The Building Regulations Approved Document M2018-07-26T15:19:42+00:00

The Building Regulations 2010 – Approved Document M

“Access to and use of buildings” (2004 edition incorporating 2010 and 2013 amendments)

Extracts from the Building Regulations

Specification Guidelines

The latest version of Approved Document M is stated ‘for use in England’. Current building standards should be checked at time of specification for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Approved Document M is split into two parts:

  • Volume 1: Dwellings
  • Volume 2: Buildings other than dwellings

Volume 1 refers to Approved Document k for specific guidance notes on stair edgings. The below abstracts of guidance are taken from volume 2.

Building owners have a legal duty to ensure all people can gain access to and use a building and its facilities.

Approved documents are intended to provide guidance and much of the guidance in Approved Document M is based on BS 8300:2001.
The main points relating to stair and stepped access that are detailed in Approved Document M are shown below, with supporting recommendation by Gradus shown in blue text.

Stepped Access

People with impaired sight risk tripping or losing their balance if there is no warning that steps provide a change in level.
Use of a stair nosing that contrasts with the surrounding tread/riser material will help to clearly define the step edge and warn of a change in level.

Materials for treads should not present a slip hazard, especially when the surface is wet.
Gradus provides a range of inserts for use in interior (dry and wet) and exterior conditions.

People should easily be able to appreciate where to place their feet by highlighting nosings and avoiding open rises.
Use of a stair nosing that contrasts with the surrounding tread/riser material will help to clearly define the step edge. Both the insert and channel of the stair edging should be of a suitable contrast to the surrounding floor finishes. ADM directly refers to colour contrast in the definitions section stating that:

‘Contrast visually, when used to indicate the visual perception of one element of a building, or fitting within the building, against another means that the difference in light reflectance value between the two surfaces is greater than 30 points.’
All Gradus stair nosing colours have been measured to provide Light Reflectance Values* in order to provide the specifier with information to ensure that suitable contrast is achieved with the surrounding stair material.
*These values have been measured using the CIE Y value in accordance with BS 8493:2008+A1:2010.

1-33 (i) All nosings are made apparent by means of a permanently contrasting material 55mm wide on both the tread and the riser.
The 55mm dimension detailed is guidance only and other factors should be taken into consideration when specifying stair nosings such as step dimension, type and frequency of traffic. Communities and Local Government (formerly The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) also acknowledges that advice given by other expert bodies should be taken into consideration, for example the RNIB Access Consultancy Services who state that the ideal dimension for a stair nosing is 55mm on the tread and 30-50mm on the riser, which takes into account lower risers where a 55mm stair nosing may take up a large proportion of the riser surface and therefore could be confusing for partially sighted people. If 55mm profiles are required they are available in the Gradus range.

Source: Building Regulations – Access to and use of buildings – Approved Document M – 2004 Edition incorporating 2010 and 2013 amendments
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