BCAB #1667 - Height of Handrails, Sentence

March 12, 2010

BCAB #1667

Re: Height of Handrails, Sentence

Project Description
This appeal involves the continuous handrail as it wraps around centre wall at landings between flights. The handrail is 36 inches above the nosing until a few inches before the bottom of the flight where it slopes a bit more steeply to meet the portion of the handrail wrapping around the end of the centre wall. The other option would have been to maintain the handrail’s slope parallel to the nosings and drop vertically the few inches to meet the handrail wrapping around the end of the centre wall.

Reason for Appeal
Sentence requires handrails to be “. . . not less than 865 mm (34”) and not more than 965 mm (38”) high . . .” Sentence requires at least one handrail to be continuous throughout the length of the stairway, including landings.

Appellant’s Position
The appellant contends that the handrail conforms to Sentence because it is never more than 965 mm nor less than 865 mm above the nosings and nowhere does the Code require the handrail to be parallel to the line through the nosings.

Building Official's Position
The building official maintains that Sentence gives an acceptable installation range between 865 mm  and 965mm measured vertically from a line drawn through the outside edges of the stair nosing. The installer / manufacturer chooses and maintains an installation height within the specified range, parallel to the tread nosing.

Appeal Board Decision #1667
It is the determination of the Board that the handrail design is in conformance with the requirements of Sentences and (5). The handrail height is within the specified height range and is continuous. There is no requirement for the handrail to be parallel with the line drawn through the stair nosings.

George Humphrey, Chair