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