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Fixing Methods for Orbis Balustrades to External Ramps and Steps

Posted on 29th September 2022

Many projects have changes in level for accessing the building and have a requirement for balustrades on external concrete steps and ramps.

Often the method of installation requires consideration of core drilling, fixing below tarmac and paving or fixing into the top of brick walls. Each method can present its own challenges for design and installation.

External balustrades require the suitability of the substrate to be considered carefully, to know what type of fixing is needed to meet the minimum loading of 0.74kN/m (in some cases a higher loading may be needed to comply with crowd loadings).

It is important to note that Delta provide the balustrade and fixings, however the design and suitability of the substrate is the responsibility of the Contractor/Structural Engineer.

Considerations for Different Substrates

Concrete Steps with Paving on Top
There are risks to bolting through paving due to a risk of cracking, due to drilling near the edge of the paving and tightening fixings.

To prevent this from happening we recommend core drilling, which will also reduce pressure on the programme as the steps can be finished before installation.

Need a continuous concrete strip footing in place to core drill and provide a suitable fixing.

Brick Walls
If the brick wall is already in place, fixing into the brick wall will require core drilling down 250mm deep and choosing the correct grout to prevent brickwork cracking.

Core drilling and choosing the correct fixing is the best option for already tarmacked surfaces, however it must be noted that the slurry from core drilling can be difficult to clean off.

To discuss an external balustrades package contact a member of Delta’s technical team on 01270 753 383 or email