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Mezzanine floors: Staircase and handrail design

July 21, 2010

Staircase and handrail design for mezzanine floors and part K of the building regulations. 

Medieval staircase in use

Medieval staircase

A recent visit to Eastern Europe reminded me how we take for granted the safety offered by compliance with Building Regulations at home.

Part K1 of the regulations deals with the design of stairs, ladders and ramps whilst part K2  deals with protection from falling from exposed edges, and it is only these parts that relate directly to mezzanine floors.

Stairs need to be designed to suit the quantity of people using them, the nature of the environment in which they are used, and the people within that environment, so widths can vary as can the length and height of treads and the incline of the staircase within the specified ranges of the regulations that ensure comfort in use.

The one rule of thumb within these ranges is that the length and height of treads should be consistent in order to prevent users stumbling.

Hand railing also needs to be designed appropriately for the quantity and type of people using it. When guarding a mezzanine floors edge, hand railing needs to comply with the height requirements set out in the regulations.

Depending upon the application, the handrail will either require a hand and knee rail at specified heights and kick plate in industrial environments or where access is open to the public and children, infill of some kind will be required with no horizontal elements that could be climbed by children. If vertical elements are used, then they must be spaced to comply with the regulations, so that not only is there no risk of falling through but also children are not able to get their heads stuck between them.

Different hand rail load bearing ability will also be required depending upon the environment in which the handrailing is being used to ensure there is no risk of collapse should it be exposed to crowding.

To access a free copy of the Building Regulations from the Governments planning portal click below:

Approved document K – Protection from falling collision and impact (1998 edition)

Mezzanine floors, stairs, handrailing and balustrading designed by Llonsson Ltd will always take account of the environment in which they are being used and will be designed to fully comply with the building regulations.

 For help with the design of your mezzanine floor call Llonsson Ltd on 01883 622068

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Llonsson Ltd

49 Court Farm Road,
CR6 9BL United Kingdom

T: 01883 622068 F: 01883 623280

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