Balustrade Heights – Wakefield Glass & Aluminium

Balustrade Heights

Low-level residential decks:

For low-level residential decks the balustrade should be set at a minimum height of 900mm on both stairs and landings and resist a minimum horizontal uniformly distributed line load of 0.36kN/m, a uniformly distributed load  applied to the infill of 0.5kN/m2 and a point load applied to part of the infill of 0.25kN.

High-level residential decks:

High-level residential and commercial decks in public areas which are used to move people through (and are not susceptible to overcrowding) include stairs, landings, corridors, external balconies and ramps. These should have the balustrade set at a minimum height of 900mm on stairs and 1100mm on landings and resist a minimum horizontal uniformly distributed line load of 0.74kN/m, a uniformly distributed load applied to the infill of 1.0kN/m2 and a point load applied to part of the infill of 0.5kN.

Balustrades in commercial areas with tables or fixed seating where people may congregate and are susceptible to overcrowding should have the balustrade set at 900mm on stairs and 1100mm for landings and horizontal guarding. Balustrades for these environments should resist a minimum horizontal uniformly distributed line load of 1.5kN/m, a uniformly distributed load applied to the infill of 1.5kN/m2 and a point load applied to part of the infill of 1.5kN.

The balustrade should be designed so that it is not easily climbable and not allow the passage of a 100mm sphere.

Document K: Building Regulations 1992

This regulation details that stairs should be designed, constructed and installed so that they are safe for people to use when moving between different levels in buildings. Key points include:

  • Twice the rise plus the going (2R+G) should be between 550 and 700mm.
  • Handrails should be provided to at least one side if the stairs is less than 1 metre wide.
  • For stairs wider than 1 metre handrails should be provided to both sides.
  • There is no need for handrails beside the bottom 2 steps of a stairs.
  • For domestic situations the handrail should be set at a minimum height of 900mm on both stairs and landings.
  • For public situations the handrail should be set at a minimum height of 900mm on stairs and 1100mm on landings.
  • There should be no opening in the balustrade that would allow the passage of a 100mm sphere.
  • The "guarding" should be able to resist a horizontal loading of 0.36kN per metre run for domestic stairs, 0.74kN per metre for public stairs not susceptible to overcrowding and 1.5KN for all other public stairs.
  • The maximum pitch for a domestic stairs is 42° and between 33° and 38° for a public stairs depending on its use