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Re: What about iron balusters and guardrails?

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I am goign to assume that you are talking about handrails (for stairs,
balconies, etc.).  If so, I believe all the model codes have a provision
for handrails.  I am most familiar with the BOCA code.  BOCA requires to
handrails to be design for the worst of the following two cases:

1) 50 lb/ft applied vertically along the length handrail, and 50 lb/ft
applied horizontally along the length of the handrail...AT THE SAME TIME

2) a 500 lb (or is it 250 lb...I don't have the code book here at home and
my memory is fuzzy) applied in any direction at any location on the
handrail.

One other thing to keep in mind...although it is not a structural
requirement, it does effect the structural design of handrails...ADA
(American Diabilities Act) requires the gripped portion (where someone
grabs the handrail with their hand) to be a maximum of 1 1/4" in diameter.
I am not sure how the requirements would affect non-circular gripped
members since I have only done circular ones.

Hope this helps,

Scott Maxwell, PE, SE


On Sat, 29 Jul 2000, Francisco Duarte wrote:

> do we need to design the iron balusters and railing systems? If so where do
> we get info in terms allowable values.
> Are there any text books that have pretty much standard construction details
> for different kinds of railing and guardrail systems.
> Same thing goes for stairs. 
> any comments will be appreciated
> 
> Mil Gracias,
> (thank you)
> 
> F.D. (E.I.T)
> 
> 
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