Safety + Visual Appeal
Step details are fast becoming more important in all projects, both in terms of visual appeal and, more importantly, safety. AG have been supplying step products for many years and through investment continue to add new and innovative concrete solutions in this area.
When designing external step details designers need to refer to UK Building Regulations Part M 2004 or Ireland Building Regulations TGD M 2010, Part M Access and Use which detail what is required for compliance. Additional guidance may be taken from the Design of Buildings and Approaches to meet the needs of disabled people BS 8300 2009:
“Those involved in the design and construction of a building may be required by the relevant building authority to provide such evidence as is necessary to establish that the requirements of the Building Regulations are being complied with”.
The following surface finish options are available for our step profiles:
SQUARE EDGE + VISUAL CONTRAST STRIPS
TerraPave® - click here for colours and finishes.
Caliza® - click here for colours and finishes.
Canterra® - click here for colours.
Granaza - click here for colours.
Pedra - click here for colours and finishes.
SMALL BLOCK BULLNOSE
Bullnose Kerb Setts - click here for colours and finishes.
SMALL BLOCK SQUARE
Mile Stone Kerbs - click here for colours.
BS EN: BS EN 1338:2003
Minimum order quantities are required for certain colours and sizes. Before placing an order, please speak to one of our sales teams – they'll be happy to advise on this and any other product questions you may have. You can reach them on 0121 747 0202 in UK and on +44 (0)28 8778 8112 in Ireland.
Let us help you get the most from AG products
Part M of the Building Regulations gives guidance on the use of hazard warning flags to facilitate the safety of persons with impaired vision when approaching changing levels in stepped areas.
The use of a corduroy hazard warning surface is a requirement that must be installed at both the top and bottom landing areas to provide advance notice of a change in levels. The hazard warning landing area when approached straight must be 800mm and set-back 400mm from the front edge of the steps whilst extending 400mm either side of the actual step width.
In line with Part M, the dimensions of step details are generally consistent with the rise of each step measuring between 150mm and 170mm whilst the tread is between 280mm and 450mm. These dimensions give consistency to all users thereby reducing the injury risks associated with step details.
Part M of Building Regulations states that “all nosings are made apparent by means of a permanent contrasting material 55mm wide on both tread and rise”. When ascending or descending a flight of stairs the ability to distinguish between the individual treads and risers is essential, particularly for those who are partially sighted. Contrasting strips of a slip resistant material must be inserted along the full width of the steps both on the tread and riser. The inserted strips should ideally measure 55mm in width and set-back 35mm from the front of the step on the tread and 35mm from the top of the riser.
Safety underfoot and reducing the risk of slip / skid is as important for step details as it is for paved areas. AG provide a full range of step details which have a low slip / skid risk and comply with all the various testing procedures including PTV, USRV and R rating. All flags within the range including the TerraPave® Ground surfaces are suitable for use in locations of changing levels. Contact AG Specification Department for further information. See slip / skid information for more detail.
LRV is the total quantity of visible light reflected by a surface at all wavelengths and directions when illuminated by a visible light source. For persons with adequate vision, differences in the nature or the intensity of colour provide enough visual contrast. Unfortunately this is not the case for all people who are visually impaired. The main feature of a surface which appears to be strongly correlated with the ability of visually impaired people to identify differences in colour is the LRV. Differences in LRV can be used to assess the degree of visual contrast between surfaces of paving, walling, masonry and any surrounding surface.
LRV is scaled from 0, which is deemed absorbing and could be assumed to be totally black, up to 100 which may be reflective and perfectively white. For the purposes of practical influence in any application black is always greater than 0 and white never equals 100.
To comply, in most cases, a difference of more than 30 points or more allows a degree of variability to provide reasonable visual contrast. This visual contrast and compliance with Part M is achieved when the difference in LRV is greater than 30 points. AG have a large selection of paving units and step details tested which comply with Part M of Building Regulations.
Solar reflectance is becoming increasingly common in paving specification and AG have conducted extensive testing on all products. Guidelines on acceptable levels of solar reflectance index state that a product must have a SRI (Solar Reflective Index) of greater than 29 to be acceptable. In explaining SRV we can refer to the following:
A heat island is a local area of elevated temperature in a region of cooler temperatures. The heat island usually occurs in urban areas; hence they are sometimes called urban heat islands. An urban heat island occurs when built-up areas are warmer than the surrounding environment.
Heat islands occur where there is a preponderance of dark exterior building materials and lack of vegetation. Materials with low solar reflectance (generally dark materials) absorb heat from the sun, and materials with higher solar reflectance (generally light-coloured materials) reflect heat from the sun and do not warm the air relative to the surrounding areas as much. In hard landscaping this effect can be seen and felt where dark coloured paving is installed, especially in an enclosed space with direct sunlight and no cooling winds (e.g. enclosed courtyards in modern buildings). AG have conducted a series of SRI tests on their coloured paving units and can advise on correct specification