Strand Wire is becoming a popular choice of balustrade, due to its contemporary look and practical and professional design. Strand wire refers to a series of tensioned wire rope connected vertically or horizontally to supports to form a balustrade. Suitable for a staircase, balcony or decking, strand wire adds a stylish alternative to glass but with less maintenance (except in coastal areas) and can be easily adapted to suit timber or stainless steel posts.
However, there have been a lot of updates to the BCA codes on strand wire balustrade recently, making it very difficult to install correctly and compliantly. We would recommend using a reputable balustrade company to install strand wire as they know what they are doing and can ensure your balcony or staircase is safe and complies to the Australian Standards and BCA codes.
Alongside meeting the standard balustrade regulations, a wire balustrade, with a drop of more than 1 metre, must meet the below requirements. Please see the attached HIA Information Sheet for the tension and deflection tables referred to below (dated May 2013, no changes have been made to the code in 2014).
Horizontal Wire Requirements
When measured with a strain indicator, it must be in accordance with the tension values in Table 126.96.36.199 on the attached HIA information sheet.
Must not exceed the maximum deflections in Table 188.8.131.52 on the attached document.
The minimum required tension is determined by the spacing between wires, the distance between each post and the diameter of the wire.
Vertical Wire Requirements
- Similiar to aluminium and stainless steel balustrade, if your deck has a drop of more than 4 metres to the area below, you cannot use horizontal wires and instead, they must be vertical.
-For a non-continuous system, when measured with a strain indicator, it must be in accordance with the tension values in Table 184.108.40.206 on the attached HIA information sheet.
- For a continuous vertical or continuous near vertical sloped wire system;
The wires must be no more than 2.5mm in diameter with a lay of 7x7 or 7x19 construction.
Changes in direction at support rails must pass around a pulley block without causing permanent deformation to the wire
Must have supporting rails, constructed with a spacing of not more than 900mm, of a material that does not allow deflection that would decrease the tension of the wire under load.
When the wire tension is measured with a strain indicator, it must be in accordance with the tension values in Table 220.127.116.11 of the attached document, and measured in the furthermost span from the tensioning device.
It is recommended that runs of wire are installed in straight lines and terminated at each corner. One also needs to calculate the length of the runs to allow for tension and deflection requirements. This is all second nature to a certified installer like ours, with years of experience and knowledge in balustrading. If you want to know more about this premium product, contact our professional team on 08 9302 1947 or fill in our online quote form to the right of this blog and one of our team will contact you.
Source: Part 3.9.2 of the Building Code of Australia 2014, Volume 2.