The Escalating Cost of Escalators

by Dean Dalvit, AIA, PE on March 27, 2018

Often in larger scale commercial developments, vertical circulation is handled by escalators in addition to elevators in order to move large volumes of people from one space to another. Escalators are complex truss structures with a remarkable mechanism of chained treads that move in sync with railings in order to safely convey people.

Escalator Schematic

According to RSMeans’ Building Construction Cost Data, 2011, the in place cost for an escalator can range from $132,000 to over $210,000 depending on floor to floor height, width and finishes. Given that a 2-stop hydraulic elevator costs anywhere from $65,000 to $90,000 installed (also depending on floor to floor height, width and finishes), an escalator can be figured to be roughly double the cost of an elevator. Escalators will not provide accessibility between floors, however and so an elevator will still be required regardless.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dean Dalvit, AIA, PE August 27, 2019 at 9:49 am

Hi Wes,
We are an Architecture and Engineering firm, so we do not source escalators. I would recommend reaching out to any local supplier of vertical conveyance for actual bids for your project. If you need assistance with the design of the system and how it integrates with your existing building, let us know and we’d be happy to help. Best of luck with your project!

Wes August 24, 2019 at 8:55 am

I am looking for a bid on an escalator for our local VFW club. The stairwell is 8’ X 4’ 6”

Leave a Comment