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08   /   01   /   2022

When most people think of elevators they might think of high-rise buildings or hotels. But elevators can be an incredibly beneficial addition to single family homes. They add value to the property as well as align with the emerging trend of aging in place. There are also residential elevators that are better suited to remodels, foremost, Pneumatic Vacuum elevators.

Bonsai has been lucky enough to have completed two projects using Pneumatic Elevators with the assistance of Ascent Mobility. Both of these projects were remodels, which meant installing a typical hydraulic elevator pit would have proven to be very difficult. Pneumatic Elevators do not need a mechanical pit at the bottom most level, and only a new 220V electrical outlet. The vacuum pump sits atop the elevator, typically in an attic space, but it can also be hidden elsewhere for a cleaner design look.

The operation of the pneumatic elevator is relatively simple. The vacuum creates a low-pressure zone above the car which moves the car upwards to the higher levels. When the car reaches its desired level it automatically locks in place. When the passenger is ready to descend, the vacuum valve regulates a slow release of pressure, and the car descends. Automatic breaks are added as a safety. Once in place, the elevator requires little to no maintenance.

Pneumatic elevators have proven a great solution for remodels as well as new builds. The cylindrical shape of the tube can make the elevator a centerpiece to any room and the color options can go with any interior design. We are grateful to have worked with these fantastic machines and use them to better suit the needs of our clients.