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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    What do people generally do with regards to the design of balustrades and handrails to stairs and landings in a dwelling?

    We've got a mezzanine overlooking the main living space in our self-build that will need some form of edge protection. I've got some ideas of what I want to put there but no idea whether it will meet an appropriate line load etc. or how to size up the posts accordingly.

    Is this just something to chat through with BCO, or do people generally get structural engineers involved?

    Anyone got any good literature/guidance?

    (I'm aware of the 100mm sphere rule and not planning anything outlandish - just some vertical timber slats...)
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2018
    I think generally the balustrades come with the staircase, or are sourced from a specialist like Richard Burbidge, unless you want something more specialist. There's no shortage of info online - Part K, stair suppliers, balustrade suppliers etc.

    Our BCO wasn't very interested, but then our stairs were bog standard.

    Posted By: Doubting_Thomasjust some vertical timber slats

    If you use verticals without a balustrade I suspect you may need stronger uprights as there's no load sharing.
    Thanks djh,

    I'm hoping to go with a fairly 'off-the-shelf' stair which we'll clad in more expensive materials, but it won't come with a balustrade.

    There must be a formula on-line to calculate loads, just thought I'd ask here first.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2018
    Had you thought of using glass?
    Yes, we contemplated glass but decided the combination of a young child and glass balustrades was probably a bad idea in the long run. Mainly the maintenance burden of cleaning all the hand prints!
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2018 edited
    I hear what you say but that phase, "maintenance" won't last forever, and it's lessened if you have the glass processors apply a Ritec coating to the glass. I have an etched glass sliding door between the kitchen and utility and even with dogs, a cat, and on the busiest thoroughfare in the home cleaning isn't a problem.
    Put a sandblasted design on it, to initially, visually, lessen "paw" mark impact. I've done three glass balustrades for clients and they've all been very happy. Combined with Oak supports, it looks particularly good IMO.
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