Coastal Conditions and its Effects on Balustrades and Handrails

2017 marks 50 years of coastal management, for the Gold Coast City Council. Since early 1960 the City of Gold Coast has pioneered to develop technology and techniques to benefit not only our coastal community but that of others globally.

Like the Gold Coast City Council, BRS Building Rectification Services has a long heritage, having developed their skills and technology in structural safety, in particular, balustrading/handrails within coastal environments since 1985.

BRS have pioneered balustrade/handrail replacement and refurbishment since day one, suggesting a major factor for many of these projects is due to the effects of the coastal conditions we live in, here in South East Queensland.

Coastal environments are harsh, with the corrosive effects of salt, sand and gusty wind, leading to the rapid deterioration of timber, aluminium, steel and the fixings keeping them in place.

As a flow-on effect, many buildings that don’t have an annual maintenance plan to monitor these effects on balustrade/handrails, and are being left with unsafe and in non-compliance with the latest Australian Standards for height and lateral loadings.

In a report published by Building Codes Queensland, they suggested in the ten years from 2002 to 2012 more than 20 people died and hundreds more were injured, due partly from being unaware of the dangers associated with elevated areas.

Building Codes Queensland continued to explain that preventative measures are essential and some of these deaths and injuries could have been prevented if adequate maintenance plans for these areas were in place, highlighting balconies and balustrading.

Do Your Balustrades Comply With Current Australian Standards?

Being proactive is the key to safety. BRS have completed numerous projects where existing aluminium or steel balustrades/handrails are removed and replaced with newer glass or aluminium products, all fully compliant with current Australian Code Standards for aluminium or glass balustrades installations.