Failure to ensure balustrades are compliant with BS6180:2011 is not only a regulatory issue but a health and safety hazard too.
Delta Balustrades have supplied over 45,000m of balustrades to Schools, Colleges and Universities throughout the UK. As balustrade experts they've put together considerations for Education projects.
Consider the buildings use and its users in relation to the positioning of balustrades and handrails.
Education facilities are busy places with hundreds of students, plus staff, moving about the building daily. Areas such as atriums may become overcrowded and stairways see an influx of several users at once.
ESFA Design Brief considerations include:
• Contractors to ensure all New Buildings and Grounds are designed to include suitable guarding and barriers where there is a risk of falling.
• Lockers are not to be placed alongside guarding or balustrades to prevent the restriction of movement along main circulation routes.
• Ensure physical barriers do not obstruct views towards or away from School Buildings and Grounds.
Full design brief available on the government website.
To fulfil the role, balustrades needs to withstand substantial loadings to protect pupils from unsafe heights.
Early engagement with a supplier will establish the loadings required for the different building areas and can prevent costly changes to design.
• Areas with stairs, landings and corridors must withstand a line load of 0.74kN/m and a 0.5kN/m point load
• Areas susceptible to overcrowding, such as atriums, must withstand a line load of 1.5kN/m under 3m’s wide and 3.0kN/m over 3m’s wide and a point load of 1.5kN/m.
Ensure fixings supplied are suitable to the substrate upon which they will be fixed.
• Fixings should withstand higher loadings than the minimum requirements of BS6180:2011
• Ensure balustrades are fixed to a substantial substrate. We suggest leaving a 300mm gap from the edge in the screed to allow balustrades to be firmly fixed into the structural concrete (concrete should be to BS EN1992 standard), allowing you to fill in around the posts after installation.
• Balustrades that require a side fixing, ask your metal frame fabricator to add additional steel plates to fix to, saving them a return visit during installation.
Balustrades and handrails are a critical safety structure in any educational building and considerations regarding the health and safety of children should be paramount.
Always choose a balustrade supplier with expertise in your projects sector and don’t forget to check balustrades and handrails meet with the demands of BS6180:2011.
Download their checklist here.
View Handrails and balustrades Product Entry