BCAB #1367 - Design of Guardrail to Prevent Climbing, Article

November 16, 1994

BCAB #1367

Re: Design of Guardrail to Prevent Climbing, Article

Project Description

The project in question is a dwelling unit with an above ground sun deck. The design for the required guard around the sun deck shows pickets which are 3/4" thick and 31/2" wide and are shaped to resemble turned spindles. The guardrail design indicates the "spindles" are installed 2" apart which would leave a minimum space between the widest portions of the "spindles" of 4".

Reason for Appeal

Article stipulates that all required guards around decks attached to buildings of residential occupancy be designed so that "...no member, attachment or opening located between 100 mm and 900 mm above the balcony floor will facilitate climbing."

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the pickets do not facilitate climbing if installed correctly and notes that the spacing between the pickets is critical in making the guard safe.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the drawings submitted by the appellant are accurate and representative of the installation in question. The parallel faces of the pickets are about 55 mm (2") apart and the opposing contours provide a climbable design.

Appeal Board Decision #1367

It is the determination of the Board that the pickets as installed (2" between parallel faces) facilitate climbing. Although spacing the pickets farther apart would prevent climbing the openings between the pickets would then exceed the maximum permitted by the code.

Original signed by

George R. Humphrey, Chair