BCAB #1334a - Handrails on Stairs, Sentences & (7)

January 19, 1994

BCAB #1334

Re: Handrails on Stairs, Sentences & (7)

Project Description

This appeal concerns the design of handrails at landings in a multi-storey office building designed under the 1985 B.C. Building Code. The handrails in question are welded steel tube and form a continuous combination guard and handrail on the inside of the stairs. At the landing between each flight of stairs the handrail continues as the top rail of a guard 1070 mm above the landing as compared to the handrail height of 920 mm above the stair nosings.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence requires handrails to be between 800 mm and 920 mm above the stair nosing. Sentence requires the handrails to extend one tread width beyond the bottom riser and then a further 300 mm horizontally unless the handrail is continuous.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the transition from handrail to guard at each landing is the circumstance Sentence permits by excluding the need for handrail extensions at the bottom of a stair when the handrail is continuous.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the Code requires the continuous handrails in this location to be a constant height rather than the variable height proposed by the appellant. The building official has suggested that the continuous handrail remain at the 920 mm height and a separate 1070 mm high guard be provided at the landings.

Appeal Board Decision #1334

In reviewing this appeal the Board also considered relevant Sentence, which requires a continuous handrail and Sentence, which controls the height of guards on stairs and landings. The Board notes there is no requirement for handrail height at landings. Therefore, the Board considers the design in question to meet the requirements of the Code for handrails on stairs and guards on stairs and landings. As the handrail is continuous the extensions are not required.

George R. Humphrey, Chair