Design guidance for barriers

Structural engineers, building designers, manufacturers and building consent authorities (BCAs) who are involved in the design, manufacture, installation and assessment of barriers will find the Department’s recently published ‘Practice Advisory 10 – Design Guidance for Barriers’ helpful.

Barriers need to comply with Clauses B1, B2, F2 and F4 of the Building Code. In demonstrating Code compliance to a BCA, designers and manufacturers will need to provide sufficient supporting technical data. Examples include full details of the system together with one or more of the following.

  • Design calculations. Some barrier systems are relatively complex which makes design by means of standard calculations difficult. Either computer analysis (such as finite element analysis) or testing may be required to demonstrate compliance. This is often the case with some types of glass barrier systems. Where design calculations are provided, the analysis and design information may include the loads applied at ultimate and serviceability limit states, the design actions, member capacities and calculated deflections.
    10 coDeworDs, December 09, issue 040
  • Test results demonstrating compliance with the Building Code or relevant Compliance Documents.
  • Other information such as detailed product literature and design tables such as the balustrade design tables produced by the Glass Association of New Zealand.

It is important to note that the suitability and strength of the structure supporting the barrier, for example the floor or deck to which the barrier is connected, also needs to be designed and assessed for Building Code compliance.

The designer or manufacturer may wish to provide a producer statement from a suitably qualified engineer claiming compliance with the relevant Building Code clauses as further evidence for the BCA to consider.