For the similar programme in Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) Public Housing Estate blocks in Hong Kong, China, Please refer to Lift Modernisation Programme.
Lift Upgrading Program logo

Lift Upgrading Programme logo.

Lift Upgrading Programme (usually abbreviated as LUP, Chinese: 电梯翻新) is a program run by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) in Singapore. It is a project which upgrades and improves elevators at HDB flats across Singapore which did not have lift access to all units originally (all of them built before 1990s), and is expected to be completed by end 2014, although some 200 blocks will still not have direct lift access for all units. HDB will research on ideas to solve these issues.[1]

Lift Upgrading Programme was also a part of the Main Upgrading Programme (MUP)[2], and IUP+ for optional choices in the 1990s.


HDB blocks in Singapore with 7 or more floors built before 1990 were built with one or two, (and in some exceptional cases) up to six elevators that only served certain floors (usually in between 2 to 6 stories) to meet privacy and to reduce construction costs.

The goal of LUP is to upgrade, improve and modernize the existing old elevators so that they can serve all floors as possible. Elevators upgraded and modernized/refurbished under the LUP program have received the following specifications:

  • New cab design.
  • Fixtures - buttons and LED floor indicators (mostly provided by Dewhurst).
  • Center opening landing doors with see-through windows.
  • Automated voice guidance.
  • Additional car operating panel for those on wheelchair installed on sidecar wall (for high rise installations that serve 20 floors and above.)
  • New elevators for sections previously not having direct access to an elevator. These elevators are constructed as extensions, with two variants; one with the machine room on the rooftop, and one with the machine room at the bottom, in this case, bottom-drive traction which are more common.

Additionally, newer flats with elevators installed under the LUP program also have the same specifications with those refurbished elevators in older flats. Newer flats that are 30 to 40 floors high have high speed elevators, mostly installed by Fujitec or Mitsubishi.

Elevators in HDB blocks are often serviced or repaired by Essential Maintenance Service Unit (EMSU). EMSU is a 24 hours service provided by the Town Council in each HDB estates which repairing breakdown elevators and rescuing trapped passengers should the elevator experiencing failure.

Telemonitoring System (TMS)

The Telemonitoring System (TMS) is a system which monitors elevators in high-rise public housing, which was started out the HDB in 1984. As of August 2007, there are more than 17,500 elevators monitored by the system. TMS uses SCADA-based technology to monitor the status of the elevators in real-time from a centralized master station for events such as breakdown and trapped passengers. The elevator maintenance companies are automatically notified of any problem and in most cases, repairs are carried out even before a complaint is received. The introduction of TMS has resulted in better elevator performance as historical data allowed the Town Councils, who are maintaining the HDB estates, to pinpoint problem areas and improve the method of maintenance. Besides detecting problems with the elevators, TMS can also be used to carry out remote testing of elevators and other emergency standby equipment.

Timeline of elevator specifications

1950s (Singapore Improvement Trust era)

Sigma 2009
"Some elevator parts here seems missing!"
This list/page is incomplete. You can help the Elevatorpedia by expanding it.

The Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT), HDB's predecessor, built very few high-rise blocks as compared to the HDB; mostly in Old Airport Road, Dakota Crescent, and Stirling Road (Queenstown). These flats were on average seven floors high, and equipped with one elevator installed on the centre core of the building. Elevators in SIT flats were usually installed by Schindler (?, needing confirmation). The first elevators to be installed in SIT flats were from Upper Pickering Street built in 1952 and demolished in the early 2000s.

Elevators from this era are distinguished by :

  • Wooden cab
  • Prominent circular fan on the ceiling, surrounded by two fluorescent lamps
  • Single sliding door
  • No door close button
  • Button indicators written beside the black buttons (as opposed to being engraved on the buttons itself)
  • Usually installed in the block's centre core, usually serving levels 1, 3, and 6.
  • All fixtures supplied by Schindler themselves

A rare example is shown below:

Note that the majority of such SIT blocks were demolished throughout the 1990s, so the information above cannot be confirmed.


Elevators in HDB blocks built in the 1960s were mostly installed by Hitachi, Schindler and Express Lift (only from about 1967 onwards). They are mostly found in Commonwealth and Boon Lay. Express Lift (first generation) elevator was found in Toa Payoh, the oldest estate in Singapore, and another one was also found in Block 119 Taman Jurong but it has since been replaced into Fujitec. Very little is known about elevators from this era, as most 1960s HDB blocks, however, have since been renovated or demolished.

Elevators from this era are mostly distinguished by:

  • A simpler, more monotonous design, utilising one colour (either dark yellow, green, white or blue). Express Lifts may have metallic cabs. Refurbished ones in the 1990s were mostly given a blue colour.
  • Using either single or double doors.
  • Simple metallic floor indicators above the door, with small red lights indicating the floor the elevator is travelling through.
  • Black Lexan buttons supplied by Otis themselves
  • A capacity of 8 persons/545 kg, though exceptions may exist.
  • Circular, less decorartive fan on top, still surrounded by 2 fluorescent lamps, although this time round they do not stick out and are protected by a fruther layer of glass.
  • Often installed in the middle of a flight of stairs, in-between two floors. Usually serve from 1, 5, 8, 11, etc.

There was also a 1960s Express Lift elevator in this era. An example was found in Block 79 Toa Payoh Central HDB before it was demolished[3] [4] [5].


Most elevators during in the early 1970s to early 1980s were installed by the Fuji Engineering Company (now Fujitec in Singapore after 1977), Fujitec, Fiam, Marryat & Scott, Express Lift (only until 1973), and Schindler. They have similar basic characteristics of the 1960s elevators.

During that era, besides HDB building flats, the Jurong Town Corporation (JTC) also built flats too in Jurong with lifts that have been known to contract Hitachi, Fiam, Marryat & Scott, Toshiba, and Otis to install the lifts. They were found mostly in Pandan Gardens and in Boon Lay. As they were handed over to HDB's management just like the SIT flats, they could also be selected for upgrading programmes.

Unique characteristics of Fujitec elevators from this era:

  • Always have single door
  • Originally yellow in colour (many were refurbished with a blue interior during the 1990s)
  • Has the old Fujitec "bell" logo on top of capacity ratings, all which are engraved with metal
  • Typical 1970s Fujitec round button fixtures and circular metal indicator, with floor numbers inside the circle.
  • Older Fujitec Installations from 1973 - 1976 used "candlelight" style indicators with floor numbers in it's exact shape on the exterior with interior ones having floor numbers in the circle itself.
  • Installations from 1973 - 1977 had the manufacturer's decal engraved in the cab as "Fuji" before being renamed Fujitec in 1977.

Unique characteristics of Toshiba elevators:

  • Has a digital segments floor indicators (if IUP refurbished).They have conventional floor counter with orange illuminating numbers if not refurbished.
  • Center-opening and double sliding doors
  • Fan is hidden by square cover
  • Operating instructions listed in Chinese
  • Rectangular-shaped buttons, yellow illuminations. Exterior buttons are circular and made out of plastic
  • Usually have white cab colour if original and orange cab colour if IUP refurbished.

Unique characteristics of Marryat & Scott elevators:

  • Indicator is integrated numbers and illuminations (orange in colour, in the Gill Sans typeface)
  • Brand is not given as equipment was assembled by another company.
  • External lift button reads "LIFT COMING"
  • Buttons used were the 1970s Dewhurst US81 series
  • Usually comes in white or dark green cab colour. Many were refurbished with blue cab during in the 1990s.
  • Some elevators were refurbished in the 1990s by Thames Valley Controls and were given white or dark green cab colour. An example of this was found in Blk. 13 Holland Village and Blk. 168A Queensway

Unique characteristics of Hitachi elevators:

  • The doors come in single sliding two-speed doors [for Taman Jurong JTC flats (All JTC flats were handed over to HDB's Management in 1982)]
  • Square metallic buttons with metallic border after refurbishment. Original cab has plastic buttons.
  • Mostly have digital floor indicators
  • Cab colour comes in white, those which have been refurbished in the 1990s were given blue colour.
Unique characteristics of Otis elevators:
  • A simpler, more monotonous design, utilising one colour (either dark yellow, green or blue). Refurbished ones in the 1990s were given a blue colour.
  • Using either single or double doors.
  • Simple metallic floor indicators above the door, with small red lights indicating the floor the elevator is travelling through.
  • Black Lexan buttons supplied by Otis themselves
  • A capacity of 8 persons/545 kg, though exceptions may exist.
  • Circular, less decorative fan on top, still surrounded by 2 fluorescent lamps, although this time round they do not stick out and are protected by a further layer of glass.
  • Often installed in the middle of a flight of stairs, in-between two floors.


Mostly installed by Fujitec. Distinguishing features include:

  • Originally fitted with white plastic buttons that are flatter and less concave as opposed to 1970s Fujitec variants. However, in the mid-1990s, when most of these elevators underwent aesthetic refurbishment, they were replaced with metallic buttons with red illuminations at the bottom, a standard fixture for Fujitec HDB elevators at that time.
  • Unique, square font for the indicators.
  • Originally yellow in colour, with a blue ceiling. As mentioned previously though, most of these elevators were refurbished to blue.
  • Often serve between 1, 6, 11, 16, etc.
  • Not found in between floors on staircases.
  • There is a rarer variant of these elevators found in Executive Maisonette blocks. These elevators use digital displays as standard, double doors and have metallic external doors.

Most of these elevators underwent refurbishment in the 1990s to the blue colour scheme, as already mentioned. However, exceptions exist:

  • Some elevators remained in their original yellow scheme until the very end.
  • Some were given pink or grey schemes instead.
  • Others had digital displays installed.
  • Potong Pasir variants retained their original colour scheme, but are generally well-preserved compared to those of other estates, having hardened metal floors often seen in cargo lifts, as well as railings.
  • Quite a substantial number of these elevators were refurbished for the second time as part of the Interim Upgrading Programme (IUP). These elevators have unique interiors, digital LED displays, newer metallic capacity plates, and in some cases braille fixtures, automated voices, and "dinner bells".

In some few commercial HDB blocks built in the 1980s, elevators were installed by Mitsubishi, Fujitec, or Schindler. Express Lift was also known to install a few commercial lifts in the late 1980s as well. These elevators typically have a larger capacity and fixtures were  provided by elevator companies.

Late 1980s to early 1990s

Mostly installed by Fujitec, they were a minor facelift of the 1980s variants. Characteristics are:

  • Basic digital display as standard.
  • Either single (more common) or double-doored
  • Fitted with same plastic buttons as their predecessors.
  • New metallic capacity plate.
  • Later variants may stop at all floors, bar the top one where the machine room is installed.
  • May be blue, green, pink, grey or wooden in interior scheme.

Mid 1990s

Beginning in the 1990s, most elevators were standrdised to octagonal-shaped cabs, has Dewhurst ULS47H LED series floor indicators and US90-15 buttons (except for LG), automated voices and door closing beeps (depending on manufacturer). Note that some elevator buttons were still provided by manufacturers themselves, like those elevators installed by LG.

New manufacturers were contracted by the HDB to install elevators, such as GoldStar (later LG and currently Sigma), Dong Yang, and Express Lift.

In this era, the capacity for Lift A was typically 10 persons/680 kilograms, while Lift B retaining 8 persons/545 kilograms.

Many older elevators that do not stop at all floors were refurbished or completely replaced under the Main Upgrading Programme (MUP) and IUP scheme, usually carried out by EM Services, Otis, and Fujitec, although exceptions are not uncommon. The level of modernisation varies:

  • IUP and certain MUP projects: Some were only major cosmetic refurbishments, and do not stop at every floor. Such blocks have since gotten LUP, adding new elevators to provide access to all units.
  • MUP and a small minority of IUP projects: The block's two elevators were refurbished in different ways; Lift A was torn down completely and given a proper new elevator to serve all units, whereas Lift B is simply refurbished, remaining a limited stop elevator as before. Or all the lifts get entirely replaced.
  • Later MUP projects: Post 2001, as well as some earlier ones had elevators to serve all units, in some cases building new ones.

Elevator doors were also equipped with two sets of (then) undecorated glass windows on the doors, as well as CCTVs to counter vandalism, urinating, or anti-social acts inside the elevators.[6]

Studio apartments built for elderly contain a special hospital (bed) elevator with extended door open time feature and a exclusive call feature which prevents the elevator from answering hall calls during it's way up/down. This exclusive feature is activated by a red button outside the elevator and it is activated by paramedics in the event of an emergency.

Unique characteristics of Dong Yang

  • Interior mostly comes in white and light blue. Later installations in the early 2000s have white or light yellow colour scheme.
  • Door colour scheme comes in dark green, dark blue, light blue, light yellow, and brown.
  • Early installations have black Dong Yang logo, while later installations have the red Dong Yang logo.
  • Using oval metal buttons with red lamp provided by Dong Yang.
  • Mostly have vertical dogbone decoration for the door windows, similar to Otis.
  • Door edge metal frame is relatively thick.
  • On late models, the number on the floor indicator scrolls.

Unique characteristics of Express Lift

  • Mostly have a capacity of 10 persons/680 kilograms (for Lift A, Lift B often have a slightly smaller capacity of 8 persons/545 kilograms), although taller blocks (like those in Toa Payoh) have larger capacity of 16 persons/1090 kilograms.
  • Cab color usually comes in two color shades, ranging from dark blue, light blue, brown, white, pink, and even dark green.
  • Glass window metal frame is relatively thick.
  • Have round metal buttons with red lamp on the center (buttons supplied by Dewhurst, older US100 series). Elevators installed in Toa Payoh high rise blocks have square metal buttons.
  • On floor indicators, there is an elevator identification ("Lift X") and block location.
  • Have big bumpers on the doors
  • Doesn't have nudge mode , however has unique buzzer sound when call buttons are pressed.
  • Have UK accent automated voices.

Unique characteristics of Fujitec elevators

  • Cab colour vary, mostly comes in light blue or cream.
  • Using Unknown Vandal-Resistant buttons.
  • Glass windows have a diamond shape pattern on the center.

Unique characteristics of GoldStar elevators

  • Glass windows on doors are rather tall compared to other manufacturers. The window frame is also thick, similar to Express Lift.
  • Usually comes in a colour of white, green, or blue.
  • Using Dewhurst US81 braille buttons.

Unique characteristics of LG elevators

  • Early installations (in 1994) adopts the design that was previously used by GoldStar before changing name, like voices, door beeps, and taller glass windows
  • Later installations have shorter glass windows on doors with thinner metal frame
  • Cab colour comes in cream with patterns, light blue, and sometimes dark brown
  • Glass windows have a "palm tree" pattern. Early installations that adopts GoldStar's design do not have patterns.
  • Unlike other manufacturers, the buttons used are square metal that resembles STEP EB210 series. Early installations that adopts GoldStar's design, however, have Dewhurst US81 braille buttons.

Unique characteristics of Otis elevators

  • Cab mostly comes in blue or grey.
  • Door colour mostly comes in blue or grey.
  • Glass windows are aligned to the sides rather than centralized.
  • Window pane supports having the vertical "dogbone" pattern.
  • On floor indicators, there is an elevator identification ("Lift X") below the block number.
  • Has chimes that are used in Otis 3200 elevators.
  • Using Dewhurst US81 braille buttons.

2000s to present

Specifications in newer elevators in the early 2000s remain unchanged, only with some minor updates in the fixtures and cab designs, of which the most prominent are wider glass windows that are decorated. ULift is an exception), and the increased capacity to 13 persons/885 kg for both elevators (only for new blocks, most LUP projects have 10 persons/885 kilograms capacity).

The LUP scheme was launched in 2001, with the pioneer batch being Block 73 Toa Payoh. Meanwhile, the IUP scheme was replaced with the IUP Plus scheme, combining LUP and IUP together. IUP Plus and MUP were discontinued in 2007 in favour of Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP) and Home Improvement Programme (HIP) respectively.

In 2014, the 22-year-old Main Upgrading Programme was discontinued. Teck Ghee Grandeur at blocks 456 to 460 in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 was the last precinct in Singapore to complete the Main Upgrading Programme[7].

In this era, there were few more elevator manufacturers contracted by the HDB, they are Sigma, IFE and ULift, although Fujitec still remains one of the largest supplier of elevators in HDB. Elevator fixtures are still supplied by Dewhurst (floor indictors), Everbright (most of the buttons) and elevator manufacturers themselves (Mitsubishi, EM Services, some late Dong Yang, and some Sigma elevators).

Unique characteristics of IFE elevators:

  • Cab mostly comes in single colour or wooden scheme.
  • Chimes used are from IFE.

Unique characteristics of Mitsubishi elevators:

  • Usually comes in a colour scheme of white, brown, yellow, or gold.
  • Newer installations have metal cab design.
  • Elevator buttons provided by Mitsubishi, which are round grey.
  • Door windows have a fish-shaped decoration.
  • Door buzzer uses Mitsubishi's nudge mode buzzer.

Unique characteristics of Sigma elevators:

  • Door colour scheme comes in cream, white, orange, and brown.
  • Door window decoration uses the "palm tree" shape that was previously used by LG in the 1990s.
  • Some elevators, however, uses standard Sigma rectangular buttons.

Scenic elevators

In the late 2000s, scenic elevators were installed in several flats by IFE, EM Services, and ULift as part of an experimental project. The first scenic elevator installed in the HDB was installed in Blk. 246/247 Jurong West by IFE. Later, IFE installed another four scenic elevators in Tekka Centre HDB flats in Little India. EM Services did the same by installing several scenic elevators in flats along Owen Road (in Farrer Park). These scenic elevators, however, are facing maintenance problems due to a lack of support in the shaft which could result in elevator engineers falling down from the top car while maintaining the elevators.

Home elevators

Home elevators style first appeared in the late 2000s and are normally found in smaller HDB flats. These flats are three to four-storey high and have stairs for two units. BNF and Sigma are the major supplier for these style of elevators. These elevators have smaller capacity (4 to 6 persons), center or two speed telescopic landing doors, undecorated windows, speed of less than 1 m/s and fixtures provided by the elevator companies, and often generic elevator component companies.

Elevators with original cab but modernized

This style of installation is extremely rare, and is usually reserved for Lift B of blocks with lease dates 1991 to 1993 that already served most or all the units originally. These elevators retained their original cab, but the buttons have been replaced with modern Dewhurst style ones, automated voices added and smoother stops. Note that Lift A is totally replaced with a new one. Such installations are possibly an effort to reduce costs. Examples of such unique installations can be found at Blk. 307 and 311 Tampines, Blk 4 Joo Chiat Complex, and Blk. 305 Choa Chu Kang.

Elevators installed by other manufacturers

These elevators were installed by other manufacturers not contracted by HDB and are very uncommon. Most of these elevators do not follow the standard specifications of LUP, and most of their designs and fixtures were supplied by the elevator manufacturers themselves. An example of this can be found in Blk. 107 Aljunied and Blk. 1 Chin Swee Road.

List of elevator companies contracted in the LUP program


Here is a list of the elevator companies that are currently known to be contracted by the Housing and Development Board to supply elevators in the Lift Upgrading Programme.

Elevator companies Year Notes
BNF 2009 - present This is an elevator division that belongs to an engineering company. It mainly supplies home elevators for low rise HDB blocks.
Chevalier 1970's, 1990s - 2003, late 2000's - present Chevalier is a company which supplies IFE elevators in HDB since in the late 2000's, other than being a supplier for Toshiba and (formerly) Dong Yang elevators for commercial projects in Singapore. Originally they supplied Dong Yang elevators from the 1990's to 2003 and Toshiba in 1970's.
EM Services
1993 - present
(2007 - present with BLT)

EM services is a joint venture between the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and Keppel Land Limited ,and is also involved in estate management. Originally in the 1990s, they refurbished elevators as part of the Main Upgrading Programme (MUP), often plastering the original brand of elevator with their own. LUP-era EM elevators can be distinguished by their hexagonal-shaped buttons.

Fujitec 1972 - present Fujitec is the largest elevator supplier in HDB since their presence in Singapore in 1972. From having only approximately installed 400 lifts for the HDB in 1973, Fujitec has now installed over 10 000 lifts for HDB. It mainly focuses on new elevator installations and refurbishments of existing elevators in older HDB blocks.
Mitsubishi 1980's

2000's - present

Mitsubishi originally supplied elevators for very few commercial HDB blocks in Singapore (such as in Block 134 Jurong East and Block 4 Woodlands). They supplied a rather large portion of elevators for HDB throughout the 2000's, though they are hardly seen nowadays.
Sigma 2001 - present Sigma is a joint venture between Otis and the LG group. This company supplied elevators since 2001. They tend to make a two-note chime shortly before reaching a level, and make two 5-note chimes when doors are opening/closing.
ULift Late 2000s - present Earliest known installation is at Blk 511 Ayer Rajah. ULift is a brand of DTZ Singapore, an UGL company. The elevator doors tend to be undecorated, and the buttons are in circular shape.
XJ Elevator 2007 - present The first XJ elevator installed in HDB was at Block 235 Jurong East[8].


Here is a list of the elevator companies that were known to be contracted by the Housing and Development Board to supply elevators in the Lift Upgrading Programme prior to the 21st century.

Elevator companies Year Notes
Fiam 1970's Fiam supplied elevators for very few HDB blocks in Singapore throughout the 1970's. Their notable installations were at Block 7 Taman Jurong built in 1973 and Block 22 Holland Village, of which both of these blocks have been marked for Selective En-Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) a few years ago.
General Electric Company (GEC) 1960's,

early 1970s,

late 1980s, 1992 - 1995

This company supplied Express Lift (direct supply from their company) elevators. Mainly supplied elevators during in the 1960's then continued throughout the 1990's. Express Lift elevators were discontinued in 1995 as Express Lift was acquired by Otis together with Evans Lifts. They also supplied very few GEC-branded hydraulic elevators in commercial HDB blocks and HDB branch offices.
GoldStar 1990 - 1994 GoldStar supplied elevators for only a few years before changing their name to Lucky Goldstar (LG) in 1994.
Hitachi 1960s-early 1970s Supplied elevators throughout the 1960's and early 70s, mainly in Commonwealth Avenue and Taman Jurong.
LG 1994 - 2000's Supplied elevators throughout the mid 1990's as a continuation from GoldStar.
Marryat & Scott 1970's This British lift company mainly supplied equipment for elevators in various blocks in Holland Village and Jalan Besar during the 1970's. The lifts were assembled and installed by a local firm, General Engineering and Trading, that is still surviving up to this date (see The Straits Times, February 1972: $7mil contract)
Otis 1970's, 1990's Otis installed elevators in the 1970s for the JTC, after which they were (presumably) not contracted again until the 1990s. Throughout the 1990s, they mostly concentrated on MUP projects, modernizing their older batch of elevators. For some unknown reason, there are hardly any new installations done by Otis, but Otis continues to maintain some of their 1990's elevators as well as some 1990's Express Lift elevators.
Schindler 1950's-1980's Schindler was probably the first elevator company contracted to supply elevators in few SIT (Singapore Improvement Trust) blocks in the early 1950's, and was contracted to install lifts again in HDB blocks in the 1960s around Singapore. In the 1970s, there were some installations done in Boon Lay and Commonwealth as well. Throughout the 1980's, Schindler concentrated on supplying elevators for very few commercial HDB blocks, the most well-known installations were in Bukit Merah Central (have been replaced into EM Services elevator in 2009) and Block 2 Joo Chiat Complex (which all of these elevators have been refurbished by ULift in 2014).
Thames Valley Controls 1990's This company (which is a subsidiary of Dewhurst plc) mainly refurbished few older 1970's Marryat & Scott elevators in the 1990's. An example of their projects were at Block 13 Holland Village and Block 168A Queensway HDB.
Thyssen 1999 Unusually, Thyssen was contracted to supply elevators for HDB blocks 760-775 in Bedok in 1999.
Chevalier 1976-1979 Chevalier supplied Toshiba elevators for several JTC blocks built in 1976 - 1979. They may have been contracted again to come back and refurbish a few of their installations in the 1990s.


Upgrade vote and costs between Singaporean and Permanent Residents

Many PRs find this very unfair as only Singaporean residents get to vote whether they want the upgrade or not, while Permanent Residents (PRs) are not eligible to vote. Furthermore, PRs are to pay $10,800 for the upgrade if the majority agrees to the upgrade, while Singaporeans only needs to pay $540, the rest will be subsidised by the government and town council.

Blocked view

Many residents have complained that their home unit windows were blocked by the elevator's external shaft structure during upgrading programs, in this case when a new elevator shaft was being built.

Political issues

The upgrading of public housing, including the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP), was a major issue in the 2006 Singapore general elections. The People's Action Party (PAP) had tied the scheduling of housing upgrades to the number of votes the party received in the election. The PAP claimed hat it was successful in raising the standard of living in the country, and argued that those who support its various policies, including the upgrading, should be given priority. In the hotly contested Aljunied GRC, George Yeo (PAP)  placed lift upgrading the "top of [his] priority list" so that the lift would stop on every floor in as many blocks as possible. Sylvia Lim of the Workers' Party (WP) accused the PAP of being selective in its upgrading programmes, arguing that this is a divisive policy.


Damaged Fujitec elevator in Marsiling

On June 9, 2013, a Fujitec elevator at Block 17 Marsiling Lane HDB, Singapore was badly damaged with the landing doors on the ground floor dislodged from the door tracks.[9] It was reported that the elevator damage was due to a door alignment defect, which was suspected to be due to vandalism, but it turns out that the damage was suspected to be from misuse by workers. A spokesperson for Fujitec said that workers who move materials in and out of the elevator would use a piece of cardboard or wood to wedge the doors open. This repeated force into the gap, would cause the safety edge to become loose, and lean outwards towards the landing doors and get stuck when the elevator goes upwards, causing the doors to be dislodged from the door tracks.[10]

Malfunctioned Otis elevator in Tampines

On May 2013, an elevator in a HDB block in Tampines suddenly ascended with the doors still open when a five years old boy was about to exit the elevator. He was pulled back by his father.The elevator was identified to be Otis .[10]

Elevator breakdown in Bukit Batok West

On October 18, 2010, an elevator at Block 115 Bukit Batok West HDB which identified to be a ULift had broke down and caused two youngsters to be trapped inside for an hour. Both youngsters were not injured. An investigation had shown that the interlocks has been misused by renovation workers renovating a flat. The renovation company was fined S$2000 and was ordered to pay for the repair works on the elevator.[11]

Death of dog in Bukit Batok 

A dog was strangled to its death in Bukit Batok as the owner entered the elevator with the dog and the leash hanging outside the elevator when it ascended. The incident was witnessed by an elevator rescue team and the owner was stuck in the elevator for 10 minutes, according to STOMP and The Straits Times. The elevator is most probably Fujitec by the look of the doors.

The elevator company was found not responsible for this accident but the dog owner was held responsible.

Women's hand severed by HDB elevator doors

On October 9, 2015, an incident happened at Block 322 Tah Ching Road in Taman Jurong where a women got stuck in one of the two elevators (Lift B) on the ground floor with her left hand trapped between the elevator doors. The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has asked Jurong Town Council to suspend use of the elevator in question and to appoint an Authorised Examiner to probe the incident and submit a report[12]. The elevator's maintenance was contracted by Sigma.The sensors were found to be working and functional.

2016 breakdowns

Some elevators in various towns were plagued by breakdowns and malfunctions since early 2016.

Design and Aesthetic upgrades

Several elevators in Singapore which were upgraded before the year 2000 had aesthetic upgrades. The notable upgrades are:

  • Adding a wheelchair car operation panel for the disabled for elevators 10 storeys or higher (Completed)
  • Adding a keypad car operation panel in Mitsubishi elevators in places with high population of senior citizens (Completed)
  • Adding sensors to door bumpers (Completed) (However some express lifts in Toa Payoh don't have sensors added just yet)
  • Adding brighter lights in the elevators (In progress)
  • Adding backup power device for new installations (Completed)
  • Adding direct intercom communication to the Town Council in the area if a elevator is stuck/malfunctioned (Completed)
  • Adding CCTV cameras in the elevator (Completed)
  • Adding fault detectors in elevators (applies mostly for old elevators from the 1980's) (Completed)
  • Adding enhanced brakes in old elevators installed in the 1970's onwards (in case the ropes snap) (Completed)
  • Adding mirrors to doors (In progress)
  • Adding intercom communication with Town Council (In progress)


  • The majority of elevators in HDB flats from 1974 to present are Fujitec during its years of being HDB's exclusive supplier of elevators up till 1990. However in recent years, their prescence in newer blocks is becoming less common.
  • Most LUP elevators installed from 2007 onwards are IFE, EM Services, BNF, ULift, and Sigma although there might be occasional installations of Mitsubishi and Fujitec (though more common than Mitsubishi).
  • Most elevator's cab shape from the 1990s to present are octagonal, but some latest batch and modernized (under the LUP scheme) ones have normal square car shapes instead.
  • The average rated capacity of elevators in HDB flats are 8 persons/545 kilograms to 20 persons/1360 kilograms. Currently, the average capacity is 13 persons/885 kilograms
  • Since in the early 1990s, elevators installed or modernized under LUP scheme are using Dewhurst or Everbright fixtures as their standard fixtures.
  • The current tallest elevator installations in HDB are at Pinnacle@Duxton, which is a set of 51-storey blocks and the elevators are Fujitec elevators installed in 2009.
  • One of the fastest elevator installations in HDB are at Blk. 79A-E Toa Payoh, which are 40-storey HDB blocks and the elevators are high speed Mitsubishi elevators installed in 2009. The speed is 3.5m/s
  • Studio apartments built for the elderly contain a special hospital (bed) elevator with extended door opening time and exclusive call function which will stop the elevator from answering any call along the way up/down.
  • There is another similar programme on the Singapore MRT.[13]



  1. Flats with leases prior to 1993, as well as some jumbo flats.
  2. Main Upgrading Programme overview
  3. Elevator Enthusiasts of Singapore
  4. Elevator Enthusiasts of Singapore
  5. Elevator Enthusiasts of Singapore
  6. Their elevators usually don't have security camera system but few elevators were equipped with security camera which connected to it's monitor screen installed on the ground floor elevator lobby wall.
  7. HDB's Main Upgrading Programme complete
  8. XJ Elevator - History
  9. What happened to this lift in Marsiling?
  10. 10.0 10.1 Vandals damaged Marsiling lift but repaired already, says Town Council
  11. STOMP SCDF Officers Rescue Two Boys Trapped in Lift That Breaks Down Frequently
  12. Woman's hand severed after it got stuck between HDB lift doors
  13. Lift Upgrading Programme - Singapore Trains Wiki

See also

External links