A new design guide is being launched to assist stair designers, manufacturers and builders involved in the design and specification of timber stairs for the UK housing market.
The guidance from the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Stair Scheme helps to draw together what has been a conflicting hotchpotch of standards to provide authoritative advice on how a staircase in the home should be designed and set out, to ensure safety, and to reduce commonplace concerns such as squeaks and bouncy stairs.
The new Design Guide for Domestic Stairs will be launched during a reception on the Confederation of Timber Industries stand (T445) at Timber Expo.
The event at 12.30pm on Thursday 12 October will feature speakers from BWF, NHBC and the Home Builders’ Federation.
“This guide provides clear and comprehensive technical advice to our industry, reassurance to our customers, and supports the timber stairs market with a strong platform for continued innovation,” said Hannah Mansell, manager of the BWF Stair Scheme.
“The document marks the fruition of two years’ hard work by stair scheme members in what has been a very open, frank and healthy culture of improving our products and focusing on how we demonstrate performance, so important in the construction sector today.
“The guide has embraced new consistent ways to determine the walk line of a winder and incorporates new test evidence that can be cascaded to staircase manufacturers to ensure that their products meet the standards.”
Structural engineer Dr Luke Whale, managing director of C4Ci, who worked with the BWF team on the guide added: “We take staircases for granted. But they are incredibly complex structural elements, particularly when you start to add turns and advancements in materials and process.
“As an engineer I live in a world of risk management and it concerns me at times how the construction industry fails to address risk. The great thing about this guidance is that it sets a standard, does reduce risk and also provides a good basis and process from which to innovate and develop.”
The BWF Stair Scheme was established in 2011 to raise awareness of timber stair standards, to accredit to high quality manufacturers and to improve safety. It is the only accreditation and certification scheme of its kind in the UK and accounts for approximately 70% of the timber stair market.
The design guide will be available to download at www.bwfstairscheme.org.uk