Elevators, escalators, and moving walkways are used to raise or move people or goods from one location to another within a building. Elevators are transport devices that are used to lift people and good vertically, from one floor to another. Wheelchair access laws, elevators are often legal requirements in multi-story buildings. Elevators are platforms, which are pulled or pushed by mechanical means. Most often, elevators are enclosed in a cab mounted on the platform, which is moved in throughout an enclosed shaft. There is more than one type of elevator; traction elevators and hydraulic elevators are two examples. Elevators open in a few different ways. Most often, two sliding panels meet in the middle to close the door; the panels separate and move to both sides when opening.
Escalators are conveyor transporting devices that are used to move people vertically on individual, linked stairways. This means of transport is power-driven, and is designed to move people up and down short distances where elevators would be impractical.
In designing escalators, many things must be taken into consideration including location, physical requirements, traffic pattern, safety precautions, and aesthetics. Additional considerations like the distance to be spanned are important for determining the pitch and length of the escalator. Components of escalators include top and bottom landings, the truss, the tracks, and the handrail, and the steps. Moving walkways are also available. Much like escalators, moving walkways use a conveyor belt to transport people; however, moving walkways move things horizontally, or on an incline. Moving walkways are often installed in pairs, so there is movement going in each direction. There are built in one of two basic styles, pallet type or moving belt. Pallet type moving walkways are built from a series of metal plates, which are jointed together to form a walkway. This type of moving walkway has a metal surface, although they are also available with a rubber surface. Moving belt walkways are typically built with mesh metal balls, or as a rubber surface over metal rollers. Other types of escalators, escalators, and moving walkways may also be available.