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AIA Continuing Education


As an approved AIA Continuing Education Service Provider, the SMA offers AIA CES Health, Safety, Welfare Learning Units related to Stairways, Handrails, and Guards.  Our AIA CES Provider Number is 50111239.  Please look for additional courses in the future.  To inquire about having an instructor lead a course at your company, organization, or AIA Chapter contact sma@stairways.org

Course Number and Title:

SMA101 - "Designing Safe, Code-Compliant, Residential Stairways" - 1 LU | HSW

Course Description:

The International Residential Building Code (IRC) is the most widely adopted model code for 1 and 2 family homes.  Significant changes in the 2009 and subsequent  editions of the IRC widely affect the design of stairways. Building codes applicable to Stairways, Handrails and  Guards  are a minimum standard of safety that can be easily exceeded providing an additional margin of safety for  residential occupants and provide the aesthetic desired. Recent changes  have clarified many issues previously subject to wide interpretation.  Many of these changes  have  already been adopted by local jurisdictions or  are being considered.  An understanding of  the intent and direction of  the IRC  model code  and how it is applied to the design, specification and construction of stairways will be provided.  This course requires completion of the AIA evaluation to receive credit and certificate of completion

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to apply and employ the recommended critical path for compliant stairway design to any existing project.
  2. Participants will be able to distinguish between minimum safety standards and opportunities to exceed them using the IRC model code and essential elements of safe stairways.
  3. Participants will be able to identify the functions of a handrail and design/specify appropriate profiles in compliance with the IRC model code.
  4. Participants will be able to identify the significant changes occurring in the 2009, 2012, 2015 IRC model codes affecting residential stairway safety.

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