How do I use Elevate to design to the Property Council of Australia guidelines (2019)?

On 25 November 2019 Dr Peters hosted an open forum in Sydney, Australia to review the lift planning recommendations “A Guide to Office Building Quality” published by the Property Council of Australia (PCA) in 2019.  This meeting followed a similar format to a previous meeting in December 2013 when the 2012 PCA Guidelines were reviewed.

It is recognised that the analysis is undertaken for the purposes of benchmarking the lift system design performance against the recommended criteria of PCA guidelines and may not reflect actual performance. 

Most country guidelines summarise key design parameters in order to localise international design recommendations published by international authors and lift companies. Because of the brevity of these documents, they are subject to interpretation. Often there are arguments as to whether or not the lift service can be said to reach the required standard. 

Therefore, it is helpful to consultants and designers to come to a consensus on how to apply Elevate when working with these guidelines.

The following input criteria were agreed for simulations:

Up Peak

Run simulation for 1 hour using “Barney Up Peak” profile with the peak as shown in the lift matrix.  Results should be reported for the 5-minute period of highest demand (between 00:35 and 00:40).  

For “flexible workspace environments” run a “CIBSE Modern Office up peak template” but shifted up/down in 1% increments to reflect the target handling capacity in the lift matrix.  This CIBSE template already applies the 85% incoming, 10 % outgoing, 5% interfloor traffic mix required by PCA, but with a fixed peak of 12%. 

To simplify application, Elevate will be extended to include templates labelled “PCA up peak” and “PCA flexible workspace up peak” where the peak passenger demand can be selected.

Lunch Time Peak

Run a one hour simulation based on the passenger demand profile of the CIBSE Guide D Modern Office lunch time template but shifted up/down in 1% increments to reflect the target handling capacity in the lift matrix. Use a traffic mix 50% incoming, 50% outgoing.

For “flexible workspace environments” use a traffic mix 45% incoming, 45% outgoing, 10% interfloor.

Results should be reported for the worst 5 minutes.

To simplify application, Elevate will be extended to include templates labelled “PCA lunch peak” and “PCA flexible workspace lunch peak” where the peak passenger demand can be selected.

Car Loading

Based on 80% car capacity factor by mass, with passenger mass at 75kg or 68 kg for existing buildings.  Ignore loading by area by setting passenger area to 0 m²/person.

Passenger Transfer times

Allow 1 second per passenger loading and unloading, 0.8 seconds per passenger with destination control.

Door Dwell time 1 and 2

Allow door dwell 1 of 3s and a minimum of 1s door dwell 2.

Start Delay

Allow 0.5 seconds.


Normally 0 seconds, but up to 0.5 seconds if the equipment is capable of demonstrating performance.

Door times

Based upon equipment specified, performance should be confirmed on site.
For preliminary design, selection may be based on CIBSE Guide D 2015 Table 7.1 for high speed two panel centre opening door as follows:

Opening size (mm)    Opening time (s)  Closing time (s)
800   1.5  2.0
900 1.6 2.2
1000    1.7 2.5
1100    1.8 2.9
1200    1.9  3.1

Note: the 1200mm door opening size values were agreed by the forum as this door opening is not included in the CIBSE Guide.

Acceleration and Jerk

Based on tables in the draft CIBSE Guide D 2020 (Appendix A2):

Rated speed
1.0 0.6    0.4
1.6 0.6    0.4
2.5 0.8  0.5
3.0  0.9    0.6
5.0  0.9  0.6
6.0 0.9    0.6

Improvements to the above may only be applied where equipment is capable of demonstrating the enhancement and the parameters are intended to be the installed performance parameters.  

In Elevate, the Number of simulations to be run for each configuration should be at least 10.

The waiting time definition in the PCA guide has some ambiguities.  The CIBSE Guide D definition is assumed.

Meeting participants:

Oudai Awad, Integrated Group Services
Wayne Blair, Aecom
John Carroll, NDY
Mays Chalak, Integrated Group Services
John Duffy, Mott Macdonald
Jessica Evers, Rudds Consulting Engineers
Gary Ford, EMS Corp
Scott Hampson, ARUP
Kate Hibner, WSP
Matthew Hinds, ADP Consulting
Mateusz Jankowiak, Arup
Aaron Lovelock, Rudds
Robert Mashamn, Whitfield Rose Pty Ltd
Graeme McRae, Floth Pty Ltd
George Petropoulos, JHA Consulting Engineers
Rod Post, EMS Corp
Michael Ritchie, LCI Consultants
Kieren Smith, WGE
Matthew Sutherland, Arcadis
Herry Thiauw, Northrop
John Thomson, Thomson Elevator Consultancy Services
John Whitfield, Whitfield Rose Pty Ltd