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Dog Legged Staircases

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Dog legged staircase is one of the simplest form of staircases in which a flight of stairs ascends to a half-landing before turning 180 degrees and continuing upwards. It is also called this because of its appearance in sectional elevation.

From a design point of view, the advantage of this staircase lies in its compact layout and better circulation. So it finds application in almost all types of buildings, be it residential, commercial, or institutional. One often encounters drafting such a staircase in architectural projects. The simplicity of the staircase is reflected while drafting too, as shown by the typical plan of a dog legged staircase in Fig 1.

But such a simple staircase does not result in a smooth handrail which is one of the essential components of any staircase. Handrails are provided to afford assistance and a safeguard and should be fixed at a convenient height from floor level. They should be of a satisfactory size and shape to enable them being easily grasped by the hand. If we focus on the handrail in the staircase as shown in Fig 1, we find that kinks develop at junctions where it turns (Fig 2).

This creates uncomfortable conditions for the person accessing it. In majority of the cases, this issue gets identified on the verge of project execution. How can this problem be overcome?

Note: Handrails on the stairwell side has been shown only for ease of explanation.

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The kinks occur because the balusters of equal height create a difference in level of handrails between the landing and its preceding/succeeding flight. The ideal solution is to develop smooth handrail transition in dog-legged staircase as ...

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