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Define: Monumental Stair

PBWolf

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Jun 10, 2010
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10
I am having a hard time finding what defines a "monumental stair"? Are there any code interpretations that I am missing regarding this? Specifically having to do with the handrail requirements?

Thanks in advance,
 

Gene Boecker

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Oct 19, 2009
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Location
Saint Louis, MO
What section of the code are you having trouble with?

The only thing that I can offer in a blanket sort of way is that it has been interpreted that the means of egress chapter applies to those elements from a safety perspective, even if the element isn't a means of egress. Which means that if the stair is not used for egress you still need handrails that meet the code for safety concerns.
 

mark handler

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So. CA
http://www.google.com/images?rlz=1T4GGLL_enUS331US331&q=monumental+stair&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=YVzhTLSwJIW4sQPk-b2fCg&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CCcQsAQwAA&biw=1038&bih=423

2006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE® COMMENTARY

The criteria for monumental stairways deals with the very wide stairway in relation to the required width.

While handrails on both sides of the stairway may be sufficient to accommodate the required width, the handrails may not be near the stream of traffic or even

apparent to the user. In this case, the handrails are to be placed in a location more reflective of the egress path (see Figure 1012.8 for handrail locations for monumental stairs).

Figure 1012.8

HANDRAILS FOR MONUMENTAL STAIRS

Basically, handrails are required on each side of a stairway. They must also be available within 30 inches of "the most direct path of egress travel". If the stair is wider than 60 inches, Intermediate Handrails are required to meet this 30 inch maximum. A 20 foot wide stairway would need the 2 outside railings and 3 intermediate handrails if it were serving continuous doors. However, the "most direct path of egress travel" in this case is up the sides since that is where the doors are located. The center area would not qualify as an egress travel path since it does not serve any entrance doors. This would exempt it from the Intermediate Handrail requirements.

See IBC 1009.10 and IBC 1012.8 for details.
 

Gene Boecker

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mark handler said:
http://www.google.com/images?rlz=1T4GGLL_enUS331US331&q=monumental+stair&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=YVzhTLSwJIW4sQPk-b2fCg&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CCcQsAQwAA&biw=1038&bih=4232006 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE® COMMENTARY

The criteria for monumental stairways deals with the very wide stairway in relation to the required width.

While handrails on both sides of the stairway may be sufficient to accommodate the required width, the handrails may not be near the stream of traffic or even

apparent to the user. In this case, the handrails are to be placed in a location more reflective of the egress path (see Figure 1012.8 for handrail locations for monumental stairs).

Figure 1012.8

HANDRAILS FOR MONUMENTAL STAIRS

Basically, handrails are required on each side of a stairway. They must also be available within 30 inches of "the most direct path of egress travel". If the stair is wider than 60 inches, Intermediate Handrails are required to meet this 30 inch maximum. A 20 foot wide stairway would need the 2 outside railings and 3 intermediate handrails if it were serving continuous doors. However, the "most direct path of egress travel" in this case is up the sides since that is where the doors are located. The center area would not qualify as an egress travel path since it does not serve any entrance doors. This would exempt it from the Intermediate Handrail requirements.

See IBC 1009.10 and IBC 1012.8 for details.
One comment on Mark's quite helpful note:

The only issue with the handrail spacing is that if it IS a monumental stair and not a means of egress, the only handrails that are "required" are the ones on the sides. The intermediate handrails are required to be within 30 inches of the "most direct path of egress travel." If the stair is not used for egress, then the 30 inch rule doesn't apply as a "requirement." It is still a good idea to provide handrails where possible to allow for their use in case someone needs them. Of course, that's a liability/risk issue and up to the owner to assess.
 

tbz

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As noted above to define a "monumental stair" you first have to look at the required egress width to see if what is present is over kill in width.

Or simply it is when the stairs are a lot larger in width, than the minimally required width.

The following 3 pictures represent some cases.

This picture as you can see has a single door existing the building with full building width stairs, the handrails were provided in the direct egress path

bronze_1-jpg.8373

bronze_1.jpg


These stairs are approximately 45' in width, the 2 walls have handrails and then there are 2 center double sided handrails in the middle. There were 3 sets of double doors opening on to them from a small church and the egress only required two 60" paths of travel. Hence 4.5 times larger than required. The picture was taken just before we installed the stone wall handrails so you don't see them in the pic., but they are there.

bronze_7-jpg.8374

bronze_7.jpg


This last stair only required one 60" width for it's required egress width. With the doors parting in the middle the center handrails supplied the requirement for the over sized staircase, the lower outer handrails for travel path.

monstair1-jpg.8375
 

matassew

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Aug 19, 2021
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1
Location
Colorado
On this line let me ask a question:

If a required stair width is 48" and for some aesthetic purpose the width is designed to be 72". Can the landing depth stays 48"?
 

tbz

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PA/NJ - Borderlands
On this line let me ask a question:

If a required stair width is 48" and for some aesthetic purpose the width is designed to be 72". Can the landing depth stays 48"?
Yes, unless there is some other pathway intersecting that now creates an option for a turn which stipulates that a 60" turning area is required, but the defined area for the landing still applies to be only 48.
 

tbz

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Dear Mr. Moderator or Ms. Moderator,

I am re-posting the pictures that have broken links for post #5 for reference, if by chance it can be corrected into the original post, please move pics and delete this post, or leave for reference.

Bronze_1.jpg
bronze_1.jpg

Bronze_7.jpg
bronze_7.jpg

monstair1.jpg
MonStair1.jpg
 
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ADAguy

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California
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steveray

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West of the river CT
1011.2 Width and capacity. The required capacity of stairways shall be determined as specified in Section 1005.1, but the minimum width shall be not less than 44 inches (1118 mm). See Section 1009.3 for accessible means of egress stairways. Exceptions: 1. Stairways serving an occupant load of less than 50 shall have a width of not less than 36 inches (914 mm).
 

Yikes

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Southern California
1011.2 Width and capacity. The required capacity of stairways shall be determined as specified in Section 1005.1, but the minimum width shall be not less than 44 inches (1118 mm). See Section 1009.3 for accessible means of egress stairways. Exceptions: 1. Stairways serving an occupant load of less than 50 shall have a width of not less than 36 inches (914 mm).
If you are in California, accessibility code CBC 11B-403.5.1 additionally requires exterior public walks and sidewalks to be 48" minimum width.
 

tbz

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Photo indicates differring riser height at grade, trip hazard
I will assume you are referencing the bottom of the 3 photo's which you would need to take it up with the DOD, since they told us go pound sand when we brought it up.

That is the historic Thayer Hotel at West Point Military Academy, built in 1829, keep dreaming.... installing the handrails was a 2 year battle to get past the Historic Overseers.
 
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