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Tag: building code

Building Code Comparison Chart

Guardrail Location Requirements IRC — 30″ above floor or grade below on open-sided walking surfaces. — On open sides of stairs with a total riser of more than 30″ above the floor or grade below. IBC — 30″ above floor or grade below on open-sided walking surfaces, mezzanines, industrial equipment platforms, stairways, ramps and landings. […]

Load Requirements for Handrail and Guard

Handrails and guards must be able to withstand a uniform load of 50 lbs / ft or a concentrated load of 200 lbs placed at the top of the handrail or guard. Infill areas must be able to withstand a load of 50 lbs / square foot.

Handrail Return Requirements

Handrail extensions must return to a wall, itself or the walking surface. Note: While it is a common practice to leave a gap between a wall return and the wall, some inspectors have rejected this as they consider it a return toward the wall and not a return to the wall.    

Quick Introduction to The International Code Council

Most municipalities and local code bodies do not write code – they adopt model codes prepared by various code bodies. Historically, model codes were prepared by code bodies such as Building Officials Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA) – the National Building Code (NBC); Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) – the Southern Building Code (SBC); […]

What Is “The Ladder Effect”?

The 2000 International Residential Code (IRC) states that guardrails . . . shall not be constructed with horizontal members or other ornamental pattern that results in a ladder effect. It has never been in the International Building Code (IBC). This was removed in the 2001 code cycle and was published in the 2001 IRC supplement. […]

Clarifying Handrail Bracket Clearance

Required clearance between a handrail and other building elements continues to confound and confuse. Here’s a quick review of where present codes now stand. The 1992 Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) stated that there was to be an absolute dimension of 1-1/2″ between a handrail and a wall. This was actually a “grab […]


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