Last edited 06 Feb 2021

Flight of steps

Stairs landing-1868378 640.jpg


[edit] Introduction

Flight’ is a term used in building design and construction to denote a continuous sequence of steps (or risers) connecting floors, landings or intermediate landings. The typical width of a flight in a domestic setting is around 850mm or more.

The arrangement and number of flights in a staircase will depend on the type of stair.

A ‘straight flight’ will have no intermediate landings and comprise a continuous series of risers between floor levels. See note below on maximum allowable risers in a flight.

A quarter-turn stair (sometimes called a ‘dog-leg’ stair) features a quarter-turn landing situated between flights. This may be located at any point on the staircase, from which point the second flight changes direction by 90 degrees to the left or right leading to the next floor above. In properties where space is at a premium, the landing may be replaced by a series of winders (wedge-shaped steps in plan) which then makes the stairway a continuous single-flight stair.

A half-turn stair usually involves a half landing between two flights and allows a 180-degree change of direction. An alternative arrangement to achieve 180-degree travel, space permitting, is to have two quarter landings in a configuration of flight-QL-flight-QL-flight; this may also form an open-well stair.

Whether a quarter- or half-turn stair, the flights can be supported on the landings.

The Approved Documents of the Building Regulations set out additional guidance and require compliance with various criteria concerning flights.

[edit] Length of flight

Stairs with more than 36 risers in consecutive flights should have at least one change in direction between flights. For buildings other than dwellings, the maximum number of risers between landings should be 16 for utility stairs and 12 for general access stairs. There should not be any single steps.

There are more complex requirements for tapered, spiral, alternating tread and helical stairs. Refer to Approved Document K.

For more information see: Landings in buildings and Maximum length of a flight of stairs.

[edit] For all buildings

At the top and bottom of every flight, landings should be provided which have a width and length at least as great as the smallest width of the flight.

Full requirements for flights and stairs generally can be found in the following Approved Documents:

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

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