Course Descriptions and Learning Objectives
SMA101 - "Designing Safe, Code-Compliant, Residential Stairways" - 1LU|HSW
SMA102 - “Residential Balustrade Design and Specification Utilizing Common Stair Parts”- 1.5 LU/HSW
Understanding the nomenclature and functions of the stair parts and their relationship to each other in a balustrade is critical to life safety and achieving the desired aesthetic. A balustrade can function as a guard to minimize the possibility of a fall and concurrently provide a handrail for guidance and support. Balustrades are an important safety element associated with stairways and raised walking surfaces that must meet minimum standards established in the building codes. Balustrades present a puzzle that can be solved using common industry stair parts to design code compliant Over-the-Post or Post-to-Post balustrades. This course identifies the functional elements, reviews the IRC code requirements and provides the tools to accurately design balustrades using readily available stair parts. You will learn how to specify the appropriate parts for almost any given project and produce a wide range of aesthetically appealing designs while meeting and exceeding building codes.
Why do some handrails become loose and rickety--and dangerous? Why do some stairs squeak? Is it the material? The materials in dangerous stairs are often quite resilient and exquisitely beautiful. Why do some stairs stand solid for 100-200 years without weakening and others are compromised in a few years? What was the difference in the approach to their design? The old world masters used methods we have failed to maintain in the modern world. They had stair design secrets that have largely been lost to history. Shop built stair design methods with furniture grade joinery possess elements that prevent these defects and provide superior longevity to high use staircases. You will acquire the ability to specify critical joinery, not just parts, as demonstrated in a stair shop/manufacturing setting and through presentation and classroom discussion with seasoned practitioners from the stair industry. You will learn the merits of integrating stair system design into building system design, simple methods that can render any staircase nearly permanent and how to apply the principle of "Inseparable Connection" between stair design and handrail design in future architectural practice.