Comment on Proposed Modification 1827 to the Fl Bldg Code
Provide the following changes to my proposal 1827. I believe the changes provide better clarity and will make enforcement of the code intention easier. R3188.8.131.52 Height. Handrail height, measured vertically from the sloped plane adjoining the tread nosing, or finish surface of ramp slope, shall be not less than 34 inches (864 mm) and not more than 38 inches (965 mm). Exception: When the handrail fittings are used to provide transition between flights, transition from handrail to guardrail, or used at the start of a stair, occurs at a newel post, the handrail height at the fitting may vary. If the newel post is located at the top of the stair riser the handrail shall be permitted to exceed the maximum height. R3184.108.40.206 Continuity. Handrails for stairways shall be continuous for the full length of the flight, from a point directly above the top riser nosing edge of the flight to a point directly above the lowest riser nosing edge of the flight. Handrail ends shall be returned or shall terminate in newel posts or safety terminals. Handrails adjacent to a wall shall have a space of no less than 1-1/2 inch (38 mm) between the wall and the handrails. Exceptions: 1. Handrails shall be permitted to be interrupted by a newel post at the turn and at the top of the flight.. 2. The use of a volute, turnout, starting easing or starting newel shall be allowed over the lowest tread. Rationale [Provide an explanation of why you would like this Proposed Modification to the Florida Building Code.]: Rational: This code change is to provide clarification to the handrail requirements for both height and continuity. The code as it is currently written can be misinterpreted to prevent the use of an architectural fitting to accommodate the transition from guardrail to handrail at the top riser of a flight of stairs. Rational: This code change is to provide clarification to the handrail requirements for both height and continuity. The code as it is currently written can be misinterpreted to prevent the use of commonly accepted architectural fittings to accommodate the transition and continuity of handrails throughout a stairway from the start, through transitions between flights and connecting floor levels. In addition the reference of the riser in R311..5.6.2 has been changed to further clarify and match the reference of the nosing in R311.5.6. Please explain how the proposed modification meets the following requirements: 1. Has a reasonable and substantial connection with the health, safety, and welfare of the general public: Continues to provide safety and allow commonly practiced solutions and materials to provide continuity while allowing an architecturally pleasing handrail. 2. Strengthens or improves the code, and provides equivalent or better products, methods, or systems of construction:
Clarifies the requirement to provide a continuous handrail while allowing the handrail to transition continuously between flights or to a guardrail. It further improves the code by using the same reference for continuity as that used to determine the height of the handrail.