Many modern homes choose the contemporary finish of a balustrade and handrail, allowing light to enter the room and creating a bright and elegant look. A balustrade is necessary for safety, whether on an interior landing or an outdoor balcony, but a balustrade and handrail allow for an interrupted view of the surroundings.
In most cases, metallic materials such as steel, stainless steel, or aluminum are used for balustrade and handrail structures rather than plastics. Even though wood is and has always been a popular building material, it does require some upkeep.
Sometimes there comes a situation when the balustrade and handrail structure incorporates and is the barrier, as in bars or perforated metal panels.
And in many cases in the modern build, glass is used as infill panels. In the case of structural glass, the glass itself is the barrier, as in the case of perforated metal panels.
What Types of Glass can be Used?
Whenever you work with glass, you are required to use what is known as safety glass. This can be either toughened (also known as tempered) or laminated (also known as laminated).
What Heights are Required for Balustrades?
The height requirement for balustrades that are located in the same house is 0.9m from the “datum” (which is defined as the height or point on which you can stand) to the top of the handrail (or baluster).
The required height for outdoor balconies or terraces is 1.1m from the datum to the top of the handrail and balustrade measured from the ground.
Handrail height for stairwells, whether internal or external and for all other applications is 0.9m from “datum.”
The loads are stated in kilograms per meter squared (kN/m) (kilo Newton meter). This is a figure comparable to 100kg (220lb) of pressure per meter length, to put it another way.
Example: If it is stated that the force is 1.0kN/m, this is approximately similar to one person weighing 100kg placing their entire weight on one meter of length.
For the handrail and balustrade to function properly, three fundamental loads must be met: (a) horizontal loading on the handrail and balustrade; (b) vertical loading on the handrail; and (c) loading on the infill.
Unevenly distributed line load (UDL) refers to the horizontal loading on the handrail in a uniform manner. A UDL vertical load and a point load are used to create the bending moment in the handrail’s and balustrade’s vertical axis.
The force applied to the infill is made of glass, metal, or another material. And is tested and computed in two different ways: a “distributed load” and a “point load.”
This means that the infill of the railing, balustrade and handrail, or barrier must sustain pressure that is equally distributed and pressure that is concentrated on a limited area of the structure.
To ensure that the greatest deflection under pressure does not exceed 25mm, the loads are tested or calculated.
Point Load for Public Areas
Every public area, including retail areas, malls, discotheques, overcrowding-prone places, bars, and restaurants, must have a point load that can support 1.5kN/m to function properly.
A balustrade and handrail is an essential feature in many homes and commercial premises. Originally designed as a safety barrier to separate levels or areas in a property, a glass balustrade is as much about style as it is practicality.
With a wide range of patterns, designs, and even colors available, a balustrade and handrail can be tailored to complement your decor and interior, no matter whether you want a seamless, subtle finish or a stylish design statement. In such cases, you should always go with the experts in this field.