Glass in Handrails and Guards – Florida Building Code 7th Edition (2020)

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2407.1 Materials.

Glass used in a handrail, guardrail or guard section shall be laminated glass constructed of fully tempered or heat-strengthened glass and shall comply with Category II or CPSC 16 CFR Part 1201 or Class A of ANSI Z97.1. Glazing in railing in-fill panels shall be of an approved safety glazing material that conforms to the provisions of Section 2406.1.1. For all glazing types, the minimum nominal thickness shall be 1/inch (6.4 mm).

Exception: Single fully tempered glass complying with Category II of CPSC 16 CFR Part 1201 or Class A of ANSI Z97.1 shall be permitted to be used in handrails and guardrails where there is no walking surface beneath them or the walking surface is permanently protected from the risk of falling glass.

2407.1.1 Loads.

The panels and their support system shall be designed to withstand the loads specified in Section 1607.8 using a safety factor of four.

2407.1.2 Structural glass baluster panels.

Guards with structural glass baluster panels shall be installed with an attached top rail or handrail. The top rail or handrail shall be supported by not fewer than three glass baluster panels, or shall be otherwise supported to remain in place should one glass baluster panel fail.

Exception: An attached top rail or handrail is not required where the glass baluster panels are laminated glass with two or more glass plies of equal thickness and of the same glass type. The panels shall be tested to remain in place as a barrier following impact or glass breakage in accordance with ASTM E2353.

2407.1.3 Parking garages.

Glazing materials shall not be installed in handrails or guards in parking garages except for pedestrian areas not exposed to impact from vehicles.

2407.1.4 Glazing in wind-borne debris regions.

Glazing installed in in-fill panels or balusters in wind-borne debris regions shall comply with the following:

2407.1.4.1 Balusters and in-fill panels.

Glass installed in exterior railing in-fill panels or balusters shall be laminated glass complying with Category II of CPSC 16 CFR Part 1201 or Class A of ANSI Z97.1.

2407.1.4.2 Glass supporting top rail.

When the top rail is supported by glass, the assembly shall be tested according to the impact requirements of Section 1609.1.2 (HVHZ shall comply with Section 1618.4.6.4). The top rail shall remain in place after impact.

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