ADA Disables Access Lifts

We (Sesame Access Systems) design and manufacture ADA compliant bespoke stairlifts for the American market. These bespoke stairlifts comply with ASME 18.1 regulations which require an upper landing rising barrier to protect the fall hazard and be present when the stairs lower, and on lift barriers and handrails rise with the lift enclosing the user to a height of 1100mm on all sides.

We have installed one of these ADA compliant access lifts into Seattle Space Needle and it has been a huge success. It was installed in the observation deck of the space needle. When installing it the lift had to be designed so all components would fit inside the current lift space of the passenger lift that currently is in use at the space needle, (without this the lift would never have been transported to the observation desk as there was no other way of transporting the lift into the critical area)

We are looking at designing new access lifts which conform to the American standards so there is more variety to offer.

If you want more info on this client project please click here

Seattle ADA Lift

Minimum horizontal pit length

non applicable

Minimum platform size

1 688 mm x 1 178 mm

Maximum rise

2 999 mm

Minimum pit depth below lower landing

1 640 mm


The Lift

The Seattle ADA Lift uses a combination of an on-lift rising barrier and the stairs handrails to fully enclose the user to a height of 1100mm. Please see On Lift Barriers for more information.

The lift table can be made to accept any cladding. The stairs retract vertically to form the platform, therefore the stair cladding makes up most of the lift table's finish.

The handrails that rise with the lift sit on top of a small stair profile as shown in the images on this page.

Nominal Platform dimensions for this lift can vary due to site requirements, however they have minimum dimensions of:

1688mm (l) 1178mm (w) x 0-2999mm (h)

Please see The Lifting Actuator link for more information on the mechanism used to raise and lower the stairlift.

The Stairs

The Seattle ADA Lift stairs raise and lower vertically thus removing the requirement for a pit behind the top step riser.

The top step forms part of the upper landing area. For example, a staircase with 6 steps will only have 5 vertically retracting stairs that will lower.

When the stairs lower the surrounding stair profile will be revealed. Typically this is clad in stainless steel as it is not seen when the stairs are in their rest position. This side stair profile houses a locking mechanism that stabilises and supports the stairs when they are in their rest position.

Please see our retracting stair technical page for more information

The Upper Landing Barrier

The Seattle ADA Lift houses an automatic rising barrier at the upper landing to protect the fall hazard that is created when the stairs retract.

ASME 18.1 is silent regarding the automatic rising barriers as it is new technology. Previously, the City or State have requested proximity sensors to detect people moving close to these barriers. This may not be necessary depending on the State or City's requirements.

ASME 18.1 does discuss manual gates which we can install to for a smoother transition. The manual gates are on view at all times where as the rising barriers drop down and out of site when not in use.

Please see Upper Landing Barriers for more infomration

User Type

The Seattle ADA Lift is for standing and wheelchair user. Please see on lift barriers for more information.

The System Requirements

The Seattle ADA Lift requires a 480V 60hZ 30AMP 3-phase power supply for the USA market.

A machine room will need to be located local to the Sesame lift for the control cabinet.

A solid stainless steel skirt is fixed below the lift. Please see Concealing the underside of the lift for more information.

For general details on the pit depth please see lift pit

If the surrounding area presents a crush zone the lift table can be fitted with safety edges to detect an obstruction. Please see Crush hazards surrounding the moving lift for more information.

Please click on the The Sesame Stair Lift Controls for more information on the controls for this style of lift.

Variations to the Seattle ADA Lift

Due to the vertically retracting stair mechanism all of the stair risers must be exactly the same height. The horizontally retracting stairs however can be set up to match the existing site. If stair size is a necessity please see the Westminster Equality Act Lift in Ireland 1122. This system can also be designed to conform to the relevant elements of ASME 18.1 for the US market.

As discussed in the upper landing barrier section ASME 18.1 does not cover the rising barriers as it covers manual gates (which we can install to for a smoother transition). The manual gates are on view at all times where as the rising barriers drop down and out of site when not in use. The Jubilee Disabled Access Lift shows an example of the manual gate at the upper landing level.

The Windsor Mobility Lift is a platform only lift that can be designed to conform with ASME 18.1 for the North American market.

The North American Code

Lifts installed in North America must conform to ASME 18.1 Safety Standard for Platform Lifts and Stairway Chairlifts USA. The standard Sesame systems such as our Mayfair Stairlift & Knightsbridge Stair Lift have not yet been installed in the U.S. as they do not conform to this standard. This is not to say they can not, we have ongoing enquiries where we are in discussions with the local authorities to accept these styles of lift.

The design aspects will follow the relevant areas of ADA Standards for Accessible Design, ICC ANSI.A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and The International Building Code.

The installation of electrical equipment and wiring shall conform to the requirements of ANSI/ NFPA 70.

Electrical equipment shall be certified to the requirements of CAN/CSA B44.1/ ASME A17.5.

In addition any local electrical standards will need to be conformed to as well.

The Seattle ADA Lift has not been UL approved as a product as the lift is bespoke designed to suit each site, however the lift will be installed with UL approved hydraulic and electric cabinets supplied by a UL approved manufacturer.

Seattle ADA Lift


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