Superstructure (excluding roofs)


This chapter gives guidance on meeting the Technical Requirements for staircases.

Definitions for this chapter

BalustradingThe collective name for the complete assembly of handrails, baserails, newels, spindles and
Common (communal) stairA staircase serving more than one property.
Continuous handrailUsing lengths of handrail connected to handrail fittings and ramps, the handrail flows over the
tops of newel turnings, creating a continuous run of handrail.
GoingThe horizontal distance between the face of the first and last risers.
General access stairA stair intended for all users of a building on a day-to-day basis, as a normal route between
Newel postA post at the head or foot of a flight of stairs, supporting a handrail.
NosingThe edge of the tread projecting beyond the face of the riser.
PitchThe angle between the pitch line and the horizontal.
Pitch lineA notional line connecting the nosings of all treads in a flight of stairs.
Private stairA staircase wholly within one dwelling.
RiseThe vertical distance between the floors or landings connected by a flight. The individual rise is
the vertical measurement from the top of a tread to the top of the next tread.
RiserThe board that forms the face of the step.
SpindleA vertical member, plain or decorative, that acts as the infill between the handrail and baserail.
StaircaseThe entire structure relating to a stair, comprising steps, treads, risers, strings, balustrading,
landings, etc.
StairwayThe space/void provided for the stairs.
StepThe tread and riser combined.
TreadThe top or horizontal surface of a step.
Utility stairA staircase used for escape, access for maintenance, or purposes other than moving between
levels on a day-to-day basis.
WindersRadiating steps, narrower at one end, that are used to change the direction of stairs through 90°
or 180°.