Stairs vs. Elevators

I have been taking the stairs up to my 4th floor cube for quite some time now. It's not a major workout but it gets the blood pumping and that can't be bad. The health benefits are marginal but I have always been convinced that the environmental impacts were much larger. Elevator companies are very tight lipped with the energy usage statistics for their lifts. Some of their arguments for this are very valid. There are at least a dozen different variables that determine the energy usage for a specific elevator. Some of these are motor type, number of floors for the average trip, number of passengers, and the weight of the car. That being said, it is plainly obvious that lifting a ton or two up three or four floors 100 times a day uses some energy and pumps some GH gasses into the air.

I was surprised to learn that the average elevator system accounts for between 5 and 15 percent of a building's energy usage. Imagine what companies could do with those cost savings. All they would need to do is encourage stair walking for health and the company's bottom line. It's a thought but I doubt it will ever happen.

Here's a PDF with some good info... http://www.energydesignresources.com/docs/end-30.pdf