On July 1, the new Complementary Technical Instruction—ITC AEM 1 on “Elevators”—of the Ministry of Industry will come into force, which will require the renovation of elevators in many buildings to adopt new “minimum safety measures.” According to El Periódico, it is estimated that more than 150,000 elevators will have to undergo repairs to catch up with the law in Catalonia alone. 

The Gremi Empresarial d’Elevators of Catalonia reports that the majority of Catalan elevators will have to be renovated in the coming decades. “Between 75% and 80% will need some intervention or improvement,” estimates Pere Piñero, president of the association. Of the 202,000 elevators in Catalonia, between 151,500 and 161,600 will need modifications.

According to Piñero, those installed less than 10 years ago should not be affected by the new measure, although he warns that “there are things to review from the previous regulations of 2013 until now” since some of those that have been installed since then “may need small adjustments.

This new rule will entail an expense that, according to the elevator union, could range from 500 euros – for some specific addition – to 40,000 euros – when a major remodeling is the only option. Both installation companies and property managers are demanding subsidies to finance these repairs.

“In some cases, the investment can reach 30,000 euros,” estimates Lorenzo Viñas, president of the Col·legi d’Administradors de Finques de Barcelona, ​​who warns that many communities “will have difficulties” to assume such significant investments at once. For this reason, he advises creating “a reserve fund” that helps minimize the economic impact of the relevant reform.

For this reason, the organizations have requested a subsidy line from the Housing Agency of Catalonia – dependent on the Generalitat – although the Agency itself has already confirmed to El Periódico that, for now, no subsidies are planned to cover these works .

The new regulations list seven safety measures that, if not already implemented, each elevator must adopt within a period of up to seven years. Among these measures we find weight control, a system of communication with the outside world by telephone and guaranteeing that the stop at each landing is done accurately – to avoid stumbling. 

It is estimated that the improvements planned for the entire existing elevator park in Spain will have an economic impact – cost – of around 708 million euros to be addressed in the 7-year term.

There are about 20,000 elevators in Catalonia—those in operation since the late 1960s—that will have to replace the guides, a very expensive operation. Many are found in Barcelona, ​​where 1,220 of these have already been identified, classified as historic elevators. Barcelona City Council announced that it offered to pay for 30% of the conservation tasks of these emblematic devices, as long as “the original compositional values” were protected.