New Zealand (NZ) Deck Design - ROBO Deck Designer
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Deck design plans NZ

Safety from Falling

The document setting out the requirements for safety from falling is the New Zealand building code F4. This document sets out the definitions, barrier heights, barrier construction and maximum sizes of openings in both horizontal and vertical directions of the barrier. As decks are frequented by children under the of 6 years old, these are considered in the requirements to prevent children climbing up the handrail.

The document shows various barrier arrangements diagrams with all of them a maximum horizontal opening of 100mm. Vertical openings of up to 100mm are permissible, but only at the top and bottom of the barrier. Meshed designs are also can also used but these have a maximum opening of 35mm or 50mm diagonally.

With steps, its possible a triangle sized gap may be present at the bottom of a barrier. The requirements are that this gap cannot be big enough for a Ø150 sphere to pass through.

For more details you can download the building code here

Handrail heights

The building codes states the following heights for handrail construction:
Building TypeLocationBarrier Height
Detached dwellings and within household units of multi-unit dwellingsStairs and ramps and their intermediate landings900
Balconies and decks, and edges of internal floors or mezzanine floors1000

Heights are measured vertically from finished floor level (ignoring carpet or vinyl, or similar thickness coverings) on floors, landings and ramps. On stairs the height is measured vertically from the pitch line or stair nosings.

Please note some of the irrelevant data has been omitted from this table.

Safety from falling - Decks

Disclaimer: Whilst this website contains a lot of information on the design of decks which has been produced with the highest level of professional care, ROBO Deck Designer, ROBO Design Solutions or Paul Roberts (the developer of this website) does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the information on this website. This website is intended as a guide only, please refer to the New Zealand building code for the appropriate regulations.



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