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Subject: Elevators as individual components in reserve studies
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SamA4
(California)

Posts:7


08/31/2020 12:31 PM  
All,

I briefly touched on this in another post after reviewing https://www.dre.ca.gov/files/pdf/re8.pdf (Operating Cost Manual for HomeOwners Department Real Estate CA) which says having a componenent budgeted for strictly for elevator may not be required if it is being regularly serviced. I'm not sure if I agree, in fact our reserve study broke has it created as it's own unique component/asset with its own scope of work (e.g modernization system, refresh). Nonetheless budgeting for this is quite an enormous feat, and want to make sure we aren't shooting ourselves in the foot, when we already have elevator captured under our routine maintenance plan. See below for more info.


That being said, when say a reserve study is merely indicating replacing an entire elevator (aka elevator system modernization) based on 'recommended' UL of 40 years, when otherwise the elevator is being handled by a professional property management company and being serviced by their elevator sub and running in fair condition. In fact I came across this in the Operating Cost Manual for HomeOwners by CA DRE (pg 23) ..this may warrant it's own discussion , but I'll post here and curious what folks thoughts are.....



306. Elevators
An elevator replacement reserve is not required since
the elevator usually lasts as long as the structure itself.
There is need, however, for a major component reserve
as well as a budget item for a monthly service contract.
The cost of periodic servicing of the overhead traction
elevator is higher than that for the hydraulic lift type. The
mechanism to operate the hydraulic lift elevator is much
more extensive and complicated.
Hydraulic $1,050/year (see note)
Traction Full service only—no reserve
Note: Less than a full-service contract on a hydraulic-type
elevator will require a reserve as shown above. Less than
full service is normally referred to as “oil and grease contract
service.”

Thnx,
AugustinD


Posts:3889


08/31/2020 12:55 PM  
Posted By SamA4 on 08/31/2020 12:31 PM

I briefly touched on this in another post after reviewing https://www.dre.ca.gov/files/pdf/re8.pdf (Operating Cost Manual for HomeOwners Department Real Estate CA) which says having a componenent budgeted for strictly for elevator may not be required if it is being regularly serviced.
Does your condo have a hydraulic elevator? The guide you linked and quoted states (argues) that a reserve is not required if the hydraulic elevator is being serviced under a "full-service contract."

It seems like you feel it's possible that superior routine maintenance ensures the elevator will last beyond the life of the building itself. To defend this position would require a lot of expertise, none of which your board has. What the board does have is reserve study professionals and guides like the above. I for one do not believe that "routine maintenance" of, say, an automobile engine or an automobile's suspension will ensure that the engine or suspension (short of major renovation) outlasts the life of the vehicle itself. I am speaking as a mechanical engineer with graduate degrees, experience, and three different professional licenses (all inactive).

I think your condo's elevator most likely will speak to the entire community when its cost of major repairs starts exceeding the cost of a major modernization or maybe replacement. If the frequency of breakdowns becomes a huge burden, the condo's board needs to be ready to pay for a major renovation.

What your board could do is (assuming a hydraulic elevator) budget for a full service contract. Then its position of not including this in the reserve study is defensible.

Else I think you are looking for a black-and-white answer when the reality is that reserve planning is not an exact science. The goal is to plan carefully enough, and adjust the annual assessment as needed, so that a special assessment is never needed.

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9870


08/31/2020 1:23 PM  
Sam

I would rather have an over funded reserve then come up short when something hits we did not plan on and in high rise buildings that can be any number of things.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7496


08/31/2020 2:13 PM  
Hi Sam, we have two Hydrolic elevators that only go form P-1 to street level. In our 20-y.o twin towers, they're RUL is 9 years before modernization is $195K.

Our 4 traction eevaotres are form for P-3 - 25 and also have 9 yrs. RUL at which time it will cost $1,110,000.

There are separate compnents for door operators, which we just replaced at $91,000. The traction AC Drives-Replace are estimated at $82,500.

There also are Elevators,. Rm (on the roof) ductless HVACs, elev. rm AHOs and elevator rm condensers all with a lot of RUUL. We also have a line item for each type of elevator for cab redecorating, which I can't find right now.

I've become pretty familiar with ur major mechanical components, but NOT the elevators!
AugustinD


Posts:3889


08/31/2020 2:24 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 08/31/2020 2:13 PM
I've become pretty familiar with ur major mechanical components, but NOT the elevators!
It seems like you are way more familiar with elevators than you give yourself credit for. Maybe SamA4 ought to get in touch with KerryL1's condo's management and see if they will offer still more advice?
AugustinD


Posts:3889


08/31/2020 2:26 PM  
KerryL1, can you talk about breakdowns of your condo's elevators? How old are they? Have they ever been modernized?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9870


08/31/2020 2:48 PM  
As I understand it hydraulic elevators are for 4 or less stories. Traction for over 4 stories.
SamA4
(California)

Posts:7


08/31/2020 3:54 PM  
Hi Kerry,

I think this approach is more effective versus budgeting for a "lump sum" large elevator repair. I tried to ask our property management company and also the RA to break out this into multiple sub components like what you've seemed to identify, but it never happened. Instead we are stuck saving upwards of 300 k for elevator replacement costs while also contributing for general repairs in our maintenance (this seems like an unnecessary double edge sword).

How about lead times for these items?
AugustinD


Posts:3889


08/31/2020 5:10 PM  
SamA4, are your elevators hydraulic?
SamA4
(California)

Posts:7


08/31/2020 6:44 PM  
Yes it is
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7496


09/01/2020 12:39 PM  
Feeling guilty or not replying. I'll get to it later today, Sam. There are some thing I need to look up in my old files. I do think, for instance, that I remove our elevators being on thee reserves study more in the way that yours are. But, I think recall tha the RA broke i down to discrete components. Just can't recall.

Iff you'd like to contact our reserve company it is nationwide, I think, and well respected, give me an email addy & I'll reply. Its founder actually was a rocket scientist and is cited fairly frequently at davis-stirling.com.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7496


09/04/2020 7:07 PM  
Sorry--I dug out an older study and none of th categories were changed. BUT, the RA greatly increased the RUL from a few to 12 years in '18 that gives them a total UL of 30 years. This lowered our monthly contribution to those "modernization" reserves line items.

As with yours, I imagine, elevator cabs are a different reserves line item.

Well, things do seem to make them need repair from time to time, but not often. They are original. We do pay a lot for our contract with Otis.

Ugh, sorry, not gonna dig out the reserves study again for the RUL of the elevator comments. Been kind crazy in my HOA lately and I'm not the quickest in finding materials.
SamA4
(California)

Posts:7


09/06/2020 10:19 AM  
Hi Kerry thanks that js helpful. How old is your building? With mine a building from the '70s we are beyond the typical 40-year life... Then again with various documents saying this can be pushed out if we have a service contract it makes this a very gray area. Nonetheless this is a serious component and system which one should certainly maintain to assure the safety of all in the building. That beibg said, there have been no known issues and the only negative of it being this old thus far is that the property management is able to scream at the board and owners that they need to save for the reserves for this elevator without any real justification it related to ongoing issues with the system. (E.g more than usual service calls)

I'd prefer to see the subcomponents broken out over the years based on condition and particular lifespan which would help cushion this cost less than 80k as opposed to the blanket item "modernization"
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