Escalators, or moving staircases, are continuously circulating motorized stairways that move people between floors of a building. Often used in conjunction with elevators, or in situations where elevators would be impractical, escalators provide a convenient, efficient, and comfortable means of travel for people needing to ascend or descend through limited sets of building levels—with five or six floors being a functional limit.

Unlike elevators, escalators require no waiting time for use as they continue to move at a constant speed. If an escalator breaks down, loses power, or ceases to function, the escalator can still be used as a normal staircase in most scenarios. Escalators are often used in retail stores, shopping malls, airports, transit centers, convention centers, arenas and stadiums, hotels, public buildings, and can also be detailed with weatherproofing for outdoor use.

Escalators

Angle of Rise: 30°-35°
Height (Handrail):
3’ | .91 m
Clearance (Headroom): 7’6” | 2.29 m minimum
Landing Length (Bottom): 7’6” | 2.29 m
Landing Length (Top): 8’ | 2.44 m
Depth (Truss): 3’8” | 1.12 m

Escalators are a form of vertical building transportation designed as a staircase that moves with the assistance of a motor-driven mechanism. Escalators are used to connect floors with an angle of rise between 30°-35°. The entire length of an escalator must also provide enough space for a lower zone of mechanical equipment along with a structural truss that averages around 3’8” | 1.12 m deep. Both ends of an escalator require structural supports and may also require intermediate supports depending on the length of the run.
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Moving Walkways

Length: Customizable as desired
Height (Handrail):
3’ | .91 m
Depth (Truss):
3’6” | 1.07 m

Moving walkways, or moving sidewalks, conveyors or travelators, are motorized continuously moving horizontal or low-inclined surfaces that transport people over short to medium distances. Easy to use by either standing or walking, moving walkways are commonly used in airports, public transportation stations, densely populated cities, museums, zoos, theme parks, retail stores, theater sets, and ski resorts. Moving walkways can be designed for various customizable lengths depending on use.
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Escalator & Moving Walkway Widths

Width (Stairs/Walkway): 24”, 32”, 40” | 61, 82, 102 cm
Width (Deck): 4’, 4’8”, 5’4” | 122, 142, 163 cm
Width (General): 32”, 40”, 48” | 82, 102, 122 cm
Height (Escalator Deck): 3’8” | 112 cm
Height (Walkway Deck): 3’6” | 107 cm

The widths of escalators and moving walkways can be adjusted to meet various demands of pedestrian traffic, use, travel speed, and distance. When calibrating the appropriate width of an escalator or moving walkway, three standard design widths for use are 24”, 32”, 40” | 61, 82, 102 cm.

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Single Discontinuous Escalators

Direction: Single, one-way
Circulation: Slow, indirect
Uses:
Small department stores, retail centers

Single discontinuous escalators are stacked escalators that connect levels in a single direction. This strategy works best when space is limited, but the one-way traffic is not efficient for people who want to travel quickly between levels. Single discontinuous escalators are generally used in small department stores and retail centers.
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Single Continuous Escalators

Direction: One-way, single vertical direction
Circulation: Efficient, fast, direct
Uses:
Small department stores, commercial retail

Single continuous escalators provide connections to subsequent building levels by connecting them directing with one-way circulation. Unlike discontinuous layouts, continuous designs provide users with quick and efficient vertical circulation between multiple levels. Though single continuous escalators only provide movement in one vertical direction, they can be combined with parallel continuous systems in either a paired continuous or crossing layouts.
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Single Crossing Escalators

Direction: Crossing two-way
Circulation: Efficient, fast, direct
Uses:
Large department stores, office buildings, public transport

Crossing escalator arrangements provide the most efficient and continuous movement of people by separating each direction of travel into an individual uninterrupted path. Alternating directions in systematic structurally stacks, crisscrossing escalators should be considered when space planning and productivity are critical design objectives.
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Paired Discontinuous Escalators

Direction: Parallel two-way
Circulation: Slow, indirect
Uses:
Small department stores, retail centers, public transport

Paired discontinuous escalators are stacked parallel banks of escalators that connect levels in both directions. Like single discontinuous escalators, but with a second adjacent escalator traveling in the opposite direction, this strategy is not efficient for people looking to travel quickly between levels as the circulation requires the user to travel to the opposite landing to continue moving vertically.
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Paired Continuous Escalators

Direction: Parallel two-way
Circulation: Efficient, fast, direct
Uses:
Large department stores, office buildings, public transport

Paired continuous escalator systems combine two sets of single continuous escalator systems side-by-side. Though inefficient in space planning, this system creates a consolidated and functional destination within a floorpan that allows direct access to multiple floors. Paired continuous layouts can be stacked vertically to further systematize a path of effective travel in buildings requiring productivity and access to various floors.
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