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WHAT ARE THE BUILDING REGULATIONS AROUND THE USE OF BALUSTRADE?

Thursday December 14, 2023

Within the industry, there are a number of regulations and standards that determine what systems can be installed for each scenario.  We have compiled a brief summary of the regulations for your reference; please note that all of the information contained here is intended for guidance purposes only and will vary between countries.

Below is a guide to building regulations that relate to balustrades within England and Wales. More information can be found on the BSI website:

  • BS6180 2011 – Code of practice for barriers in and about building
  • BS EN 12600 – Glass in building. Pendulum test. Impact test method and classification for flat glass
  • BS6206 1982 – Code of practice for the glazing for buildings
  • BS6399- Loading for buildings-all parts
  • Building regulations part K; Stairs, ramps and guards

Calculating the height of your barrier:

Use the table below to find out the minimum barrier height for your installation:

LOCATION MINIMUM GLASS HEIGHT (FROM FINISHED FLOOR LEVEL)
Stairs, ramps & Landings 900mm
Balcony 1100mm
Glass Partition Any height (a manifestation may be required on the glass)
Fixed Seating up to 530mm from barrier 800mm
Any other situation 1100mm

Calculating the minimum load capacity:

Use the table below to find out the minimum load capacity for your installation:

INSTALLATION TYPE EXAMPLES REQUIRED LOADING CAPABILITY (KN/M)
Domestic and residential activities All internal areas serving single family dwellings; stairs and landings / External and internal residential situations with multiple occupancy 0.36 / 0.74
Offices and work areas, including storage areas Light access stairs and gangways – not more than 600mm wide / Light pedestrian traffic routes in industrial and storage buildings, except designated escape routes / Areas not inline for overcrowding in office and institutional buildings 0.22 / 0.36 / 0.74
Areas where people might congregate Areas having fixed seating within 530mm of the barrier, balustrade or parapet 1.5
Areas with tables or fixed seating Restaurants and bars 1.5
Areas without obstacles for moving people and not susceptible to overcrowding Stairs, landings, corridors, ramps. In addition external balconies and edges of roofs including areas adjacent to basement/sunken areas 0.74
Areas susceptible to overcrowding Footways to pavements less than 3m wide adjacent to basement/sunken areas / Theatres, cinemas, bars, shopping malls. Footways to pavements greater than 3m wide adjacent to basement/sunken areas 3.00
Retail areas All retail areas including public areas of banks/building societies or betting shops 1.5
Vehicular Pedestrian areas in car parks, including stairs, landings, ramps, edges of internal floors. Internal loads imposed by vehicles 1.5

Calculating glass thickness:

Use the table below to find out the minimum glass thickness for your installation:

REQUIRED LOADING CAPABILITY (KN/M) SENTRYGLAS (MM) PVB LAMINATE THICKNESS (MM) TOUGHENED GLASS THICKNESS (MM)
0.36 13.5 17.5 12
0.74 17.5 21.5 15
1.50 21.5 25.5 19
3.00 25.5 31.5 25

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