BCAB #1354 - Guardrail, Design to Prevent Climbing, Article 188.8.131.52.
May 20, 1994
Re: Guardrail, Design to Prevent Climbing, Article 184.108.40.206.
This appeal concerns the design of two similar aluminum guardrails installed on top of a parapet wall. The one style uses vertical pickets spaced about 40 mm apart and the other style uses glass in-fill panels. Both styles are designed to be installed close to the inside face of a parapet wall surrounding a balcony or deck
Reason for Appeal
Article 220.127.116.11. requires guards around exterior porches, decks, landings and balconies of buildings of residential occupancy...to be designed so that no member, attachment or opening located between 100 mm and 900 mm above the balcony floor will facilitate climbing.
The appellant contends that their design meets the intent of the code and does not facilitate climbing because the two small ledges formed between the lower rail and the top of the wall and between the lower rail and the glass or picket do not provide a toe hold. In addition, the spacing between the pickets is small enough to prevent a toe hold between them.
Building Official's Position
The building official maintains that space between the pickets does facilitate climbing in the area between 100 mm and 900 mm above the balcony floor as does the ledge at the bottom of the glass guard.
Appeal Board Decision #1354
It is the determination of the Board that the guard designs in question could facilitate climbing under some conditions of installation. Variables such as the design and height of the top of the parapet wall will effect the climbability of the guard. The Board also considered the bottom rail of both designs could provide a toe hold which would facilitate climbing.
George R. Humphrey, Chair