Publication - Advice and guidance

Building Standards technical handbook 2017: non-domestic buildings

The Building Standards technical handbooks provide guidance on achieving the standards set in the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and are available in two volumes, Domestic buildings and Non-domestic buildings. This publication is available in html and also in PDF format (in 'supporting documents' ).

Building Standards technical handbook 2017: non-domestic buildings
4. Safety

4.12 Vehicle protective barriers

Mandatory Standard

Standard 4.12

Every building accessible to vehicular traffic must be designed and constructed in such a way that every change in level is guarded.

4.12.0 Introduction

Where vehicles are introduced into a building, measures should be taken to protect people from any additional risks presented. Where areas subject to vehicular traffic are at a level higher than adjacent areas, such as on ramps or platforms, precautions should be taken to ensure that vehicles can not fall to a lower level.

In the assessment of the type of barrier to be provided, the designer should give consideration to the likely hazards, the building use and the risks to building users.

Conversions - in the case of conversions, as specified in regulation 4, the building as converted shall meet the requirement of this standard (regulation 12, schedule 6).

4.12.1 Vehicle protective barriers

If vehicles have access to a floor, roof or ramp that forms part of a building, a vehicle protective barrier should be provided to the edge of any such area that is above the level of any adjoining floor, ground or any other route for vehicles.

When designing barriers to resist vehicular impact, an estimate of the characteristic mass of the vehicle should be made. Ideally, this should be determined statistically. If this is not possible, the characteristic mass should be taken to be equal to the maximum mass anticipated. Further information on estimation of equivalent static forces for a given characteristic mass and displacement can be obtained in Annex A to BS 6180: 2011.

The designer should, wherever possible, avoid introducing projections on the vehicular face of the barrier and should also consider methods of redirecting vehicles in such a way as to cause minimum damage after impact.

A vehicle protective barrier should be:

  1. capable of resisting loads calculated in accordance with BS EN 1991-1-1 and the associated PD 6688-1-1, and

  2. of a height at least that given in the table below:

Table 4.9. Height of vehicle protective barriers

Location Minimum height in mm
Floor or roof edge 375
Ramp edge 610

The minimum height for these barriers relates to the height at which imposed load is applied as described in BS EN 1991-1-1.

In locations used by both vehicles and pedestrians, such as parking areas, additional barrier criteria may apply to edges and changes in level as described in clauses 4.4.1 and 4.4.2.