Monday, 19 December 2011

Glass balustrades and compliance with the Building Code of Australia by Heath McNab


The following is a guide to achieving compliance with the Building Code of Australia Volume II, when incorporating glass within a required balustrade. This information is a guide only and shall not be relied upon. Please consult your glazier or engineer for advice specific to your situation.

Part 3.9.2 of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) pertains to balustrades within Class 1 and Class 10 buildings. A required balustrade is any balustrade or other barrier used to prevent a fall of: 
  • 1m or more along the side of any roof to which public access is provided, any stairway or ramp, any floor, corridor, hallway, balcony,deck, verandah, mezzanine, access bridge or the like and along the side of any delineated path of access to a building. 
  • 4m or more through an openable window. (It is deemed possible for a person to fall through an openable window when a 125 mm sphere is able to pass through the window opening.)
The requirements of a required balustrade (or other barrier) generally are stated within Part 3.9.2.3 of the BCA, they are: 
  • The height must not be less than 865mm above the nosings of the stair treads or the floor of a ramp. 
  • The height must not be less than 1m above the floor of any access path, balcony, landing or the like 
  • The height must not be less than 865mm above the floor beneath an openable window. 
  • Openings shall not permit a 125mm sphere to pass through the balustrade or other barrier (For stairs this is tested above the nosing line) 
  • When protecting a fall of 4m or more there shall be no horizontal elements within the balustrade or other barrier between 150mm & 760mm above the floor level that would facilitate climbing. 
  • A glass balustrade must comply with AS1288 Australian Standard AS1288-2006 (AS1288) sets out the procedures for the selection and installation of glass in buildings, subject to wind loading, human impact, and special applications such as overhead glazing, balustrades and glass assemblies.
Section 7 of AS1288 provides deemed to comply solutions for required balustrades incorporating glass. AS1288 classifies glass balustrade panels into two categories; 

a. Structural balustrade panels, or
b. Infill balustrade panels.

Glass can form a structural component of the balustrade (this would be option a. above or a structural balustrade panel of glass) or the balustrade may have a structural component provided from another material such as timber or steel, with the glass acting as an infill panel only (this would be option b. above or a infill balustrade panel of glass). 

Whenever glass is relied upon to provide a structural component to a required balustrade a handrail is generally always required.  

Handrails are classified by Section 7 of AS1288 into three categories;

a. Load supporting handrails

b. Non-load supporting handrails

c. Interlinking handrails

Load supporting handrails: the handrail is mechanically fixed to the structure, independent of the glass, but the glass may be connected to it. The handrail supports the loads. This handrail is utilised with infill balustrade panels.

Non-load supporting handrails: either the top edge of the glass acts as the handrail or the glass supports a handrail that is fixed to the glass and relies upon the glass for structural support. This handrail is utilised with structural balustrade panels.

Interlinking handrails: an interlinking handrail is only considered such when it is connected to adjacent panels of glass, or the building, where the adjacent panels are at least 1000mm wide and the balustrade consists of at least three glass panels. This requirement means that if one of the glass panels fails (breaks) the two remaining panels and the handrail must be capable of resisting the defined loads. The handrail must be designed with this in mind. This handrail is utilised with structural balustrade panels.

Therefore as required by the BCA a required balustrade, shall when incorporating glass and attempting to comply with the deemed to comply provisions of AS1288 be either:

a. An infill panel of glass, with thickness selected in accordance with table 7.3 of AS1288 
and incorporating a load supporting handrail, or 

b. A structural panel of glass, with thickness selected in accordance with table 7.2 of AS1288 
and incorporating an interlinking handrail or load supporting handrail. 

For any other required balustrade incorporating glass to comply, including systems that do not incorporate a handrail, then the requirements of Section 3 of AS1288: General Design Criteria must be satisfied. This is considered an engineered solution. And as such the site specific application of the system (NOTE: the system refers to the glass, the fixings and the handrail as applicable) shall be tested and certified as being compliant with the BCA, AS1288 and AS1170.1. 

Regardless of the means of compliance, be it a deemed to comply solution under Part 7 of AS1288, or an engineered solution under Part 3 of AS1288, the requirement to demonstrate compliance is the same. 

A Certificate shall be submitted that certifies the system utilised as compliant with the BCA, AS1288 and if applicable AS1170.1. 

Within this Certificate must be included:
  • the date the certificate was issued
  • the address of the subject property
  • the credentials of the individual endorsing the certificate
  • the means of compliance, i.e. deemed to comply solution or an engineered solution
  • a statement confirming that the installed system complies with AS1288, the BCA and AS1170.1 (as applicable)

33 comments:

  1. It has everything and more! southernstonecrafters.com . This is the real way that has helped me. Add to your bookmarks, this is the right site.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Infill panel: On the Axiom center glazed glass front panels it shall be factory installed safety glass per CPSC and OHSA regulations with ¼” clear tempered as the starting point (30 STC), .280” clear laminated shall be available as a standard option (35 STC). On the Axcess crossruns a combination of ¼” clear tempered one side and .280” clear laminated glass shall be a standard and tested to achieve a 41 STC. Many other glass types shall be available from many sources in thickness from 3/16” (5mm) to .405” (10mm) laminated - see the architectural drawing, finish schedule, finish plan, and/or elevations for definition of the specified glass on this project. For more info visit at www.composite-panel.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have a friend that just got a job working with glass balustrade, and he couldn't be more excited. I never got the chance to ask him what glass balustrade was, so I've been online trying to figure out what it is exactly, and this helped me understand it a lot better. So far this site and http://www.abfabrications.com/balustrading-and-staircases have been the most helpful. Thanks so much for sharing this, glass balustrade is very interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Its very interesting post on Glass balustrades and compliance with the Building Code of Australia by Heath McNab. I like this post because it has too good content.


    anti graffiti paint coating perth

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi,
    I always love your blog post Because your post gives the so many information to the people for Glass Balustrade. Thank you too much... Keep posting...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was interesting to know. I’ve been thinking of installing a glass balustrade in Brisbane http://www.leadingedgeframelessglass.com.au/ and to reduce the costs (this toughened glass is awesome, durable and safe, but crazy expensive) I want to buy the glass from the supplier company and go DIY and install it myself. The thing is I have never done this before. Has anyone here done something like that? Any tips would be really welcome. :)

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. HI,DO I HAVE TO HAVE A BRACKET ATTACHED TO THE WALL. IF I CHOOSE TO HAVE A CHANNEL ON TOP OF THE GLASS AS A HANDRAIL ?

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is certainly advisable to bracket the ends of the handrail otherwise the flex of the glass means that the rail can move significantly in relation to adjacent wall. This movement can be disturbing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. balustrade
    Oz West Fencing specialise in Pool Fencing, CNC & Automatic Gates, Balustrade, Colorbond & Security. Perth Fencing Services.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Dear,

    i Like Your Blog Very Much..I see Daily Your Blog ,is A Very Usefull For me.

    You Can see also my services.. Quality Glass railing,Stainless steel Glass balustrade, Aluminum balustrade, Privacy screen, Quality fencing and balustrading


    Buy quality glass railing, fencing & balustrading in Sydney. Find superior range of balustrades manufactured from a variety of materials @ Alaska balustrading.


    Visit Now - http://www.alaskabalustrading.com.au/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Security fences are the way to go as these fences offer additional security for your home and family.
    Frameless Glass Pool Fencing

    ReplyDelete
  12. it is also for your convenience. Just provide them with the details of the measurements, the size you like, and the materials you prefer. http://topresidentialgatefence.beep.com/5-reasons-for-you-to-install-yard-fences-at-home-2017-06-09.htm

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oz West Fencing specialise in Pool Fencing, CNC & Automatic Gates, Balustrade, Colorbond & Security. Perth Fencing Services.
    pool fencing Perth

    ReplyDelete
  14. they get twitchy as soon as you look at them and then a few seconds later they're off. fence companies kokomo in

    ReplyDelete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  16. GLASS FENCING SYDNEY are the go to group for frameless glass fencing & balustrades in Sydney get licensed and insured industry specialists to add that special designer touch to your home

    ReplyDelete
  17. how mant spigots per glass panel are required

    ReplyDelete
  18. It’s very informative and you are obviously very knowledgeable in this area. You have opened my eyes to varying views on this topic with interesting and solid content. aluminium privacy screens brisbane

    ReplyDelete
  19. pool fencing Perth
    Fence, Gate, Balustrade - Design and Installation Perth. Oz West Fencing & Gates specialise in Pool Fencing, CNC & Automatic Gates, Balustrade, Colorbond, Security Gates & Fences. We have an extensive range of Products and Services. Interest-Free Payment Options available. Your local Perth Fencing & Gate Contractor.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The people are very lucky to have this blog because it has better knowledge. thanks for share

    Max Glass

    ReplyDelete
  21. The people are very lucky to have this blog because it has better knowledge. thanks for share

    Max Glass

    ReplyDelete
  22. Very nice article! It really made me interested here. Thank you for bringing more informative post.

    Allan Low Glass

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wonderful, just what a blog it is! This blog has provided the helpful data to us continue the good work.

    Splashbacks Auckland - Superior Glass Auckland

    ReplyDelete
  24. You have discussed an interesting topic that every body should know. Very well explained with examples. i have found a similar websiteSunrooms, Pergolas Sydney visit the site to know more about rsqualityliving

    ReplyDelete
  25. Terrific way of expressing those things in your post. Clear cut meanings.
    http://www.wellingtonpavers.com/

    ReplyDelete
  26. I got such a good information on this topic its very interesting one. You made a good site and I have found a similar website, please check this one Awnings and Patios Sydney visit the site to know more about Rsquality

    ReplyDelete
  27. OneDayGlass specialize in custom cut tempered glass, NeoCeram and PyroCeram (Heat resistant) glass.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Glass balustrade Melbourne are licensed and insured industry specialists to add that special designer touch to your home.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Does anybody know where it says you need an interlinking handrail on a structural glass balustrade? As 1288 tells you what one is, and how to design it, but it doesn't say when you need it! Also, if you adopt a Performance Solution as you need to do for spigot supported glass balustrades you cannot say it complies with AS1288. How then do you satisfy councils that say all balustrades must comply with 1288?

    ReplyDelete
  31. I want to share a testimony on how Le_Meridian funding service helped me with loan of 2,000,000.00 USD to finance my marijuana farm project , I'm very grateful and i promised to share this legit funding company to anyone looking for way to expand his or her business project.the company is funding company. Anyone seeking for finance support should contact them on lfdsloans@outlook.com Or lfdsloans@lemeridianfds.com Mr Benjamin is also on whatsapp 1-989-394-3740 to make things easy for any applicant. 

    ReplyDelete