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  1. #1
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    Default Stair Railing Requirements

    Does this rubber netting acceptable for building standards, I bet not. Basement stairwell steps need a railing for safety.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Stair Railing Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    I bet not.
    You win.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Stair Railing Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    Does this rubber netting acceptable for building standards, I bet not. Basement stairwell steps need a railing for safety.
    Sam,

    I would not want to rely on that netting and certainly would recommend a guardrail at the perimeter of the stairwell as well as a handrail for the stairway.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Stair Railing Requirements

    It's not the netting which is likely the biggest problem ... ... one would likely get tangled up in the netting as they fell and only get slammed against the wall instead of hitting the bottom.

    The post and the top rail of the guard are just as important.

    The posts need to support the top rail (which has apparently already fallen off ... okay, it was never there), and the top rail needs to resist a 200 pound load in any direction at any point.

    The infill panel of the guard (that netting) only has to resist 50 pounds per square foot load (of course, though, the posts also need to keep that netting ... the infill ... in place ).

    Jerry Peck
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Stair Railing Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    It's not the netting which is likely the biggest problem ... ... one would likely get tangled up in the netting as they fell and only get slammed against the wall instead of hitting the bottom.

    The post and the top rail of the guard are just as important.

    The posts need to support the top rail (which has apparently already fallen off ... okay, it was never there), and the top rail needs to resist a 200 pound load in any direction at any point.

    The infill panel of the guard (that netting) only has to resist 50 pounds per square foot load (of course, though, the posts also need to keep that netting ... the infill ... in place ).

    In other words, what you are showing in those pics is a very dangerous condition. Think of a kid running backwards to try catch a football.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Stair Railing Requirements

    Food for thought:

    The IRC requirement in Table 301.5 calls for a uniformly distributed 200 psf live load for guards and handrails. No testing method is specified.

    R301.1.1 Alternative provisions. As an alternative to the
    requirements in Section R301.1, the following standards
    are permitted subject to the limitations of this code and the
    limitations therein. Where engineered design is used in
    conjunction with these standards, the design shall comply
    with the International Building Code.

    1709.2 Load test procedures specified. Where specific load
    test procedures, load factors and acceptance criteria are
    included in the applicable referenced standards, such test procedures,
    load factors and acceptance criteria shall apply. In
    the absence of specific test procedures, load factors or acceptance
    criteria, the corresponding provisions in Section 1709.3
    shall apply.
    1709.3 Load test procedures not specified. Where load test
    procedures are not specified in the applicable referenced standards,
    the load-bearing and deformation capacity of structural
    components and assemblies shall be determined on the basis
    of a test procedure developed by a registered design professional
    that simulates applicable loading and deformation conditions.
    For components and assemblies that are not a part of
    the seismic force-resisting system, the test shall be as specified
    in Section 1709.3.1. Load tests shall simulate the applicable
    loading conditions specified in Chapter 16.
    1709.3.1 Test procedure. The test assembly shall be subjected
    to an increasing superimposed load equal to not less
    than two times the superimposed design load.

    It seems to me the the authors are saying that the 200 psf load must be doubled to 400 psf. I am certain that the resident pulpit occupants will correct me if I have strayed.

    Last edited by Aaron Miller; 12-09-2019 at 02:47 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Stair Railing Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    Food for thought:

    The IRC requirement in Table 301.5 calls for a uniformly distributed 200 psf live load for guards and handrails. No testing method is specified.
    Did you read note 'd' in the notes as referenced in Table 301.5?

    d. A single concentrated load applied in any direction at any point along the top.

    Pretty much explains the test for that.

    That is referring to handrails and the top rails of guards (which are also handrails).

    Note the next row down in the table is where it references Guard in-fill components with a reference to note 'f'.

    Jerry Peck
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Stair Railing Requirements

    I realized that my previous reply did not necessarily answer the implied question of the second part of Aaron's question about a safety factor.

    The test method for the handrail and guard top rail is addressed in note 'd' as stated in my previous reply; however, the load of 200 pounds in any direction at any point references note 'h' and I did not make reference to that note in my previous reply.

    (bold and underlining are mine)
    h. Glazing used in handrail assemblies and guards shall be designed with a safety factor of 4. The safety factor shall be applied to each of the concentrated loads applied to the top of the rail, and to the load on the in-fill components. These loads shall be determined independent of one another, and loads are assumed not to occur with any other live load.

    Okie dokie ...

    Note 'h' first off makes reference to handrail and guards which contain glazing for the in-fill, and specifies that a safety factor of 4 applies to that in-fill (go to my previous reply for in-fill and note 'f', and to its load of 50 psf ... with a reference to note 'h') ... which takes us back to note 'h' and its 4 times safety factor ... for glazing in-fill.

    Note 'h' has a 4 times safety factor for glazing in-fill. That part is clear.

    Note 'h' also contains a second sentence which states that the previously stated "safety factor of 4. The safety factor shall be applied to each of the concentrated loads applied to the top of the rail, and to the load on the in-fill components", implying that the safety factor of 4 is only applicable to handrails and guards with glazing in-fill.

    Now, back to the second part Aaron asked about: (bold and underlining are mine)

    R301.1.1 Alternative provisions. As an alternative to the requirements in Section R301.1, the following standards are permitted subject to the limitations of this code and the limitations therein. Where engineered design is used in conjunction with these standards, the design shall comply with the International Building Code.

    As soon as one moves from the 'compliance' requirements stated in the IRC (i.e., goes with an engineered design), the 'compliance' requirements no longer apply - engineering and all of its rules and the applicable sections of the Building Code (not the Residential Code) now apply.

    That takes us to the IBC, and guards, in the IBC, addressed in Section 1015.2, and that states
    "Guards shall be adequate in strength and attachment in accordance with Section 1607.8."

    Which takes us to Section 1607.8:
    - Section 1607.8.1 Handrails and guards.
    - - Handrails and guards shall be designed to resist a linear load of 50 pounds per linear foot (plf) (0.73 kN/m) in accordance with Section 4.5.1.1 of ASCE 7. Glass handrail assemblies and guards shall comply with Section 2407.
    - - - Exceptions:
    - - - - 1. For one- and two-family dwellings, only the single concentrated load required by 1608.8.1.1 shall be applied.
    2. In Group I-3, F, H, and S occupancies ... blah, blah, blah (not applicable to our discussion)
    - - 1607.8.1.1 Concentrated load.
    - - - Handrails and guards shall be deigned to resist a concentrated load of 200 pound (0.89 kN) in accordance with Section 4.5.1.1 of ASCE 7.
    ???? ... didn't we just come from there in 1607.8.1 ... ????

    Any engineers out there who know what safety factors ASCE 7 requires?

    I looked up ASCE 7-10, ASCE 7 4.5.1.1, and it describes the load the same as the code does, and I didn't find any "safety factors" in skimming through/searching ASCE 7.

    https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water...SCE%207-10.pdf

    IBC, Chapter 17, only applies to "Special Inspections and Tests". Section 1709 only applies to Preconstruction Load Tests.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Stair Railing Requirements

    JP:

    Refer to these and a laundry list of others:

    Tested Guardrail Post Connections for Residential Decks - Structure Magazine - Joseph Loferski, Dustin Albright, and Frank Woeste, Ph.D., P.E.

    Verifying the Load Capacity of Railing Posts, Andy Engel, Professional Deck Builder Magazine, May 2011

    Design and Testing of Residential Deck Guard Rail Connections - Dr. Joseph R. Loferski, Professor Dept. Wood Science and Forest Products, Virginia Tech

    Manual for the Inspection of Residential Wood Decks and Balconies - Cheryl A. Anderson

    Also please not that my original post said nothing of infill. That was not the subject of my post.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Stair Railing Requirements

    Aaron,

    I only mentioned the in-fill as that is what the code also mentioned.

    I looked up my old ASTM standards this morning - this one:

    Designation: E 935 ? 00e1

    Standard Test Methods for
    Performance of Permanent Metal Railing Systems and Rails for Buildings1

    Addresses the loading and testing of metal railings and how to test to the required loads being tested to, but does not address the loads themselves.

    Based on what you found and what I found, no "safety factor" is required for handrails or guard top rails, or for in-fill panels for materials other than glazing.

    The loading points in the link you provided is essentially the same as the ASTM standard ... "essentially" as the actual ASTM E 935 standard for testing shows the vertical loading down to the top of one of the posts, and while that link shows the code requirement of 200 pound horizontally with clarification in the wording stating the code wording of "in any direction", the ASTM standard places TWO horizontal loads on the sample (a two section sample, three posts and to spaces between the post) testing the two horizontal loads at the same time.

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    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 12-10-2019 at 08:59 AM. Reason: added last paragraph and drawing
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Stair Railing Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Aaron,

    I only mentioned the in-fill as that is what the code also mentioned.

    I looked up my old ASTM standards this morning - this one:

    Designation: E 935 ? 00e1

    Standard Test Methods for
    Performance of Permanent Metal Railing Systems and Rails for Buildings1

    Addresses the loading and testing of metal railings and how to test to the required loads being tested to, but does not address the loads themselves.

    Based on what you found and what I found, no "safety factor" is required for handrails or guard top rails, or for in-fill panels for materials other than glazing.
    JP:

    Yes, but that only applies to metal rails/guards. Most, if not all, of what I encounter in the residential arena are wooden.

    Remember, my OP started with "Food for Thought". I am just attempting to get information out there that others may not have seen or considered.

    Best,

    Aaron

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Stair Railing Requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    Yes, but that only applies to metal rails/guards. Most, if not all, of what I encounter in the residential arena are wooden.
    Correct, and there will be an ASTM standard for that, and while the specifics will vary because of the material, just like it will for those silly horizontal wires, the loads will be the same.

    Remember, my OP started with "Food for Thought". I am just attempting to get information out there that others may not have seen or considered.
    Understood, and as such, I added additional "thought" to it by providing additional information.

    You also implied acceptance of being corrected if you strayed, and your did stray ... when going into IBC Chapter 17.

    Jerry Peck
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Stair Railing Requirements

    You also implied acceptance of being corrected if you strayed, and your did stray ... when going into IBC Chapter 17.
    JP:

    Actually, I only indicated anticipation of redirection on the part of others - not acceptance. Two different things.

    We will have to agree to disagree on the matter. I side with the others quoted.

    Best,

    Texas Inspector
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    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

  14. #14
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    Red face Re: Stair Railing Requirements

    My guess is that the fencing is doing a great job for the intended purpose of keeping leaves from filling up the stairwell but never intended to do the same for people blowing in.


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