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flo's avatar

When do you see buttons in elevators "G" for Ground and when is it "1"(1st) floor?

Asked by flo (13313points) May 23rd, 2019

In both cases the floor on the ground level.

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16 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

And G can be for garage. I think it depends on the individual building, and how they set it up. And L can be for lobby, where 1 is for the floor above.

Yellowdog's avatar

“G” is the ground floor,

and above that, traditionally, what most people call the second floor is really the First Floor.
Hence, there is a Ground floor then a First floor and a second floor and so on.

Since this is confusing, we usually see nowadays Ground floor then the Second Floor. In other words, the Ground Floor is assumed to be the first floor and above that, the floors are logically sequenced.

flo's avatar

How about P for Parking ( i.e garage)? That could be less/not confusing.
Ground is 1st that makes sense. But the basement level is just another floor level like the others why doesn’t it have a number? Confusing is right.

jca2's avatar

Whatever floor is ground floor will have a star next to the symbol. So *L or *M or *1 or *2 or whatever.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 You beat me to it. The star.

kritiper's avatar

I don’t think I have ever seen an elevator button that had a “G” for the first floor.

filmfann's avatar

My wife likes elevators that show the 1st floor as C


Yellowdog's avatar

@kritiper I’m not sure what I said or implied, but traditionally the first floor is the one above the ground floor. Since this confuses people, a lot of buildings nowadays have a second floor after the ground floor.

What I never see is a ground floor designated as the first floor on the elevator panel

JLeslie's avatar

@flo I think the logic is the numbering is for above ground. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc are floors where people actually live, or in an office building where they work. That’s why basement isn’t 1.

It varies around the country probably how the building is numbered. Even within one city it can vary. NYC has a lot of high rises and it varies a little from building to building. That’s why the star can be helpful.

Many buildings have 2 “ground” levels. Growing up the building I lived in the basement had an entrance/exit to the outside. My sister’s building before this one also had an exit out on two different floors, and it wasn’t like you had to walk up stairs to hit the ground. The ground outside was at one level in the front of the building and a different level at the back. The building also had a basement. I don’t remember her elevator.

When I lived in Memphis I remember going to the metal museum and the person at the front who took my money told me what I would see on the lower level and the upper level. I came across stairs to the basement when I first started walking through, so I thought I’d start there on the “lower level” but as I walked down I quickly realized it was just a basement. When I asked, she said a lot of people interpret lower level that way, but she meant the main level we were on, and the upper level was a floor above us. If I’m standing on the main level or lobby level, I wouldn’t call it the lower level in conversation. Maybe the elevator (I didn’t use I) had the floors designated as LL and UL, and it wasn’t just how she says it. I don’t know.

jca2's avatar

@Yellowdog: The building I work in has the ground floor as “1” on the panel.”

siddsarkar's avatar

In Europe and most British commonwealth countries, the bottom-most floor of a building is labelled as the ground floor or ‘G’, and the floor above that is labelled as the first floor or ‘1’. In the US, the ground floor and first floor are used interchangeably, with the next floor up being the second floor or ‘2’; hence in elevators in the US buildings there is either a ‘G’ button OR a ‘1’ button, but NEVER BOTH.

Yellowdog's avatar

That’s consistent with what I have observed, regardless of what I said above.

I DO think some older buildings, such as those built prior to the 1950s, such as hotels and office buildings, were consistent with the British way, But I could be wrong, or there may be no surviving examples.

jca2's avatar

More discussion on the subject:

flo's avatar

But isn’t the basement if, used for residences the same as the rest of the floors? Why have to say “If you include the basement apartments…”

Isn’t the answer to “How many floors/levels does the building have?” mean including the levels(parking etc.) below the ground? Is it not possible to answer the question with one word, or number?

Yellowdog's avatar

Well, there are no steadfast rules on this. Just like stylebooks for journalists and writers and English majors don’t go by the same criteria. Just accept one style and be consistent with it.

It varies from building to building. Just learn what system the building utilizes. Few probably think much about it, except how to get to where they are going in that particular building on that particular day.

flo's avatar

@Yellowdog The question is which way is the one that works? (i.e to not have to figure out anything) every time or a lot of the time in a building.

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