The Art & Science
of Stair Design
Follow the Formulas, and You Won't Trip Up
by Harris Hyman, P.E.
One of the tasks the designer
usually leaves for the builder to work
out is the design of stairs. This seems
to be true whether the plans are
prepared by a service, an architect, or
even the builder's own pet draftsman.
The only exception seems to be in
public buildings, when the plans must
be reviewed by the fire marshal; here
the stairs are part of the exit system
and must conform to a relatively
rigid set of specifications. The rest of
the time, stair layout is a site project.
Good stair design goes almost
completely unnoticed in the