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Steel Stairs

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The firm I work with has recently accepted some work from a steel fabricator for the engineering design/approval of steel stairs.  Normally, we have been on the end of the drawings that defer that design to others, but now that the shoe is on the other foot, we have run into some questions regarding the need for isolation of the stairs from the main lateral system. 

It would seem that the two designs are either to isolate the stairs with slotted hole connections or to not isolate the stairs with direct welded or bolted connections.  The details we have seen from this fabricator and others typically show a directly welded connection of the stringers to the floor beams or intermediate landing beams.  

The UBC has the deformation compatibility requirement (section 1633.2.4), but doesn't seem to otherwise directly address steel stairs.  

Does anyone have any thoughts/insight regarding code requirements/general design practices when it comes to whether to isolate or not isolate steel stairs from the main structure?

Thanks in advance for any responses.

Mike Auchter, EIT

Teter Consultants, LLP
Visalia, CA 93291
(559) 625-5246

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