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Connecting People: A Guide to Creative Commercial Stair Design

Staircases serve an important purpose – to physically connect one level of a building to another – across split levels, across different floors, or between inside and outside environments. For many projects, this is where staircases stop.



BY

January 28th, 2021


Staircases serve an important purpose – to physically connect one level of a building to another – across split levels, across different floors, or between inside and outside environments. For many projects, this is where staircases stop.

However, stairs in architectural design are not simply practical – they are the centerpiece of a building’s character, form and function. In public buildings, architects and designers are being asked to promote social interaction, encourage healthy behaviour, and deliver beautiful, complex spaces that engage users on an emotional level. A well-designed staircase is the focal point in which these aspirations can be achieved.

In the new COVID-19 world, stairs are set to take on even greater importance. With urban space becoming more limited, universities, offices and public buildings are turning into vertical campuses and high rises where moving people to different floors becomes a major challenge. The use of lifts is being challenged, considering the limitations on lift capacity, cost and the growing global anxiety over crowded spaces and the risk of contamination. In the projects of the future, cutting edge stair design will take centre stage.

Against this backdrop, it is important to understand the regulatory requirements for commercial stair design and how they are applied – so that creative and pragmatic approaches to stair design can be utilised to benefit project outcomes. Improperly designed stairs can increase the risk of injury, restrict movement and access, cause discomfort, and lead to non-compliance with building codes and standards.

In this whitepaper, we consider some key regulatory requirements and their best practice application in order to facilitate creative stair design.

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