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British Standards for a Spiral or Helical Staircase

Technical requirements relating to design, construction and installation of a spiral staircase to British Standards.

The design of a staircase, spiral or otherwise, is governed by Part K of Building Regulations. However, paragraph 1.21 of Part K states that a spiral and helical staircase compies with Building Regulations if they comply with British Standards (BS) 5395 part II (Code of practice for the design of a helical and spiral staircase 1984). In essence this means a greater degree of flexibility in design than using the criteria for tapered treads laid down in Part K, particularly with regard to intermediate and floor level landings, inner goings and numbers of risers per flight.

In addition to this, parts B (Means of Escape) and M (Access for Disabled) of Building Regulations also apply to a spiral staircase in certain situations.

External stairways over six metres in height may also require weather protection, such as balustrade panels and canopy roofing. Please consult with our Technical Department for further advice on all aspects of Building Regulations. We strongly recommend that all customers liaise with their local authority Building Control department or District Surveyor to ascertain the exact requirement for the individual situation.

Please see below a summary table of British Standards (BS)5395 part II giving various categories or stairways.


Category
Spiral Staircase DescriptionRise per treadMin. clear widthMin. going centre
A
Small private spiral staircase intended to be used by a limited number of people who are generally familiar with staircase eg internal staircase in a dwelling serving one room not being a living room or kitchen, access spiral staircase to a small room or plant in an office, shop, factory, not used by the public, or fire escape for small number of people.170-220 600 145
B
Private spiral staircase similar to category A, but also providing the main access to the upper floor of a private dwelling.170-220800190
C
Small semi-public spiral staircase intended to be used by a limited number of people, some of whom may be unfamiliar with staircase eg spiral staircase in factory, office, shop or common stair serving more than one dwelling.170-220800230
D
Semi-public spiral staircase intended to be used by larger numbers of people, some of whom may be unfamiliar with staircase eg spiral staircase in factory, office, shop or common stair serving more than one dwelling.150-190900250
E
Public spiral staircase intended to be used by large numbers of people at one time eg spiral staircase in place of public assembly150-1901000250