Stairs and Elevators: Types, Dimensions, and Examples
Stairs are used to move from one floor to another. Their form and size are decided based on the requirements of the space. If designed correctly, they can also serve an aesthetic purpose and be multifunctional.
Parts of stairs
Riser- the vertical board that forms the face of the step
Tread/Going- the horizontal surface of a step
Nosing-the protruding fronts of tread
Newel- vertical member at either ends of a balustrade
Handrail-protective rail for support
Baluster- vertical members that comprise the handrail
Stringer- inclined boards in which treads and risers are enclosed
Landing- resting place that breaks a flight of stairs
Standards for designing staircases
Tread for houses: 250mm
Tread for public places: 270mm
Riser for residential spaces: 160mm
Riser for public spaces: 150mm
Riser for factories: 190mm
550mm<2R+T<770mm where R stands for riser and T for tread.
Minimum vertical headroom above any step: 2m
Maximum number of risers in a flight: 12
Minimum width of stairs: 850mm
Width of public stairs: up to 1.6m
Minimum width of handrail: 900mm
The dimension of landing in the direction of traveling should be equal to at least the width of the stair.
Types of staircases
1. Straight stairs
They connect floors with no change in direction.
If the rise is greater than 4m, they may feature a landing.
They are easy to navigate and easy to build.
They take up considerable amounts of linear space
They provide less privacy between floors.
2. L shape staircase
They are achieved when straight stairs take a bend.
The bend is achieved by a landing.
They save space if located in the corner.
They provide a visual and sound barrier between floors.
Might be difficult to transport goods.
3. Winding stairs
They are similar to L shaped stairs but have angled steps instead of a landing.
They take up less space.
Might be difficult to navigate.
4. Switchback stairs
They consist of two parallel flights of stairs joined by a flat landing.
They are easy to build.
They save space.
Might not be aesthetically pleasing.
5. Half turn stairs
They feature two parallel flights of stairs connected by bending staircases.
They are visually interesting.
They are harder to build.
6. Spiral stairs
The stairs radiate around a center support pole.
They’re very compact and can be built in small spaces.
They are aesthetically pleasing.
Multi Person usability is not possible and might be hard to navigate.
7. Bifurcated stairs
A single flight of stairs at the base that splits into two or more flights towards the top.
It is extravagant and seen in grand buildings.
They take up quite some space and are costly.
8. Floating stairs
The space under the staircase is left open.
The lack of risers creates the illusion that they are floating.
They are supported underneath by stringers.
9. Cantilevered stairs
They are similar to floating stairs except they are attached by only one end, to the wall.
Treads are attached using metal frames, wall pockets or stringers attached to walls.
They allow for light but pose a safety issue.
Staircase design ideas
Railing made of different material like glass or ornamental metal rails can be used to make the stairs decorative.
The riser space can be utilized for decoration
Runners can be placed on the stairs adding warmth, grip and a pop of color.
Space below the stairs can be used for storage.
Lifts are used to facilitate vertical movement in buildings. They are most required in high rise buildings and help people move between the floors in less time. Lifts are convenient for the disabled and also help in shifting goods.
Standards sizes for lift-
4 person lift- 9mx10m cabin
6 person lift- 9.5mx13m cabin
8 person lift- 11mx14m cabin
Types of elevators
1. Platform lift
Used for the transportation of the disabled
Usually moves only a few floors
Slower than passenger lifts
2. Passenger lift
Used to carry people
Finds uses in high rise buildings and moves fast
Can be customized both inside and outside to make it consistent with the design.
3. Freight lift
Used to transport goods.
Can be modified and safety features can be added allowing it to transfer people.
They are built to suit the industrial environment.
4. Service lift
They are smaller lifts designed to carry smaller loads.
They are too small for people to enter.
An example is the dumb waiter, used to transport food from kitchen to serving area.
Based on the space requirements and the building’s aesthetics, a suitable staircase or elevator can be used that not only make circulation easy but also improve the look of the place.
Meta desc- Types of stairs, types of elevators, staircase standards, elevator standards, staircase design ideas.