members can reach out to you.


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