Stairs Ramps and Lifts - Australian Standards

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Regulations on stairs, ramps and lifts based on the Australian building codes.
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  Increasingly, high-density li ving means that people are more likely to li ve in multi-storey housing and apartments or on small lots. Many of these homes will be on sloping land and may need to provide for changes in level within the building. While some stairs should be avoided, stairs, ramps or lifts may be required in the lead up to an entrance or within a home. This chapter outlines the alternative ways to safely and easily bridge coanges in level. tairs A universally accessible home would not include stairs, as even one step can constitute a barrier to an elderly person or someone in a wheelchair. However, if stairs are needed in the renovation of an existing house, or for other reasons, there are certain proportions and layouts that are safer and more accessible than others. t is a good idea to design the stair with the width and structure to fit a stairlift if needed. Generally, simple stairs are the safest and easi ,st to use. A single flight of straight stairs, as shown in figure 12.1 A or straight flights of stairs connected by a flat landing such as that shown in figure 12.1 B are ideal. Geometrical stairs can also be accessible. Spiral stairs and stairs with winder tread s illustrated in figure 12.1 C, should be avoided. The staircase will be safest if it: is well lit, without glare provides a landing at the top and the bottom for the user to steady themselves before changing direction ã has no doors that obstruct the top or bottom landings ã consists of more than one step. Rather than allowing a small change in level that requires a single step, it is better to design the floor surface to be le vel. If this is not possible, a small ramp is the best way to connect the two levels. 9  u for long Aigh ts mi d dl e landing may be helpful - , ta ir l ifts c n b e t ted easily pr ov iaea th ere i5 5ufficie nt w th ) p , Stair Components Refer to the Building Code of Australia f or complete definitions and regulatory requirements for stairs and balustrades. Flight -A flight is the length of stair that ha s a continuous slope measured along the nosing line of tread s. The length of a flight is limited to 18 risers to restrict the distance a person could fall down a st air. Nosing -The leading edge of a tread that usually overhangs the riser bel ow . Tread -The flat surface of a stair on w hi ch a per so n places their foot. Going -The horizontal dimension from the front to the ba ck of a tread less any overhanging nosing from the next tread above. Riser -The height between the walking surfaces of consecutive treads. Stair dimensions RISER R) mm GOING G) Max Min Max Min 190 115 355 240 SLOPE VALUE 2R+G) Max Min 700 550 C fl ig ht wi  ; h 1   · turn an d win d er s ã i rin ders re n ot a cupt a b ;e Figure 12.1 Some stair arrangements handrails on o e or ~   S id es t s uit users c landing u r l on g stra ig ht fl i gh t wi th middle la nd ing ã allows users to rest halfway Figure 12.2 A long strai ght flight with a landing 9   Figures 12.3 and 12.4 illustrate the dimensions of a preferred stair. The dimensions do not replace those outlined in building regulations. Each step will be safest if it has a comfortably sized tread slip resistant tread or nosing solid and non-transparent vertical back or rise so that nothing can get caught in between each step nosing in a colour that contrasts with the rest of the tread and does not project more than 25mm as illustrated in figure 12.4 treads and risers of consistent dimension throughout a flight. nosing project lor. round nose to re duc e chance of toe catching t reads lange enough to adequate footing be mo difi ed by ã c ar peting no open i sers Figure 12.3 Principles of step design Closed opaque risers and colour contrasting nosings assist people with vision impairment. A change of flooring surface and colour at the head and foot of a flight of stairs will also assist people with vision impairment. Stairs should be at least 850mm wide but around 1000mm is easier to negotiate. Stairs greater than 1200mm wide can accommodate a stairlift as illustrated in figure 12.5. Landings should be the same width as the stair and at least 850mm in length. Headroom must be at least 2000mm measured from the line of the nosing as shown in figure 12.6. going 15 to 165 mm ~referre 25 mm maximum tr e ad prefe rab   t he riser should s r 17 to 18 mm in ser t ion o timber fillet referre u nif orm ris er height Figure 12.4 Step dimensions clear opening 85 mm minimum 900 mm preferred 1200 mm will ailow easy movement of furniture and addition of a stair Ifft ~ ~ono~ or both sides t o suit the occupants needs Figure 12.5 Width of a staircase 6  ------.,.,-., way l ig ht switch I!!I ood g~   nghCing 1. minimum h ~a droom level n andrail I§ 2  w ay li ght s wi tc h Or 5e n SO r fo r !5tep dimen  1 iom see Fi gur e 13 .6 (f or handrail configu r.o .. t ion U Fig ure 13 .1 1) co n  1id~ r reassed !1he lves a t to p and bottom of sta i rs if wa l allows :.:.7 mrr consider l ow /Q: ./ ~ level light !1 / / ' J~ Figure 12.6 A straight flight of stairs good general l igh oing l ovel 900 200 mm or Bame dimension as ~ tai   wid t h ~ 300 note : upper fligho is offset by one t re ad Figure 12.7 A flight of stairs with a landing 97
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