For safety reasons 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 types 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)
- 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.
For more information contact our in-house expert: