BS 8579:2020 - Guide to the design of balconies and terraces

BS 8579:2020

Guide to the design of balconies and terraces

Status : Current   Published : August 2020



What is BS 8579:2020 about?

As the number of medium- and high-rise residential buildings in UK cities and towns increases, so too does the prevalence of balconies and terraces. Yet there’s a lack of consensus on their optimum design, and a need for better guidance. BS 8579:2020 is a new British Standard that sets a benchmark for quality and functionality in the design of balconies and terraces.

Who is BS 8579:2020 for?

  • Local authorities
  • Housing associations
  • Designers and architects
  • Structural engineers
  • Contractors
  • Drainage specialists
  • Manufacturers and component suppliers, including offsite manufacturers

Why should you use BS 8579:2020?

This British Standard gives guidance on the design of balconies and terraces and their component parts. It covers the following:

  • Spatial arrangement of balconies and wind effects
  • Inclusive design to accommodate able-bodied and less able-bodied occupants
  • Safety considerations, including fire performance and provision of guarding
  • Drainage and weathering effects
  • Thermal and acoustic considerations

The balconies and terraces covered can be at any height above lowest ground level, unless stated in the text.

NOTE: BS 8579:2020 is not specifically intended to cover internal balconies, such as within a building atrium, but its guidance can be used in the absence of guidance specific to such balconies. Asset protection other than service life is not included. Raised timber structures on support posts built into the ground and serving ground floor accommodation are considered raised pedestrian surfaces and outside the scope of this standard.

BS 8579:2020 contributes to UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 on making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The standard encourages the construction of higher quality terraces and balconies that make for safer and more inclusive homes.

Standard NumberBS 8579:2020
TitleGuide to the design of balconies and terraces
Publication Date27 August 2020
Normative References(Required to achieve compliance to this standard)BS EN 13501-1:2018, BS EN 13501-5:2016, BS EN 1994, BS EN 1992, BS EN 16612, NA to BS EN 1992, BS EN 1993, NA to BS EN 1994, BS EN 12056, PD 6688-1-4, BS EN 1990, BS 6180, BS EN 1253, BS EN 12056-3, BS 9991, BS 9999, BS EN 1090, BS 6229, BS EN 1995, NA to BS EN 1990, BS EN ISO 13789, NA to BS EN 1991, NA to BS EN 1993, BS EN 1991, NA to BS EN 1999, BS 7976, NA to BS EN 1995, BS EN 1999, BS 8610
Informative References(Provided for Information)BS EN ISO 11654:1997, BS 7543, BS 7974, PD 7974-3, BS EN ISO 12354-3, BS EN 1253-2, AS/NZS 1170.2, BS EN 15026, NA to BS EN 1991-1-1, BS 5250, BS 8560, PD 7974-2, BS EN ISO 10211, BS 8000-4, BS 8300-2, BS 476, BS EN ISO 13788, BS 6375, BS EN ISO 6946, BS 9266, PD 7974-1, BS EN ISO 14683, BS 5385-3
Draft Superseded By20/30380151 DC
DescriptorsSafety, Components, Design, Terraced houses, Domestic facilities, Balconies
ISBN978 0 539 01645 1
File Size1.812 MB

 Your basket
Your basket is empty

Multi-user access to over 3,500 medical device standards, regulations, expert commentaries and other documents

Tracked Changes

Understand the changes made to a standard with our new Tracked Changes version

Worldwide Standards
We can source any standard from anywhere in the world


Access, view and download standards with multiple user access, across multiple sites with BSOL