Explaining the Australian Stair Regulations in Innovative Staircase Designs

  • December 16, 2020

Stairs are significant features of a building and it’s quite exciting to design staircases. When you design staircases, you can choose from a wide range of options to enhance the look of your establishment. Some people like going for transparent stairs, while some love the grandeur of giant spiral staircases. In contrast, others love intricately designed handrails for stairs. 

Whatever design you choose to have for your staircases, you should know that Australian standards for stairs are quite complicated, especially when you want to innovate your designs and use unique materials. 

In this article, we’ll explain the Australian stair regulations when dealing with innovative staircase designs. Let’s get to it!

Key Australian standards for stairs

You should know that three critical Australian standards outline requirements in staircase design, construction and installation. 

First is AS 1428.1, which focuses on the design for access and mobility and general requirements for access in new buildings. AS/NZ 4586 deals with slip resistance classification of pedestrian surface materials. While AS 1657 focuses on fixed platforms, walkways, stairways, ladders and everything that has to do with their design, construction and installation. 

Requirements for designing safe and compliant staircases

Flights and landings

For stairs and landings, Australian standards say that you can use a maximum of 18 stairs or risers in a single flight and you can connect these flights by using landings. Should you wish to have a barrier or landing, it must be more than 2 metres in length or should have a change in the direction of more than 90 degrees, taking place in every 36 stairs. 

Stair treads

When installing stair treads, they must be slip-resistant and extend on the whole surface. Full width of the stairway and its edges should be visible against the background. If the stairway is more than 10 metres high or joins to more than three stories, ensure that your treads are solid and visible.

Risers, going, depth

There are different dimensions that you should follow for risers, goings and their depths. AS 1657 standards state that risers must be about 130-225 mm while goings are 215-355 mm. As per BCA’s recommendations, risers should be at least 115-190 mm, while goings should be 240-355 mm. And finally, for the depth, it should be greater than or equal to 185 mm.  

Handrails

Australian standards for handrails for stairs are quite simple: staircases need handrails on all exposed sides and should have a fixed structure within 10 cm of the staircase. 

Some innovative staircases designs following Australian stair regulations

1. Floating stairs

Many designers love incorporating floating staircases in progressive minimalist architecture. But for some people, this sleek design looks like it’s defying gravity and Australian regulations are a big concern. 

However, as long as you’re focusing on the handrails, tread gaps, stair surface and loading capacity, having a minimalist staircase shouldn’t be a problem. 

2. Sustainable design

Now that more people are conscious about the amount of waste they put out into the environment, sustainable stairs are on the rise. The great thing about sustainable technology is that the possibilities are endless. Some concepts involve the energy from walking on stairs to help generate electricity. 

As for regulations, ensure that the loading capacity is followed as well as the texture of its surface. 

3. Tiny houses

Tiny house living is gaining popularity in architecture and is making its way to the commercial sector. However, with tiny houses, architects need to be mindful in planning two-storey houses since complying with regulations may be quite tricky. You need to ensure that the stairways aren’t too steep, shallow or close to the roof.

Conclusion

When designing the architecture of a space, having a staircase is a vital feature. However, you need to ensure that you’re following Australian stair regulations.

Make sure you remember the regulations for landings, treads, handrails for stairs and more, to avoid any issues and to encourage safety for people in the property. The best way to do this is by working with a reliable stairs supplier who’s familiar with all the regulations in the construction and installation of stairs. 

Are you looking for residential and commercial handrails for stairs? Check out Aussie Balustrading. We sell high-quality steel and stainless steel staircases, wireless balustrading, handrails and more. Check out our products today!