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» ICC Bulletin Board » Code Chat » Building and Residential Codes -- Non-Structural Issues » Stair width vs guardrail

   
Author Topic: Stair width vs guardrail
Examiner
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Stair width

The 2006 Code Commentary has several graphic illustrations that do not address a pipe guardrail specifically.

Figure 1009.4(1); appears to show the stair width to be somewhere in the wall not the finish to finish of the wall. However, Figure 1009.4(2) does show finished wall to finished wall and Figure 1009.4(4) appears to show the width from the wall finish to the outside face of a stair stringer. I assume the inside guardrail in Figure 1009.4(4) is a partition between the stair stringers. I assume that the stair width is finished wall to finished wall where a wall is also the guardrail.

Figure 1012.7(2) illustrates the allowable 4 ½” projection of the handrail into the stair’s width. It also shows the same allowable projection can occur under the handrail. Figure 1012.7(1) illustrates the required stair width is from the wall to the outside face of the stringer. However, the stringer and a piped guardrail system are not graphically shown leaving me to assume the area between the stingers is a guardrail partition similar to a wall.

A piped guardrail is mounted to the top of the stair stinger’s flange but will extend above the height of the handrail that is mounted to the guardrail system. Per Figure 1012.2(2) the guardrail would now be in the stair’s width. One could have a wall offset as illustrated in Figure 1012.7(2) but not a guardrail for economic reasons. My question is if the stinger is allowed to occur within the stair’s width, can the guardrail be in the stair’s width also as it projects above the handrail?

Another issue would be the 4 ½” projection. With a 1 ½” handrail, a 1 ½” clearance around the handrail subtracted from the 4 ½” leaves you with 1 ½” for the guardrail system. Most 1 ½” steel pipes for guardrails have an outside diameter greater than the remaining 1 ½”.

Using a piped guardrail system with a handrail attached with brackets to the guardrail, is the stair’s required width to the inside face of the guardrails widest post member? The guardrail posts usually are between the pickets or infill screen.

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peach
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I know there's a question in there somewhere..

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fatboy
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IF, and that's a big IF, I understand the direction of the OP, my take on stair width, with allowable projections, must be the full required width ABOVE the handrail. The shoulder vs hip/leg width thing.

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architect1281
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Handrails can project ino required width of stair
no such statement is made for guardrails in the code
so the potential answer is NO

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Paul Sweet
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IBC 1012.7 says:

On ramps, the clear width between handrails shall be 36 inches (914 mm) minimum. Projections into the required width of stairways and ramps at each handrail shall not exceed 4.5 inches (114 mm) at or below the handrail height.

The guard may project into the required width below the handrail, but not above it.

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mtlogcabin
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Just to add a little more confusion [Big Grin]
Are they part of an accessible means of egress?
So if you have an elevator without emergency power back up then the stairs have to meet 1007.3 [Frown]


1007.3 Exit stairways.
In order to be considered part of an accessible means of egress, an exit stairway shall have a clear width of 48 inches (1219 mm) minimum between handrails

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genebko
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quote:

Using a piped guardrail system with a handrail attached with brackets to the guardrail, is the stair’s required width to the inside face of the guardrails widest post member?

The OP question. . .

A: The measurement is from guardrail to guardrail or from wall to wall or from wall to guardrail. The handrail can protrude into the measured width - up to 4-1/2 inches on each side.

But! Since projections are allowed into the stairway at, and below, handrail height, you an go backwards in some cases and measure between handrails then add 9 inches to determine what the effective width is (provided taht there are no projections into this dimension above handrail height).

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Tom Zuzik Jr
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EX,

As noted by others it depends on the stairway width required first.

quote:
1007.3 Exit stairways.

In order to be considered part of an accessible means of egress, an exit stairway shall have a clear width of 48 inches (1219 mm) minimum between handrails and shall either incorporate an area of refuge within an enlarged floor-level landing or shall be accessed from either an area of refuge complying with Section 1007.6 or a horizontal exit.

Exceptions:


1. N/A

2. N/A

3. The clear width of 48 inches (1219 mm) between handrails is not required at exit stairways in buildings or facilities equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.

4. The clear width of 48 inches (1219 mm) between handrails is not required for exit stairways accessed from a horizontal exit.

5. N/A

So if your stairway is required per 1007.3 and does not meet exceptions 3 or 4 then your clear width is between the handrails.

If your stairway is required by 1007.3 and meets either exceptions 3 or 4, or, is not required per 1007.3, then;

As gene noted;

The measurement is taken between walls, and when a wall does not exist it is between guards or a wall and a guard, just above the required handrails.

and then;

The handrails are allowed to project in to the stairway up to 4.5" maximum, and then as long as the handrail covers the area of project below, projects are allowed under the handrail.

I will not mention ramps, as your OP was directed at stair width.

quote:
1012.7 Projections.

On ramps, the clear width between handrails shall be 36 inches (914 mm) minimum.

Projections into the required width of stairways and ramps at each handrail shall not exceed 4.5 inches (114 mm) at or below the handrail height.

Projections into the required width shall not be limited above the minimum headroom height required in Section 1009.2.

All quotes are from the 2006 IBC

As to weather the guard is fabricated from, pipe, wood, plastic or glass it does not matter as the part of the guard or wall that projects the most in to the stairway width is the measuring point from the point directly above the handrails, to the required headroom clearance.

Tom

[ 06-22-2009, 07:49 AM: Message edited by: Tom Zuzik Jr ]

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Examiner
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Thanks all. I thought I was on track with this one.

Clarified: Clear width is between the finished wall or guardrail when above the handrail. Projections into the clear width are allowed below the handrail.

Oh, the building does have a sprinkler system.

The calculated egress width is above the 48” anyway. If it was not then 1007.3 Exception #3 applies as stated earlier.

The building is under 4-stories above the level of discharge so the emergency power for the elevator is not required for egress of the physically disable nor is an area of rescue assistance required. Therefore, the stairs are the exits.

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