Eli5- How do the elevators in luxury/penthouse apartments (where the elevator opens right into the foyer of the apartment and not a common hallway) work? Is there a key? Can you lock it out so no one can come up?

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Eli5- How do the elevators in luxury/penthouse apartments (where the elevator opens right into the foyer of the apartment and not a common hallway) work? Is there a key? Can you lock it out so no one can come up?

In: Engineering
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Electronic key cards are most commonly used today. These would be similar to the cards used in hotel elevators and hotel rooms. The card is coded to allow a specific floor button to work… without the right key, the button remains inactive. The firefighters key overrides this security feature.

Usually there’s one of those electronic key cards readers in the elevator.
Unless you have the right key card the elevator will ignore you every time you press the button for that floor.
A lot of hotels have something similar for access to a particular floor.
Also there’s usually another lockable door between the elevator and the rest of the apartment.

Generally if you’re going to a floor where the exit is a private space, you have to swipe a key card or enter a code. Without today, the elevator will ignore anyone pushing the button for that floor.

I imagine it works the same way as I have seen in workplaces where you need to either swipe a card to select that floor, or someone from up there needs to press a button to allow you up (like you buzz them or text them). I guess really modern ones might use retina or fingerprint scan too.

Thankfully yes. “Keyed elevator entry” is the fancy name for it. In my old place it was basically instead of having a front door that locked with a Medeco key, you had a keyhole in the elevator. Turn it to open and anyone can come up. Lock it and the elevator won’t stop on that floor. Just like a front door lock but in the elevator instead. Just as secure.

There are many designs. Controlling access to the floor, through an access card for example, is a common design. Having the elevator open into an entry vestibule, with a locking “front door” is also common, often in a configuration where the door can be stowed “open” when you are expecting company.

You have a security fob or card you hold to a sensor when hitting the floor button. Without it, floor won’t select. High rise building use them for many doors, like from garage, loading dock, to enter pool or gym, etc. so all residents will have them anyway. And each can be programmed to allow access to specific locations or not.

Yes, there’s a key, either literally, or a keycard.

Depending on the elevator manufacturer and how it’s programmed, you may be able to have the elevator stop at the private floor and the doors just won’t open… or, the elevator can refuse to go to the floor altogether.

Source: I work in automation, and one of my workplace’s elevators has a keycard lock for one of the floors because it opens directly into a restricted area.