Utilitarian Stairs are used for fire exits, industrial buildings and and other "backstage" locations. These stairs are almost always steel because of the building's Construction Type or the configuration that the stair must take. Steel allows for bent stringers, and balusters that will hold up over time.
The drawings should show a stair cross-section at the very least to establish dimensions of the flights, headroom clearances, support and railing configuration. Additional details should be used to show any aesthetic or quality-related issues. Stairs are normally fabricated by specialty sub-contractors, so for the most utilitarian of stairs the only information that they need are the dimensions. The stair will be truly utilitarian in appearance.
An otherwise utilitarian stair can be made more attractive if attention is given to flooring, railing, and exposed connections. Carpet removes some of the industrial appearance. Replace the standard 4" o.c. pickets with something nicer. Add aluminum hand rails, which do not require maintenance to remain unblemished (finger rings tear up painted steel). Use a drywall soffit on the underside to cover most of the remaining utilitarian aspects.
- The cross-section is needed to specify the configuration, construction and materials required for the stair.
- The cross-section may require further details and specifications covering these conditions.
- Building Codes have a major impact on aspects of the stair work.
- You may want a specification covering the quality and installation aspects of the stair materials.
- These details should be placed on the Stair Plan & Section sheet, the A-400 series of sheets per the National CAD Standards, contrary to the designation shown here.
- Download PDF of detail.
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