Have a question about some aspect of working at NIH? You can post anonymous queries at www.nih.gov/nihrecord/index.htm (click on the Feedback icon) and we’ll try to provide answers.
Feedback (two related queries): What’s up (or
not) with elevators 13 and 14 in Bldg. 10? First
they shut them down for “repairs” last month
and ever since they have not shown floor indicators
(at all or correctly) like they should. Combine
that with the fact that they seem to take
their notions on whether or not to actually
come when called and those of us stuck on the
west side of the F-wing construction deal with
daily elevator frustration just to fulfill the mission
Is anybody maintaining the elevators in old
Bldg. 10? Freight elevator #15 has been out of
commission for months. With the finishing up
of the F wing, the freight elevator will be needed
to help in the moving in of equipment, etc.
Elevator #37 is not working in the west tower.
Many of the elevators do not have working floor
indicators on the inside or outside of the elevators
and one in the D section and [one in] the
ACRF section don’t have a noise indicator to
let you know that the elevator has arrived. In
the past, the elevators seemed to be constantly
monitored, but now they seem to be ignored.
What has changed?
Response from the Office of Research Facilities: ORF sympathizes with employee frustration
associated with the elevators in Bldg.
10. There is a regular and vigorous maintenance
program for the Bldg. 10 elevators and for all
NIH elevators. Elevators (and escalators) are
the most complex facilities systems that building
occupants interact with. They are designed
to default to safe operation over fast or efficient
operations—which can sometimes make them
frustrating to use and to maintain. Elevator
problems often arise from something as simple
as running into the elevator doors with a cart,
which causes the doors and door safety features
to become misaligned. When this occurs,
the elevator will shut down rather than operate
with doors that potentially do not close completely
For elevators 13 and 14, maintenance staff had
been experiencing significant issues with software
that supports display of elevator locations
from inside the elevator cab. Although indicators in hallways functioned properly,
corresponding indicators inside several elevator cabs were malfunctioning. Thankfully,
a new software upgrade in July resolved the issue and the position indicators
should function normally inside and outside the elevators.
Problems with freight elevator 15 were identified during its regular “5-year full
load test.” Every 5 years, these tests put the elevator through extreme performance
conditions, including a full speed safety stop with the elevator loaded at 25 percent
over its stated weight capacity. This is done to ensure that its safety devices function
properly. During the test, freight elevator 15 showed specific signs of wear
that require us to make repairs. Although we recognize the significant inconvenience
to Bldg. 10 occupants, ORF is committed to the safety of everyone who uses
elevators at NIH.
Employees and construction personnel can help to improve elevator response
times by not selecting the call buttons for both pedestrian and freight elevators
simultaneously, then taking whatever elevator arrives first. This common practice
leads to delays and “ghost calls” when the second elevator arrives to a floor with no
one waiting. This is particularly prevalent in the F wing, where the closure of hallways
due to construction limits the number of elevator options. In addition, passenger
elevators are specifically designed for the dynamic load of moving people.
Freight elevators are designed for moving heavy loads. These design differences
make it wiser for people to use passenger elevators unless they are transporting
something that necessitates the use of a freight elevator.