Building Regulations : Highlights

In this article we have tried to bullet point some key points which should be considered when complying with Building Regulations on your balustrade project.

As you would expect, we are fully up to date with the latest British Standards and Building Regulations. Our products are tried and tested and we can supply standard test results if required.

If there is something you’re not sure of, or require specific tests to be carried out then please get in touch.

All of the below is based on a family dwelling.

  • provide guarding that is capable of preventing people falling from a height of 600mm
  • minimum height for stairs, landings, ramps, edges of internal falls; 900mm for all elements
  • minimum height for external balconies, including juliette balconies and edges of roofs; 1100mm
  • in a building that is used by children under 5, ensure that a 100mm sphere cannot pass through any openings
  • to prevent children climbing, avoid the use of horizontal rails
  • if no suitable handrail is in place, toughened laminated glass must be used
  • if one laminated panel fails, the other should be capable of withstanding the load on its own
  • toughened only glass can be used where a suitable handrail is in place

Minimum horizontal imposed loads for parapets, barriers and balustrade

Domestic and residential activities (i) All areas within or serving exclusively one single family dwelling including stairs, landings, etc. but excluding external balconies and edges of roofs
(ii) Other residential, i.e. houses of multiple occupancy and balconies, including Juliette balconies and edges of roofs in single family dwellings



Offices and work areas not included elsewhere, including storage areas (iii) Light access stairs and gangways not more than 600 mm wide
(iv) Light pedestrian traffic routes in industrial and storage buildings except designated escape routes
(v) Areas not susceptile to overcrowding in office and institutional buildings, also industrial and storage buildings except as given above



Areas where people might congregate (vi) Areas having fixed seating within 530 mm of the barrier, balustrade or parapet 1.5
Areas with tables or fixed seatings (vii) Restaurants and bars 1.5
Areas without obstacles for moving people and not susceptible to overcrowding (viii) Stairs, landings, corridors, ramps
(ix) External balconies including Juliette balconies and edges of roofs. Footways and pavements within building curtilage adjacent to basement/sunken areas


Areas susceptible to overcrowding (x) Footways or pavements less than 3 m wide adjacent to sunken areas
(xi) Theatres, cinemas, discotheques, bars, auditoria, shopping malls, assembly areas, studio. Footways or pavements greater than 3 m wide adjacent to sunken areas.
(xii) Grandstands and stadia A)


Retail areas (xiii) All retail areas including public areas of banks/building societies or betting shops 1.5
Vehicular (xiv) Pedestrian areas in car parks, including stairs, landings, ramps, edges or internal floors, footways, edges of roofs
(xv) Horizontal loads imposed by vehicles B)
A) See requirements of the appropriate certifying authority.
B) See Annex A (BS 6180)

The above information is only to be used a quick guide. You should always consult official documentation and a professional before any work is carried out.

Balustrade.Glass cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.