Columbia Elevator Cabs and Entrances

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does Columbia Elevator do?

Columbia Elevator manufactures new and/or replacement Architectural parts components for elevators: cabs, entrances, doors, and door systems.

What size openings can Columbia label and what certifications do they receive?

Columbia is able to provide UL fire labels on a vast array of opening sizes. Click here to help you determine what sort of certification Columbia will provide for your particular opening size.

Columbia has the largest label at 14’ x 10’ in masonry and 8’ x 8’ in drywall. Columbia can custom fabricate to any oversized specification and has the authority from UL to issue a UL oversized certificate certifying the frames are fabricated to UL’s stringent manufacturing procedures. This certification is also available on transoms.

Does Columbia provide fire labels on its entrance products?

Yes. Go to the Labeled Entrances page for more information.

How can I tell if a car/shaft door is right hand or left hand?

Go to our Guide to Door Types to see the difference between right and left hand openings.

Does Columbia Elevator make wheelchair lifts or stair-climbers?


Does Columbia Elevator make cabs and doors for residential and LU/LA lifts?

Yes. See our LU/LA page for more info.

Does Columbia Elevator make freight cars and doors?

We manufacture Freight cars complete with horizontally-sliding doors, plus freight cars accommodating vertically-sliding doors or gates furnished by third-party providers.

Does Columbia bid on elevators to general contractors, or provide estimates/ballparks?

No. It is our policy to work only with elevator contractors, who in turn prepare bids and budgets for general contractors.

What is InstaFast™?

InstaFast™ is Columbia's wall panel FASTening system that allows one wall panel to INSTAntly hook onto the adjacent wall panel.  Installation is completed from inside the cab, for a safe, fast install.

How are your various cab designs suited to particular installations?

The all steel shell cab is predominately used in service/freight installations where a high volume of equipment/freight is being transported - very utilitarian, with little concern about aesthetics.

The wood-core wall cab is predominately used in new construction applications were the corridor walls of the building have not been installed yet and the lifting mechanism has been rated for the heavy weight of this type of car. This cab is an inexpensive solution for transporting passengers - a no frills passenger car .

The Laminate-on-Steel Shell car (Columbia trademarked LamiCan™) is used predominately in modernization jobs where a new passenger cab is being installed to replace an older car that has been "ripped out" or in "fire job" situations where the previous cab has been destroyed and must be completely removed and quickly replaced. The LamiCan is conducive to these situations since it gives the appearance of the laminated wood core cab but it is comprised of several steel panels with laminate applied directly to each panel. These wall panels fit easily through existing entrance openings - a feat that is often impossible with a large wood core walls. The LamiCan also features the InstaFast™ wall panel connection system. This is ideal for elevator modernizations, with panels installed from inside the cab rather than the hoistway.  The adjustable floor base allows ordering of the cab even when unsure of the flooring. LamiCans are also popular in passenger car situation were the climate has a great deal of humidity. The wall panes of the LamiCan are made of corrosion resistant galvaneal metal and do not suffer the expansion and delamination problems associated with the wood core construction. Finally, LamiCan is Columbia's lightest-weight product and can afford the maximum inside-cab area to any platform size. These are important features when modernizing older/smaller platform elevators with an eye toward compliance with the new ADA inside-car area requirements.

Columbia’s XChangaCAB™ is the cab interior package of choice when your customer is looking for a quick and easy upgrade.  These affordable interior packages can be priced in minutes by going to Online Quotation.  Limited only by their imaginations, your customers can quickly be enjoying completely renovated cabs!

Does Columbia Elevator export entire elevator systems?

No. Columbia does, however, INDIRECTLY export product around the world through the assistance of exporting elevator-system-integrators or "packagers.” These packagers combine the mechanical, electrical (logical), and architectural products of several manufactures into one complete elevator system. By performing the roles of contract coordination, procurement, financing, and export consolidation the "packager" (frequently the manufacturer of the mechanical equipment) is able to overcome the hurdles to direct export.

When purchasing an elevator system from an integrator, be sure to specify Columbia Elevator Cabs, Entrances and Door Systems, which offer many unique, exclusive design and safety features you will find described throughout this web site.

Can Columbia Elevator help me design an elevator system?

No. Architects & General Contractors engage the services of Vertical Transportation Consultants when developing the specifications/designs of an elevator system. We recommend that you encourage your architect and/or GC to do the same and contact an elevator design consultant for your particular needs. Or, you may directly contact:

National Association Of Vertical Transportation Professionals (NAVTP)
P.O. Box 636
Bowie, Maryland
Telephone: (301) 262-3150
Fax Number: (301) 262-3194
Contact: Leonard G. LeVee, Exec. Dir.

Representation: Vertical transportation design professionals and fee inspectors that provide independent consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, etc

Does Columbia manufacture the entire elevator system?

No. We do not manufacture mechanical and /or logical components of an elevator system, such as jacks, pumps, traction equipment, fixtures, controllers, etc. - we make ONLY cabs, doors, operators and track, and complete entrances.

Does Columbia Elevator modernize elevator systems?

No. Our customers, installing elevator contractors, modernize elevator systems using our products.

Can Columbia Elevator recommend an installing elevator contractor?

No. Architects & General Contractors usually engage the services of installing elevator contractors. However, if you have an existing elevator, or if you wish to directly engage a contractor to perform an installation, it is best to consult a local business directory or "yellow pages" under the category of Elevator Service / Maintenance / Repair.

Or, for further assistance in locating an elevator contractor in your area, you may contact:

National Association Of Elevator Contractors (NAEC)
1298 Wellbrook Circle NE
Conyers, Georgia 30207-3872
Telephone: (770) 760-9660
Fax Number: (770) 760-9714
Contact: Teresa M. Shirley, Executive Director

NAEC is a national association of elevator contractors and suppliers serving primarily the interests of independent elevator contractors and independent suppliers of products and services; promoting safe and reliable elevator, escalator and short-range transportation and promoting excellence in the management of member companies.

Does Columbia Elevator install and/or service elevator systems?

No. Columbia does not service or install elevators.  We have however, partnered with several of the industry’s most qualified companies, and, if required, can present you a quote on the installation of Columbia Cabs, entrances, and/or door systems.

Why does Columbia Elevator label its cabs when other manufacturers do not?

While UL Labels are not required for elevator cabs in the ASME/ASNI A17.1 Elevator & Escalator Safety Code, Columbia voluntarily goes beyond the code requirements to provide UL labels on the cabs it manufactures. Section 204 of the ASME/ASNI A17.1 Elevator & Escalator Safety Code has very strict requirements for the fire resistivity, AS WELL AS the electrical shock and the structural integrity of elevator cabs sold in the United States. Although the code does not require that manufactures actually test their products’ conformity (as is required for entrances), manufactures have been asked to "self-certify" that their products are in full compliance with these code requirements. Unfortunately, the only TRUE way to determine a cab's compliance with the requirements of the code is to perform a series of destructive tests (burning, crushing, and determining the electrical conductivity) on each product manufactured. Columbia has engaged the services of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to perform these tests and develop follow-up procedures that certify Columbia's cab products as fully code-compliant.