As Australian Glass Balustrade Regulations and Standards, the minimum thickness is 10mm toughened safety glass. Heights are required to be at 1000mm minimum ( to 1200mm with pool fencing) maximum panel widths as specified in the Standards. For Panels above 1000mm from F.F.L. (finished floor level), a handrail must be fitted so that in the event of glass failure, the rail will act as a barrier preventing people from falling or walking through. Toughened Laminated Safety Glass may be used without a handrail.
Frameless Glass Specifications
Frameless or structural glass balustrade is a contemporary and stylish alternative balustrade design. It consists of a freestanding glass system with very few or no vertical metal members and provides the features of unobstructed viewing together with maximum light transmission.
Available in 10mm, 12mm and 15mm toughened safety glass, these systems can be used on balconies, stairwells, dividing walls and pool fences.
Pool Fences and Gates
When gates are required to be incorporated in a pool fence, several designs are available. Pool gates must open out from the pool and be self-closing to meet pool gate requirements.
Designs can accommodate for glass to glass or post/wall to glass situations. Maximum recommended size for gates is 1200mm (h) x 1000mm (w) and should consider wind conditions in the area. Minimum recommended thickness is 8mm toughened safety glass. As per frameless balustrading, pool gates are subject to codes and regulations as listed.
Building Code of Australia (BCA) For Glass Balustrade
All balustrades in Australia are required to comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) Parts 3.9.1 and 3.9.2, Volume 2 and Australian Standard 1170.1. These codes are specific to safety issues pertaining to movement of humans between different levels of a building by use of stairs or ramps. The code also applies to raised platforms such as patios, balconies, verandas, terraces and so on.
To prevent humans from falling off inclined surfaces or raised horizontal surfaces, a continuous balustrade should be erected at the edge of a stairway, raised floor, inclined floor, hallway, corridor, balcony, pathway, veranda, patio, mezzanine or path used by humans that is not bounded by a wall or any surface that is more than 1 m above finished ground or adjoining floor level.
The height of the balustrade is to be measured from the finished floor surface. Such finished floor surface to include tiles, carpet etc.
Irrespective of pressure exerted, a balustrade needs to be stiff so it does not buckle or break under pressure exerted. A balustrade can have a non-slip handrail.
THE BCA regulations specify the height of a balustrade built in Australia to be not less than:
- 1m above the finished floor and 4m where there exists a possibility of a falling through an open window.
- Where a balustrade is provided along the inside edge of a landing, the height shall be 865mm above the floor of a landing to a ramp or stair and is not more than 500mm long.
- Where the balustrade height changes or needs to change from 865mm on the stair flight or ramp to 1m at the landing, a transition zone should be incorporated.