Open Stairs

To improve public health, safety, and welfare in buildings, make at least one required fire stair open and inviting and start it in the lobby.


There is plenty of evidence that bouts of physical activity throughout the day are beneficial for physical health. Taking the stairs is an easy way to meet the recommended amounts of physical activity per day for adults. Of course, foregoing the elevator ride also reduces energy consumption and can contribute towards achieving net-zero buildings, since elevators can be a large component of building energy operations. Open stairs are invitations to improve physical health and reduce energy consumption. This Pattern includes:

  •      Health Benefits of Stair Use
  •      Barriers
  •      Working Around Barriers


Scott Bernstein

Center for Neighborhood Technology


Active Living

Optimal City Height

Megatalls. NOT!