Sport Phillip Marine Chandlery Supplies
Wire Types
Talurit Swaging
Roll Swaging
Wire Splicing
Balustrading
Wire To Rope Splice
Tension Guages
Turnbuckles
Rigging
Goosenecks
Composite Rigging
Rod Rigging
Rigging Maintenance
Rigging Small Sailboats
Spars

  

YOUR GUIDE TO THE BCA BALUSTRADE REGULATIONS (Updated May 2009)

Background: The BCA  2009 regulations have seen some significant changes to the wire balustrade regulations. The new regulations have given consumers more choices of wire sizes, types and spacings available when constructing a balustrade; this fortunately has made it allowable for D.I.Y. type systems to have wider spacing between wires and posts making the use of stainless steel wire balustrades economical than has previously been available.

Below is a simple rundown of the BCA 2009 regulations.

Getting Started: One of the first steps when planning your balustrade is to have an understanding of the different wire types that are available, the most common wires used for balustrades are 3mm 1 x 19, and  3mm 7 x 7 wire. 3mm refers to the diameter of the wire, and 1 x 19, and 7 x 7, refer to the construction or lay of the wire, i.e.1 x 19 wire is made up of 1 single wire with 19 strands in it, where as 7 x 7 wire is made up of  7 wires with 7 strands within each wire.

Will The the regulations apply to my balustrade? It may be possible that your wire balustrade will not need to comply with BCA regulations; below are some common situations and how you can deal with them.

COMMON SITUATIONS

My deck has a drop off less than 1 metre to the area below, what do I need to do? If the bottom of your deck is less than 1 metre off the ground, then the regulations will not apply to you. It is over to you to decide the most appropriate level of safety, wire spacing, and how many support posts you use on your balustrade.

My deck has a drop off more than 1 metre to the area below, what do I need to do? You will need to fit your wires and posts according to BCA Regulations. Below is the applicable table for doing Horizontal wire balustrades

BCA 2009 TABLES                                                                                                                                                                                               In order to satisfy the BCA 2009 regulations for a horizontal wire balustrade your system must either meet the tension requirements set out in Table D2.16a; or must not exceed the maximum deflections set out in Table D2.16c.

BCA 2009 TABLE D2.16a WIRE BALUSTRADE CONSTRUCTION – REQUIRED TENSION FOR STAINLESS STEEL HORIZONTAL WIRES

Clear distance between posts (mm)

600

800

900

1000

1200

1500

1800

2000

2500

Wire dia. (mm)

Lay

Wire spacing (mm)

Minimum required tension in Newtons (N)

2.5

7x7

60

55

190

263

415

478

823

1080

1139

X

80

382

630

730

824

1025

1288

X

X

X

100

869

1218

1368

X

X

X

X

X

X

2.5

1x19

60

35

218

310

402

585

810

1125

1325

X

80

420

630

735

840

1050

1400

1750

X

X

100

1140

1565

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

3.0

7x7

60

15

178

270

314

506

660

965

1168

1491

80

250

413

500

741

818

1083

1370

1565

X

100

865

1278

1390

1639

X

X

X

X

X

3.0

1x19

60

25

183

261

340

520

790

1025

1180

X

80

325

555

670

785

1015

1330

1725

1980

X

100

1090

1500

1705

1910

X

X

X

X

X

4.0

7x7

60

5

73

97

122

235

440

664

813

1178

80

196

422

480

524

760

1100

1358

1530

2130

100

835

1182

1360

1528

1837

2381

2811

3098

X

4.0

1x19

60

5

5

10

15

20

147

593

890

1280

80

30

192

300

415

593

1105

1303

1435

1844

100

853

1308

1487

1610

2048

2608

3094

3418

3849

4.0

7x19

60

155

290

358

425

599

860

1080

1285

1540

80

394

654

785

915

1143

1485

1860

2105

2615

100

1038

1412

1598

1785

2165

2735

X

X

X

Notes:

1

Lay = number of strands by the number of individual wires in each strand. For example a lay of 7x19 consists of 7 strands with 19 individual wires in each strand.

2

Where a change of direction is made in a run of wire, the tensioning device is to be placed at the end of the longest span.

3

If a 3.2 mm wire is used the tension figures for 3.0 mm wire are applied.

4

This table may also be used for a set of non-continuous (single) vertical wires forming a balustrade using the appropriate clear distance between posts as the vertical clear distance between the rails.

5

X = Not allowed because the required tension would exceed the safe load of the wire.

6

Tension measured with a strain indicator.

                     BCA 2009 TABLE D2.16c WIRE BALUSTRADE CONSTRUCTION – MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE DEFLECTION FOR STAINLESS STEEL WIRES

 

Clear distance between posts (mm)

600

900

1200

1500

1800

2000

 

Wire dia. (mm)

Wire spacing (mm)

Maximum permissible deflection of each wire in mm when a 2 kg mass is suspended at mid span

 

2.5

60

17

11

9

8

8

8

80

7

5

5

5

X

X

 

3.0

60

19

13

8

7

7

7

80

8

6

6

5

5

5

 

4.0

60

18

12

8

8

7

7

80

8

6

4

4

4

4

 

Notes:

 

1

Where a change of direction is made in a run of wire the 2 kg mass must be placed at the middle of the longest span.

 

2

If a 3.2 mm wire is used the deflection figures for 3.0 mm wire are applied.

 

3

This table may also be used for a set of non-continuous (single) vertical wires forming a balustrade using the appropriate clear distance between posts as the vertical clear distance between the rails. The deflection (offset) is measured by hooking a standard spring scale to the mid span of each wire and pulling it horizontally until a force of 19.6 N is applied.

 

4

X = Not allowed because the required tension would exceed the safe load of the wire.

 

5

This table has been limited to 60 mm and 80 mm spaces for 2.5 mm, 3 mm and 4 mm diameter wires because the required wire tensions at greater spacings would require the tension to be beyond the wire safe load limit, or the allowed deflection would be impractical to measure.

  

So What Works Best when installing horizontal wires?

3mm 1 x 19: We have found that when using 3mm 1 x 19 wire having your posts spaced at 1200mm with your wires at 80mm spacing  is the easiest way to ensure that the tension required for your balustrade will be easily achievable and will pass inspection.                          

3mm 7 x 7: We have found that when using 3mm 7 x 7 wire having your posts spaced at 1500mm with your wires at 80mm spacing is the easiest way to ensure that the tension required for your balustrade will be easily achievable and will pass inspection.

This means that a balustrade with wire support posts every 1200mm or 1500mm, and a top rail height of 1 metre (960mm under the top rail) will require 11 runs of wire when spaced at 80mm with a tension that will be easily achievable.

My deck has a drop off more than 4 metres to the area below, what do I need to do? In this situation you are not allowed to use horizontal wires and instead they will need to be vertical.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sport Phillip Marine services the boating, yachting & fishing needs of the Mornington Peninsula from Frankston, Daveys Bay, Mt. Eliza, Mornington, Mt. Martha, Safety Beach, Martha Cove, Dromana, Rosebud, Rye, Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Portsea on Port Phillip Bay to Yaringa, Warneet, Somers, Hastings, and Flinders on Westernport Bay.

home | company profile | links | sitemap | contact us | disclaimer

©2009 Sport Phillip Marine