Frameless Glass Balustrade

Glass Balustrade in Bury

Balustrades are designed to protect persons falling from dangerous heights. When designing these balustrades for domestic and commercial locations it is important to bear in mind the imposed load requirements for the particular location of the balustrade, and the types of loads that are applied, all in accordance with BS6180:2011. A load can be defined as a force, weight, or pressure applied to the balustrade by something or someone.

More often than not, the design of the balustrade leaves the decision of the line load requirements to the specialist balustrade subcontractor, this is generally long before the specialist has been appointed to specify the balustrade. The result of this is the miscommunication of the requirements by the tenderers and often results in a sudden cost uplift at the late stages of the project as the costs have been based on lower loads than are actually required for the purpose of the project.

In general, there are three main uniformly distributed line load requirements for barriers balustrades, these are:

  • 0.36kN/m – All areas within or serving exclusively one single-family dwelling including stairs, landings etc but excluding external balconies and edges of roofs
  • 0.74kN/m – Other residential i.e. houses of multiple occupancy and balconies, including Juliette balconies and edges of roofs in single-family dwellings
  • 1.5kN/m – Areas where people might congregate, e.g. fixed seating spaces, restaurants and bars. This is often a commercial line load
Wind loads

Other forces also need to be considered when designing the balustrade, such as wind loads. When these loads are applied, the deflection or movement of the balustrade is measured to check whether it complies with the maximum allowable stress.

Origin Architectural recently supplied this balustrade in Bury to comply with a 0.74 Kn/m. This guide is a summary of the key loading requirements to consider when designing balustrades. It is based on our own interpretation of the requirements and it remains the responsibility of clients to satisfy and comply with local legislation and British Standards. For more detailed advice on these regulations or any other current standards, please contact our team on 01132774316

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