Barrier Testing in buildings

For safety reason barriers located in and about buildings, as well as external balcony balustrading and temporary edge protective systems, are required to meet particular codes based on their design and location. Compliance is normally demonstrated by inspection and load/displacement testing of the barrier’s structural elements and/or infill panels. Testing of barriers may be used to prove new barrier designs prior to construction or to prove the integrity/compliance of existing barriers.

There are several different type of barriers, the main ones being:

  • Glass- Free Standing (Laminated and Toughened);
  • Metal Framed (typically stainless steel) with Glass In-fill;
  • Metal Framed Metal In-fill (typically stainless steel); or
  • Balcony System Balustrades.
  • Balcony – Ornate cast iron
  • Balcony – Ornate natural stone/brick

Applicable Standards for these barriers include:

  • BS 6180 : 2011; Barriers in and about buildings code of practice
  • BS 7818 : 1985; Specification for pedestrian restraint systems in metal
  • BS EN 13374 : 2004; Temporary edge protection systems

Barrier testing/inspection would normally cover the following:

Dimensional surveying & condition assessments to confirm dimensions for test loads calculations and to inspect for mechanical and/or impact damage, corrosion etc.;

Load /deflection testing, based upon the dimensions of the barrier panels and the requirements of the particular standard involved. Specialised equipment is required to provide equivalent uniformly distributed loads along the required number of panels and to monitor the deflection both as the load is applied and after it has been removed.

Previous testing includes;-

Retail Outlets: Metro Centre - Gateshead, Eldon Square - Newcastle, Westfield - London, One New Change - City of London

Other Buildings: National Audit Offices - London, Olympic Park 2012/ Olympic Village, Diamond Project - Didcot Oxon and various Temporary Edge Protection Systems on Construction projects for Fall Arrest Capability.


Simon Morris

For further information contact: Simon Morris, Senior Associate
Direct Tel: 020 7565 7093
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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