In recent years, there have been a growing number of building guard failures in Canada, some involving a number of prominent buildings in major cities. While many of these incidents are the result of material failures, some are related to the building guards' overall system design and performance characteristics.
The growing risk associated with these failures coupled with the potential catastrophic outcomes has led to an increased need for a standardized approach to building guard design. Up to this point, there has not been a reference standard, clear design requirements, or a consistent set of test protocols for building guards, which has led to lack of clarity for designers and reduced public safety.
Introducing CSA A500
- Building Guards, a new standard that specifies requirements for materials, design, construction, testing, and performance of permanent guards in and about buildings.Highlights:
CSA A500 Covers:
- Aims to help reduce the risk of building guard failure for improved public safety
- Reduces uncertainty and improves clarity for designers
- Helps make building guard design more consistent and reliable
- Can be referenced in building code regulations
- General requirements, including methods of analysis & design, new method for guard height determination, climbability
- Loads, load effects and load combinations, including wind load determination, infill design
- Deflection limits and openings (posts, rails, pickets)
- Construction to improve safety, security and durability
- Testing of load-resistance (service and ultimate), impact and post-breakage retention of infills, main connections, and anchors/fasteners
- Materials used for building guard assemblies (concrete, masonry, glass, aluminum, steel, wood
This is the first edition of CSA A500, Building guards.
This Standard was prepared in response to requests from stakeholders who saw the need for a standard for materials, design, construction, testing, and performance of building guards. The Standard was developed through the collaboration of designers, engineers, fabricators, suppliers, building owners, property developers, regulators, and other technical specialists.
Special recognition is given to the members of the Writers Working Group for developing content for this Standard.
CSA Group acknowledges that the development of this Standard was made possible, in part, by the financial support of Concord Adex, Daniels Group, Grappe Industrielle d'Aluminium du Québec (GIAQ), Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, RESCON, Royal Guard, State Window Corporation, Toro Aluminum Railings, and Tridel-Deltera.
This Standard was developed in response to a request from stakeholders who saw the need for a standard for materials, design, construction, testing, and performance of building guards.
The intent of this Standard is to specify minimum requirements for the materials, design, construction, testing, and performance of building guards and to provide guidance on assessing guards to maintain ongoing minimum performance levels.
This Standard is intended to be
a) adopted by building code regulations in provinces and territories across Canada
b) reviewed and updated from time to time to reflect the current state of knowledge of building guards
c) used in its entirety.
This Standard specifies requirements for the materials, design, construction, testing, and performance of building guards.
This Standard applies to building guards required as protective barriers to prevent accidental falls from one level to another.
1) This includes walls acting as guards.
2) Guards can be with or without openings, around openings in floors, or at the open sides of stairs, landings, balconies, mezzanines, galleries, raised walkways, or other locations.
This Standard does not apply to
a) temporary guards regulated elsewhere by applicable health and safety requirements
b) guards for resisting impact from vehicles
c) guards used in Group F (industrial occupancy) buildings as set out by the National Building Code of Canada (NBC)
d) guards used in Group A (assembly occupancy) buildings that are permitted to be designed to other requirements as set out by the National Building Code of Canada (NBC), such as in places of assembly with fixed seats or bleacher seats.
In this Standard, shall is used to express a requirement, i.e., a provision that the user is obliged to satisfy in order to comply with the Standard; should is used to express a recommendation or that which is advised but not required; and may is used to express an option or that which is permissible within the limits of the Standard.
Notes accompanying clauses do not include requirements or alternative requirements; the purpose of a note accompanying a clause is to separate from the text explanatory or informative material.
Notes to tables and figures are considered part of the table or figure and may be written as requirements.
Annexes are designated normative (mandatory) or informative (non-mandatory) to define their application.