Building Regulations Part M – What It Means For Stairs


Friday, November 25, 2016

Following on from our recent article covering Park K of the Building Regulation we thought we would now highlight the equally important Part M, and in particular, what is means for staircase handrails.

When trying to describe Part M, we particularly like the following paragraph which truly encompasses the overall scope of the document -

‘People, regardless of disability, age or gender, should be able to gain access to buildings and to gain access within buildings and use their facilities, both as visitors and as people who live in work in them.’

Part M requires the inclusive provision of ease of access to and circulation within all buildings, together with requirements for facilities for disabled people. Specific guidance is given within this for handrails with key points as follows:

  • Handrails are required to both sides of a staircase, which should be continuous throughout the stairs, ramps, or landings.

  • Handrails to project at least 300mm beyond top and bottom nosing of a flight of steps, while not projecting into an access route.

  • Handrail to contrast visually with the background against which it is seen, without being highly reflective.

  • Height to be between 900mm and 1000mm above steps pitch line. 900mm and 1100mm above surface of landings.
  • Clearance of between 60mm and 75mm between handrail and any wall surface.
  • Surface should be slip resistant and not cold to touch.

  • It terminates in a way that reduces the risk of clothing or hands being caught.

Part M is particularly relevant on new build projects where such properties must comply. We would recommend you contact your local Building Control department if in any doubt as to whether your alterations are affected by this document.