Balcony Building Regulations

Over the past few years there has been a significant shift within the building industy to improve building practises and material specifications of high-rise balconies and terraces. The introduction of BS 8579:2020 outlines the stardards to allow the building of safer balconies and terraces.

BS 8579:2020
This BS guide is aimed at providing in-depth guidance for balconies and terraces in terms of spatial arrangement, wind effects, inclusive design, safety considerations, drainage, weathering effects, thermal and acoustic considerations.

For a comprehensive guide you can purchase the full BS 8579:2020 guide

BS 8579 requires balconies on buildings, which are occupied, above 11 metres to be of limited combustibility (i.e A1 or A2-S1-d0 as classified by BS EN 13501-1 in accordance with Regulation 7). Importantly, the standard introduces that this shall also apply to stacked balconies on buildings of any height. Emphasising that balconies should be built to prevent the spread of fire into the structure and surrounds.

This new rule for stacked balconies of any height is a significant change, yet it is a reasonable and acceptable instruction when seen in the perspective of increasing fire safety.

Water dripping has long been a source of concern for balcony specifiers and designers. As such, BS 8579 requires that balconies and terraces to have some form of controlled drainage for water.

BS8579 offers two methods of controlled drainage:

1. Pipe drainage, which usually drains back towards the building and into a downpipe (Although, drainpipes can be unattractive and prone to clogging).

2. Edge drainage, which enables draining away from the building to the front edge of the balcony.

In addition to the well understood pendulum slip test requirement which measures macroroughness and requires a PTV of 36 even when wet, there is additionally a requirement for Surface Microroughness (Rz) which is a component of surface texture. A value of 20 or higher is required to pass, and the result is given as a single number.

In all instances it is the responsibility of the client and contractor to check the data contained on this page and the interpretation of regulations that AB ​Commercial Decking have made. This information is intended as a guideline only. Please contact your planning officer and/or your fire officer before proceeding with your project.


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