When compared with a Sesame Stair lift, ramps don't even begin to compare. For more of our examples please click here
The Sesame lift has many advantages over stair ramps. In the UK the gradient required by British standards for ramps is 1:12. This means that over a rise of 1 meter, you will need to install 12 meters of ramp. Usually there is not the space for a straight 12 meter ramp in this example, so there will need to be turns over that range. Trying to obtain planning consent for a large or any ramp comes with its own challenges. The Sesame systems on the other hand tick all the boxes when it comes to planning consent. We have installed in many prestigious buildings such as Kensington Palace, The Institution of Civil Engineers, The UK Supreme Court I could go on.
When price comparing stair ramps to the Sesame systems, a short small ramp will always win. However, when larger stair ramps are required then the price actually gets surprisingly close. The man hours in the design and build process plus the materials required all add up. Also the standards state that there must be handrails on the stair ramps. If stair ramps are being installed in an area of architectural merit then the handrails will often need to be specified to a high standard which can be very pricey. Brass handrails for example are expensive. Not to mention the security required to lock the handrails in position to prevent theft.
A quick and easy access solution would be dropping stair ramps over a set of stairs to allow wheelchair users to exit and enter buildings. This solution is the cheapest method to present access to wheelchair users. If stair ramps are dropped over a set of pedestrian stairs then it must be removed once the wheelchair user has travelled up or down the ramp. In this scenario the stair ramps do not give independent access to the user. A member of staff would need to be called each time stair ramps are used. In many cases there are alternative stairs that pedestrians can use, however the stair ramps still need to be presented in the morning and removed in the evening to prevent theft.
The Sesame lifts are generally designed to fit into limited space. The benefit of lifting a user vertically over a rise takes up much less space compared to stair ramps. British Standards specify a 1400mm platform length. Therefore over a rise of to 1450mm with a Sesame lift only requires 1400mm in front of the riser wall, or the top step riser, whereas stair ramps will require just under 17.5 meters of ramp.
A wheelchair user can press a button to raise or lower them to the next level using a Sesame lift. Manually travelling up or down stair ramps takes a fair amount of effort. Depending on the level of disability this effort may be a step too far.
Sesame have looked into the possibility of automatically converting a set of stairs into stair ramps. We have been asked by a few clients if this is possible. It is, however, as stated above we need to conform to the British Standards gradient of 1:12 on stair ramps. When you consider that 3 steps for example generally have a riser height of 180mm each, so a total rise of 540mm, the steps would need to convert into a ramp that is just less than 6.5 meters long. This would only be possible of the 3 steps spanned an area of this distance. In addition, as stated above, handrails would also be required.
Please take a moment to click on the following commercial stair lifts web page to view a few examples of Sesame systems that have been installed in a commercial environment where stair ramps were simply not an option.