One of the most integral parts of commercial buildings is a staircase. It serves a vital role in the architecture of a building because it provides a safe and convenient way to hop on floors.
In any business establishment, a staircase is necessary because it divides the height between levels into manageable steps, creating a pedestrian route. While it is barely noticeable when built, choosing the appropriate materials is not a simple task because you have a bunch of factors to consider.
Material selection is a serious undertaking that should not be taken lightly. Inadequate understanding thereof raises the risk of running into problems that compromise the staircase’s construction, durability, and ability to meet industry requirements.
Below are the critical aspects to consider in choosing industrial stairs for your business.
Budget is one of the most significant considerations in choosing a staircase for your business. In buying the different materials, your budget should be a priority. You may compare prices from various manufacturers to identify which gives value for money. By this, you can also assess how much you would need to buy the materials.
If you plan to erect your staircase in an outdoor area, ensure that the structure can withstand any weather conditions and business operations. While other materials may cost relatively less, it is critical to evaluate the possible cost for future repairs. Unless expensive maintenance and repairs are allocated for an erroneously built stair for outdoor use, it remains best to buy materials that can last for a long period for a more efficient business flow.
There are various types of materials that can be utilized to design stairs. Marble, steel, lumber, or even concrete too are choices. Some firms even use glass for their staircase treads, which look lovely but are more expensive. Your stairway should be capable of holding the weight exerted on it to ensure safety.
Metal and timber staircase layouts remain to be the most prominent as they have been for many years. It is because of their environmental friendliness, stability, and durability, as well as the comparatively low cost of installation. Still, relying on the style of the area with the stair, various combinations of these materials with glass, customary or manufactured stone, and plastic are generally utilized in the formation of the staircase.
3. Staircase Design
Stairs are fundamental to architectural design. The primary function of a staircase is to provide a straightforward and convenient means of going between different levels of a building. Well-designed stairways may add value to any facility as it assures people are comfortable and safe walking up and down the steps. Apart from adding aesthetics to a building, it also acts as a cost-effective option to carry people and items from one story to another.
Your staircase design must meet the nature of your business. If your business is in the corporate setting, you may use designs like those we commonly see in office buildings. If you’re a manufacturer of raw materials, you may use staircase designs that can support heavy loads when used.
4. Building Codes
The International Building Code (IBC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) each have their own set of criteria that may differ. It’s best to know the local laws applicable to your project’s jurisdiction, as there may be additional requirements.
There are a few distinctions between IBC and OSHA standards. At least 22 inches wide is the minimum requirement set forth by OSHA. The angle of the stairs climb dictates the rise and tread measurements. For example, a 45-degree stairway climb requires a minimum rise and tread of 8.75 inches. OSHA-compliant stair risers can be left open. Since these types of stairways are not intended for children, they must have handrails and guardrails, however, there can be gaps between the rails. All staircases that are required egress route must comply with OSHA standards. The IBC applies to any stairway servicing an occupied segment of a building, whether or not it is part of an escape system.
To be clear, a “means of egress” is an unimpeded way out of a structure, building, or area. As a result, even a single step out of a building must comply with regulations.
OSHA stairs normally have an 8-inch open riser and a 9-inch tread, with the latter being the most common. The minimum OSHA stair width is 22 inches.
In most cases, IBC stairs feature a 7-inch closed riser as well as an 11-inch tread length. Expect a minimum of 44 inches for stair width in most circumstances and 36 inches in places with an average population of less than 50.
Moreover, following the accurate measurements of compliant stairs ensures both the efficiency of the structure thereof and the safety of those who use it. As previously indicated, local jurisdictions may impose extra requirements that are not covered by the IBC or OSHA standards.
Evaluate the amount of available space in your area. If you have a limited area, this can guide you in creating a design that won’t take up so much space. If your area is broader, you might want to consider a staircase that is bigger to maximise the space.
To ensure the safety of the building and optimise workflow, a staircase must meet the needs of your business. Moreover, it should also comply with the standards set by the law to ensure its structural integrity.
With the above discussion, it is hoped that it will guide you in choosing a staircase design fit for your business.