AS1428 2009 Design for Access and Mobility Stair Nosing Standards

BCA standards for stairway construction-new premises

The AS1428 Stair Nosing Standards are:

The difference between the old AS1428 stair nosing standards and the new one is that the new standards state that the luminance contrast has to be a minimum of 50mm depth and across the full width od the stair nosing tread i.e. “solid band of colour-luminance contrast”

The new AS 1428 2009 stair nosing standards is primarily about luminance contrast.

A luminescence contrast strip is recommended, to provide contrast to the surrounding steps and also provide slip-resistance. Luminance contrast is seen when two adjacent areas differ in the intensity of light reflected or emitted from them.

Luminance contrast is preferred to colour contrast as it highlights the difference in the light/dark qualities of two adjoining surfaces rather than just their colours. This means that it offers light /dark differences that can be picked up easier by people who are vision impaired.

The interpretation of most manufacturers is that this now means 50-75mm of one colour. The issue with the old striped nosing is that the “aluminium” is washed out and therefore does not meet the minimum 50mm contrast requirements.

The stair nosing can be any height on the riser for example 10mm , 25mm or 35mm as long as it is not the same colour contrast as the tread. The colour or luminance contrast can not extend beyond 10 mm down tjhe face of the riser. Simply put, if the stair nosing was 75 mm in depth on the tread and was black, and then the face of the nosing was also black and 35 mm in depth, then this is not complaint.
Some people would not be abkle to determine where the tread of the nosing was as the riser and tread are all one colour. The vision impaired may not lift the foot high enough to place their foot on the tread as the riser is also black, and will fall up the stairs.

The most important factors with the AS1428 Stair Nosing Standards are;

  1. A solid band of colour is required 50-75mm in depth across the tread with a 30% contrast required.
  2. The contrasting strip shall be no more than 15mm back from the tread.
  3. The luminance contrast turn down/riser at the front face of the stair nosing is to be no longer than 10mm. For example if the contrast insert on the tread insert is grey then the grey luminance contrast cannot extend beyond 10 mm down the face of the riser.This is to prevent the visually impaired from being confused as to where the leading edge of the step is.