Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures
Installing New Brass, Cast-Iron And Steel Ornamental Handrails And Railing Systems To Match Historic
Tacoma Union Station Courthouse, Tacoma, Wa
Ornamental Handrails & Railings
Installing New Brass, Cast-Iron And Steel Ornamental Handrails And Railing Systems To Match Historic
INSTALLING NEW BRASS, CAST-IRON AND STEEL ORNAMENTAL HANDRAILS AND
RAILING SYSTEMS TO MATCH HISTORIC
A. This procedure includes guidance on replacing
deteriorated handrails and railing systems with new or
original factory refurbished brass, steel or iron
ornamental rails to match the historic.
B. See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be
reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines
cover the following sections:
1. Safety Precautions
2. Historic Structures Precautions
4. Quality Assurance
5. Delivery, Storage and Handling
6. Project/Site Conditions
7. Sequencing and Scheduling
8. General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)
These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
Preservation Officer (RHPO).
A. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), 100
Barr Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428, (610) 832-9585
or FAX (610) 832-9555.
B. American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), 1000 - 16th
Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036.
C. Copper Development Association (CDA), Box 1840, Greenwich
Office Park 2, Greenwich, CT 06836.
D. Steel Structures Painting Council, 4400 Fifth Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
E. National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers
(NAAMM), 221 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60601.
A. Definitions in ASTM E 985 for railing-related terms apply
to this section.
1.04 SYSTEM DESCRIPTION
A. General: In engineering handrail and railing systems to
withstand structural loads indicated, determine allowable
design working stresses of railing materials based on the
B. For cold-formed structural steel: AISI "Specification
for Design of Cold-Formed Steel Structural Members".
C. For copper alloys use a safety factor of 1.65 applied to
minimum yield strength of alloy.
D. Structural Performance of Handrails and Railing Systems:
Engineer, fabricate, and install handrails and railing
systems to comply with requirements of ASTM E 985 for
E. Control of Corrosion: Prevent galvanic action and other
forms of corrosion by using metals that are compatible
with one another. In some instances the corrosion can be
prevented by inserting a plastic insulator between the
F. Thermal Movements: Allow for thermal movement resulting
from the following maximum change (range) in ambient
temperature in the design, fabrication, and installation
of handrails and railings to prevent buckling, opening up
of joints, and over-stressing of components, connections,
and other detrimental effects. Base design calculation
on actual surface temperatures of materials due to both
solar heat gain and nighttime sky heat loss.
A. General: Submit the following in accordance with
Conditions of Contract and Division 1 Specification
B. Product data for each type of product specified.
C. Shop drawings showing fabrication and installation of
handrails and railings including plans, elevations,
sections, details of components, and attachments to other
units of Work.
1.06 QUALITY ASSURANCE
A. Single-Source Responsibility: Obtain handrails and
railing systems of each type and material from a single
B. Engineering Responsibility: Engineer handrails and
railing systems by qualified professional engineer
legally authorized to practice in jurisdiction where
Project is located.
C. Engineer Qualifications: Professional engineer legally
authorized to practice in jurisdiction where project is
located and experienced in providing engineering services
of the kind indicated for handrails and railings similar
in material, design, and extent to that indicated for
this Project and that have a record of successful in-
D. Restoration Specialist: Work must be performed by a firm
having not less than 5 years successful experience in
comparable restoration projects and employing personnel
skilled in the restoration processes and operations
1.07 DELIVERY, STORAGE AND HANDLING
A. Storage and Protection: Store handrails and railing
systems in clean, dry location, away from uncured
concrete and masonry, protected against damage of any
kind. Cover with waterproof paper, tarpaulin, or
polyethylene sheeting; allow for air circulation inside
1.08 PROJECT/SITE CONDITIONS
A. Field Measurements: Where handrails and railings are
indicated to fit to other construction, check actual
dimensions of other construction by accurate field
measurements before fabrication; show recorded
measurements on final shop drawings. Coordinate
fabrication schedule with construction progress to avoid
delay of Work.
1.09 SEQUENCING AND SCHEDULING
A. Mount handrails only on completed surfaces. Do not
support handrails temporarily by any means not satisfying
structural performance requirements.
A. Stan Chemical Company
401 Berlin Street
East Berlin, CT 06023
NOTE: Provide metal forms and types that comply with
requirements of referenced standards and that are free from
surface blemishes where exposed to view in the finished unit.
Exposed-to-view surfaces exhibiting pitting, seam marks,
roller marks, stains, discolorations, or other imperfections
on finished units are not acceptable.
A. Copper Alloys: Provide CDA copper alloy of type and form
indicated to comply with the following requirements:
1. Extruded Brass Shapes: Alloy suitable to produce
2. Seamless Brass Tube: Alloy suitable to produce US3
3. Composition Brass Castings: Alloy suitable to
produce US3 finish.
B. Steel and Iron: Provide steel and iron in the form
indicated complying with the following requirements:
1. Cold-Formed Steel Tubing: ASTM A 500, grade B,
unless otherwise indicated or required by
2. For exterior installations and as required, provide
tubing with hot-dip galvanized coating per ASTM A
C. Steel Plates, Shapes, and Bars: ASTM A 36.
D. Malleable Iron Castings: ASTM A 47, grade 32510.
A. Grout and Anchoring Cement:
1. Non-shrink Nonmetallic Grout: Premixed, factory-
packaged, nonstaining, noncorrosive, nongaseous
grout. Provide grout specifically recommended by
manufacturer for interior and exterior applications
of type specified in this procedure such as "Bonsal
Construction Grout" (W. R Bonsal Co.), "Diamond-
Crete Grout" (Concrete Service Materials Co.),
"Euco N-S Grout" (Euclid Chemical Co.), or approved
B. Erosion-Resistant Anchoring Cement: Factory-packaged,
nonstaining, hydraulic controlled expansion cement
formulation for mixing with water at Project site to
create pourable anchoring, patching, and grouting
compound. Provide formulation that is resistant to
erosion from water exposure without need for protection
by a sealer or waterproof coating and is recommended for
exterior use by manufacturer.
1. Galvanizing Repair Paint: High-zinc-dust-content
paint for regalvanizing welds in galvanized steel,
with dry film containing not less than 94 percent
zinc dust by weight, and complying with SSPC-Paint-
2. Zinc Chromate Primer
1. Fasteners for Anchoring Railings to Other
Construction: Select fasteners of the type, grade,
and class required to produce connections that are
suitable for anchoring railing to other types of
construction indicated and capable of withstanding
a. For steel railings and fittings use plated
fasteners complying with ASTM B 633, Class
Fe/Zn 25 for electrodeposited zinc coating.
b. For copper alloy railings provide fasteners
fabricated from same base metal as railing
components or from type 304.
2. Fasteners for Interconnecting Railing Components:
Use fasteners of same basic metal as the fastened
metal, unless otherwise indicated. Do not use
metals that are corrosive or incompatible with
a. Provide concealed fasteners for
interconnection of handrail and railing
components and for their attachment to other
work except where exposed fasteners are
b. Provide Phillips flat-head machine screws for
exposed fasteners, unless otherwise indicated.
3. Cast-In-Place and Post-installed Anchors in
Concrete: Cast-in-place anchors and expansion
anchors fabricated from corrosion-resistant
materials with capability to sustain, without
failure, load imposed within a safety factor of 4,
as determined by testing per ASTM E 488, conducted
by a qualified independent testing laboratory.
A. General: Fabricate handrails and railing systems to
comply with requirements indicated for design,
dimensions, details, finish, and member sizes, including
wall thickness of hollow members, post spacings, and
anchorage, but not less than that required to support
B. Preassemble railing systems in shop to greatest extent
possible to minimize field splicing and assembly.
Disassemble units only as necessary for shipping and
handling limitations. Clearly mark units for reassembly
and coordinated installation. Use connections that
maintain structural value of joined pieces. Clearly mark
units for reassembly and coordinated installation.
C. Form changes in direction of railing members by insertion
of prefabricated elbow fittings, by radius bends of
radius as designated, and by bending, as required.
D. Form simple and compound curves by bending members in
jigs to produce uniform curvature for each repetitive
configuration required; maintain profile of member
throughout entire bend without buckling, twisting,
cracking, or otherwise deforming exposed surfaces of
handrail and railing components.
E. Welded Connections: Fabricate railing systems and
handrails for connection of members by welding. For
connections made during fabrication, weld corners and
seams continuously to comply with the following:
1. Use materials and methods that minimize distortion
and develop strength and corrosion resistance of
2. Obtain fusion without undercut or overlap.
3. Remove welding flux immediately.
4. At exposed connections, finish exposed welds and
surfaces smooth and blended so that no roughness
shows after finishing and contour of welded surface
match those adjacent.
F. Non-welded Connections: Fabricate railing systems and
handrails for connection of members by means of railing
manufacturer's standard concealed mechanical fasteners
and fittings unless otherwise indicated. Fabricate
members and fittings to produce flush, smooth, rigid,
1. Fabricate splice joints for field connection using
epoxy structural adhesive where this represents
manufacturer's standard splicing method.
G. Brackets, Flanges, Fittings, and Anchors: Provide
manufacturer's standard wall brackets, flanges,
miscellaneous fittings, and anchors for connection of
handrail and railing members to other construction.
H. Provide inserts and the anchorage devices for connecting
handrails and railing systems to concrete or masonry
work. Fabricate anchorage devices capable of
withstanding loadings imposed by handrails and railing
systems. Coordinate anchorage devices with supporting
I. For existing cast iron posts to be reset in concrete:
Examine existing anchors to determine if suitable for
reuse. Do not reuse unless in good condition. Provide
new anchors where necessary of same configurations as
J. Shear and punch metals cleanly and accurately. Remove
burrs from exposed cut edges.
K. Ease exposed edges to a radius of approximately 1/32
inch, unless otherwise indicated. Form bent-metal
corners to smallest radius possible without causing grain
separation or otherwise impairing work.
L. Cut, reinforce, drill, and tap miscellaneous metal work
as indicated to receive finish hardware, screws, and
M. For handrails and railing systems that are exposed to
exterior or to moisture from condensation or other
sources, provide weepholes or other means for evacuation
of entrapped water in hollow sections of railing members.
N. Fabricate joints that will be exposed to weather in a
manner to exclude water.
O. Close exposed ends of handrail and railing members by use
of manufacturer's standard prefabricated end fittings.
P. Provide wall returns at ends of wall-mounted handrails,
unless otherwise indicated. Close ends of returns unless
clearance between end of the railing and wall is 1/4 inch
Q. Fillers: Provide steel sheet or plate filler of
thickness and size indicated or required to support
structural loads of handrails where needed to transfer
wall bracket loads through wall finishes to structural
supports. Size fillers to suit wall finish thicknesses.
Size fillers to produce adequate bearing to prevent
bracket rotation and over-stressing of substrate.
1. Comply with NAAMM "Metal Finishes Manual" for
recommendations relative to application and
designations of finishes.
2. Appearance of Finished Work: Variations in
appearance of abutting or adjacent pieces are not
acceptable if they are within 1/2 of the range of
approved samples. Noticeable variations in the
same piece are not acceptable. Variations in
appearance of other components are acceptable if
they are within range of approved samples and they
are assembled or installed to minimize contrast.
S. Copper Alloy Finishes: Finish designations prefixed by
"CDA" conform with the system established by the Copper
Development Association for designating copper alloy
1. Buffed Finish: CDA M21 (Mechanical Finish:
buffed, smooth specular).
2. Buffed Finish, Lacquered: CDA M21 Mechanical
Finish: buffed, smooth specular; Coating: clear
organic, air dry, such as "Incralac" (Stan Chemical
Company), or approved equal.
a. Apply by air-spray in 2 coats per
manufacturer's directions, with interim
drying, to a total thickness of 1.0 mil.
T. Galvanized Finish:
1. General: Hot-dip galvanize items indicated to be
galvanized to comply with ASTM A 123 for
galvanizing iron and steel products made form
rolled, pressed, and forged steel shapes, castings,
plates, bars, and strips.
2. For exterior steel railings and handrails formed
from steel tubing with galvanized finish, galvanize
fittings, brackets, fasteners, sleeves, and other
3. Factory-Primed Finish: Apply air-dried primer
immediately following cleaning and pretreatment, to
provide a minimum dry film thickness of 2.0 mils
per applied coat, to surfaces that will be exposed
after assembly and installation and to concealed,
4. Apply shop primer to uncoated surfaces of handrails
and railing components, except those with
galvanized finish or to be embedded in concrete or
masonry, unless otherwise indicated. Comply with
requirements of SSPC-PA 1 "Paint Application
Specification No. 1" for shop painting.
Shop Primer: Manufacturer's or Fabricator's
standard, fast-curing, lead-free, "universal"
primer, selected for resistance to normal
atmospheric corrosion, for compatibility with
substrate and field-applied finish paint system
indicated, and for capability to provide a sound
foundation for field-applied topcoats despite
A. Coordinate setting drawings, diagrams, templates,
instructions, and directions for installation of
anchorages, such as sleeves, concrete inserts, anchor
bolts, and miscellaneous items having integral anchors,
that are to be embedded in concrete as masonry
construction. Coordinate delivery of such items to
3.02 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
1. Fit exposed connections accurately together to form
tight, hairline joints.
2. Cutting, Fitting, and Placement: Perform cutting,
drilling, and fitting required for installation of
handrails and railings. Set handrails and railing
accurately in location, alignment, and elevation,
measured from established lines and levels and free
from rack. TAKE CARE SO AS NOT TO DAMAGE ADJACENT
HISTORIC MATERIALS, SUCH AS MARBLE, GRANITE, OR
3. Do not weld, cut, or abrade surfaces of handrails
and railing components that have been coated or
finished after fabrication and are intended for
field connection by mechanical or other means
without further cutting or fitting.
4. Set posts plumb within a tolerance of 1/4 inch in
5. Align rails so that variations from level for
horizontal members and from parallel with rake of
steps and ramps for sloping members do not exceed
1/4 inch in 12 feet.
6. Field Welding: Comply with the following
a. Use materials and methods that minimize
distortion and develop strength and corrosion
resistance of base metals.
b. Obtain fusion without undercut or overlap.
c. Remove welding flux immediately.
d. At exposed connections, finish exposed welds
and surfaces smooth and blended so that no
roughness shows after finishing and contour of
welded surface matches those adjacent.
7. Corrosion Protection: Coat concealed surfaces of
concrete, masonry, wood, or dissimilar metals,
which will be in contact with grout, with a heavy
coat of bituminous paint or zinc chromate primer.
8. Adjust handrails and railing systems prior to
anchoring to ensure matching alignment at abutting
joints. Space posts at interval indicated but not
less than that required by structural loads. MATCH
ORIGINAL LOCATION AND SPACING TO AVOID GHOST MARKS.
9. Fastening to In-Place Construction: Use anchorage
devices and fasteners where necessary for securing
handrails and railing to in-place construction.
INSPECT AND REUSE SOUND CONNECTIONS WHEN POSSIBLE.
B. Railing Connections:
1. Welded Connections: Use fully welded joints for
permanently connecting railing components by
welding. Cope or butt components to provide 100
percent contact or use manufacturer's standard
fitting designed for this purpose.
2. Non-Welded Connections: Use manufacturer's
standard mechanical or adhesive joints for
permanently connecting railing components. Use
wood blocks and padding to prevent damage to
railing members and fittings. Seal recessed holes
of exposed lock screws using plastic filler cement
colored to match finish of handrails and railing
C. Anchoring Posts:
1. Anchor posts in concrete by means of pipe sleeves
preset and anchored into concrete. After posts
have been inserted into sleeves, fill annular space
between post and sleeve solid with the following
anchoring material, mixed and placed to comply with
anchoring material manufacturer's directions.
a. Non-shrink, nonmetallic grout: Exterior
anchors, if in good condition, may be reused
if suitable. To be set in new concrete
b. Interior posts may be set in existing anchor
holes if suitable.
2. Cover interior anchorage joint with a flange of the
same metal as post; attach to post by welding after
placement of anchoring material.
3. Leave exterior anchorage joint exposed, wipe off
surplus anchoring material, and leave 1/8-inch
buildup, sloped away from post. For installations
exposed on exterior or to flow of water, seal
anchoring material to comply with grout
4. For steel railings, weld flanges to post and bolt
to metal supporting surfaces.
D. Anchoring Rail Ends:
1. Anchor rail ends to concrete and masonry with
required flanges, connected to rail ends and
anchored into wall construction with post-installed
anchors and bolts.
2. Anchor rail ends to metal surfaces with required
flanges. Weld flanges to rail ends, and bolt
flanges to metal surfaces.
E. Attachment of Handrails to Walls: INSPECT AND RE-USE
SOUND CONNECTIONS WHEN POSSIBLE. ALSO WHEN POSSIBLE,
MATCH ORIGINAL LOCATION AND SPACING TO AVOID GHOST MARKS.
1. Attach handrails to wall with wall brackets and end
fittings. Provide bracket with not less than 1-
1/2-inch clearance from inside face of handrail and
finished wall surface.
2. Locate brackets as indicated or, if not indicated,
at spacing required to support structural loads.
3. Secure wall brackets and wall return fittings to
building construction. Use type of bracket with
flange tapped for concealed anchorage to threaded
4. For concrete and solid masonry anchorage, use
drilled-in expansion shield and either concealed
hanger bolt or exposed lab bolt, as applicable.
5. For hollow masonry anchorage, use toggle bolts with
6. For steel framed gypsum board assemblies, fasten
brackets directly to steel framing or concealed
anchors using self-tapping screws of size and type
required to support structural loads.
A. Protect finishes of railing systems and handrails from
damage during cleaning period by use of temporary
protective coverings approved by railing manufacturer.
Remove protective covering at time of Substantial
B. Restore finishes damaged during installation and
construction period so that no evidence remains of
correction work. Return items that cannot be refinished
in the field to the shop; make required alterations and
refinish entire unit or provide new units.
END OF SECTION