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Specifying Balustrades for Department for Education

Posted on 20th November 2023

Having supplied over 56,000 metres of balustrades to schools, colleges and universities throughout the UK, Delta’s expertise in manufacturing balustrade and handrail systems for education projects is extensive.

Department of Education frameworks have certain requirements for balustrade and handrail systems, this guide is a summary of 9 key points for consideration.

  1. Balustrades and guarding to be in accordance with BS6180:2011 ‘Barriers in and about buildings’ and AD K and Technical Annex 2C, inclusive of design and materials (including glass balustrades)
  2. Balustrade and guarding design to be certified by chartered structural engineer or BSI kitemark registered manufacturers and installed by qualified accredited and certified installers
  3. Guarding of walkways, or staircases with voids on both sides, shall be between a minimum of 1100mm high and a maximum of 1500mm high (additional height guarding to be based on risk assessment)
  4. If the gap between stair strings exceeds 200mm, the gap shall be treated as a void
  5. Where tread meets a wall, the gap shall be no greater than 25mm
  6. Handrails on stairs are continuous without vertical steps in the handrail, with offset treads to accommodate continuous handrails
  7. Handrail elements (height, colour, texture) to comply with AD M and adopt relevant guidance in BS8300-2:2018
  8. Materials for handrails/balustrades shall be self-finished, chosen to contrast with the background and not be highly reflective
  9. Glass to balustrades, barriers and guarding’s to be laminated and toughened, and fixed with bolt-through fixing when using an infill panel system

The full extent of the DfE requirements can be found in, Technical Annex 2B, Technical Annex 2C, BS 6180:2011 Barriers In and About Buildings and Approved Document K.

Click to view Delta’s Education Projects.