BCAB #1301- Handrail Design, Clause 188.8.131.52.(3)(a) and Subsection 9.8.7
April 26, 1993
Re: Handrail Design, Clause 184.108.40.206.(3)(a) and Subsection 9.8.7
This appeal relates to the cross-sectional shape of a handrail used on stairs.
Reason for Appeal
Clause 220.127.116.11.(3)(a) of the 1992 B.C. Building Code requires handrails to be "continuously graspable along the entire length."
The appellant considers the design shown below to be "graspable" and feels it should be acceptable under Clause 18.104.22.168.(3)(a).
Building Official's Position
The building official has relied on a suggestion in the Appendix Item A22.214.171.124.(3)(a) that a diameter of 40 mm (1.57 in) is the preferred size for a handrail. The official feels that the 3.25 in (825 mm) wide handrail manufactured by the appellant is too wide to be "graspable".
Appeal Board Decision #1301
It is the determination of the Board that a 3.25" (825 mm) wide handrail is not graspable as intended by Clause 126.96.36.199.(3)(a). Sentence 188.8.131.52.(15) requires all handrails in Part 3 buildings to conform to the requirements of Section 3.4. The Board considers that handrails in Part 9 buildings, including dwellings, must also be graspable because Article 184.108.40.206. requires handrails to provide a "handhold" and the common understanding of a handrail is to be grasped by the hand.
The Board recommends that the Building Code be revised to more clearly define the design of handrails.
George R. Humphrey, Chair