Significant changes to the 2018 International Residential Code
The 2018 Significant Changes guides are available for the International Building, Residential, Fire, Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Codes. This valuable series can help any code user save time by zeroing in on the most critical changes in the 2018 International Codes. The Code Council’s technical experts provide summaries, analysis and graphics for these changes making them clear and easy to understand.
2018 International Residential Code
A modification to Section R308.4.4 (Glazing in Guards and Railings) states that unless laminated glass is used, structural glass baluster panels in guards now require an attached top rail or handrail. Because of the increased probability of impact, glazing used in guards always requires safety glazing. In addition, a safety factor of 4 applies to glazing used in handrail assemblies and guards in accordance with Table R301.5.
With this change, structural glass baluster panels require an attached top rail or handrail as an additional safety feature in case the glass should fail. The intent is that the top rail would remain in place to prevent a fall should the glass give way. To ensure that the rail remains in place, the code requires it to be supported by at least three structural baluster panels or otherwise held in place to resist the prescribed loads in case of failure of the glazing.
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