Stairs and Landings The Australian Standards were developed to provide technical detail for the design and construction of buildings covered by the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
Stair building is expected to comply with a number of Australian Standards (AS) and Part 3.9 of the Building Code of Australia, (Australian Building Codes Board, 2008). The Australian Standards were been developed to provide technical detail for the design and construction of buildings covered by the Building Code of Australia (BCA). AS 1428 (parts 1,2 and 3) deals with design for access and mobility – general requirements for access, enhanced and additional requirements for buildings and facilities, and requirements for children and adolescents with physical disabilities respectively. AS 1657 (Standards Australia, 1992b) and AS 4226 (Standards Australia, 2008) provide useful guidelines for safe stair construction including the size of the goings and the height of the steps.
The BCA refers to the previously cited standards (and others) as referenced documents for the technical detail on how to achieve the required level of access for accessible stairways. The design and construction of accessible stairways in compliance with these standards, where referenced, hope to ensure compliance with the deemed-to-satisfy access provisions of the BCA. It should be noted that the preferred configurations for users with walking frames and severe ambulant disabilities may not comply with the normal requirements of the regulatory authorities (Standards Australia, 1992a).
The relevant standard and code to be referenced for stair safety are as follows:
AS 1428.1 – 2001. Design for access and mobility, Part 1: General requirements for access – New building work.
AS 1428.2 – 1992. Design for access and mobility, Part 2: Enhanced and additional requirements – Buildings and facilities.
AS 1428.3 – 1992. Design for access and mobility – Requirements for children and adolescents with physical disabilities.
AS 1657 – 1992. Fixed platforms, walkways, stairways and ladder – Design, construction and installation.
AS 4226 – 2008. Guidelines for safe housing design.
BCA (Vol 1) D2.3. Non-fire-isolated stairways and ramps.
BCA (Vol 1) D2.8. Enclosure of space under stairs and ramps.
BCA (Vol 1) D2.14. Landings.
BCA (Vol 1) D2.16. Balustrades or other barriers.
BCA (Vol 2) PART 3.9.1. Stair Construction.
BCA (Vol 2) PART 3.9.2. Balustrades.
Jung, Y. M. & Bridge, C. (2009). Stairs – Summary bulletin. Sydney: Home Modification Information Clearinghouse,