According the NAHB market survey, 67% of homeowners say they would like to have a home elevator, or view it as a necessity. Some areas in the country, including Connecticut’s shoreline, are located inside flood zones. For homeowners living within the flood zones that would like an elevator have many options.
FEMA regulations for home elevators
If you are a homeowner in a flood zone and would like to have a conventional residential elevator, you’re in luck. FEMA allows residential elevators in flood plains.
International Building Code requirements for home elevators
The codes & standards that apply to wheelchair lifts are:
ICC/ANSI A117.1 – Accessible & Usable Building & Facility
ASME A17.1 – Elevator and Escalator safety code for safety lock
ASME A18.1 – Safety standards for platform lifts and stairway chairs lifts
NFPA 70 – National Electrical Code
(Verify what year and version of the code your state or local jurisdiction has adopted)
UL or ETL are required and acceptable standards for testing certifications
Residential elevators are addressed in Part 5.3 of the ASME A17.1 code.
5.3.1 Private Residence Electric Elevators
5.3.2 Private Residence Hydraulic Elevators
Elevator Options for flood zones
Inline Geared Drive Elevator System
Also known as the “machine room-less” (MRL) elevator, the inline geared drive system is set up in a way that the power supply is mounted to the top of the rail brackets. Having this system eliminates the need for a machine room*
A hydraulic elevator system is acceptable in a flood zone so long as the machine room is located on the 2nd floor of the dwelling.
Pneumatic Vacuum Elevator
Pneumatic Vacuum Elevators (PVE) are ideal for flood zones. The PVE does not require a pit, nor does it have a machine room. The Elevator is powered entirely by air, using suction and gravity to operate.
*Inline geared drive elevator system also available in Machine Room option