Archinet UK

Doors Resource: Regulations




The following main parts of the UK Building Regulations are relevant to doors:

Part B: Fire Safety
Part E: Resistance to the passage of sound
Part L: Conservation of fuel and power
Part M: Access to and use of buildings

In the sections below we reproduce key points from those paragraphs that deal with doors. For authoritative guidance, please refer to the full text of the Building Regulations, to which links are given above.



BUILDING REGULATIONS PART B: FIRE SAFETY

Part 1: Dwelling Houses

Cavity Barriers. Window and door frames are only suitable for use as cavity barriers if they are constructed of steel or timber of an appropriate thickness.

Self-Closing Devices. Other than doors between a dwelling house and an integral garage, fire doors need not be provided with self closing devices.

Protected Stairways. To facilitate safe escape through protected stairways, flames, smoke and gases must be excluded from these escape routes, as far as is reasonably possible, by fire-resisting construction and doors or byh an appropriate smoke control system.

Kitchen Areas. Where the kitchen area is not separated from the stairway or circulation space by a door, there should be compatible interlinked heat detector or heat alarm in the kitchen, in addition to whatever smoke alarms are needed in the circulation space.

Smoke Alarms. There should be a smoke alarm in the circulation space within 7.5m of the door to every habitable room.

Escape Through Windows. A single window can be accepted to serve as an escape route from two rooms, provided both rooms have their own access to the stairs. A communicating door between the rooms should also be provided so that it is possible to gain access to the window without passing through the stair enclosure.

Galleries. The distance between the foot of the access stair to a gallery and the door to the room containing the gallery should not exceed 3m.

External Escape Stairs. All doors giving access to an external escape stair should be fire-resisting, except that a fire-resisting door is not required at the head of any stair leading downwards where there is only one exit from t he building onto the top landing.

Transfer Grilles. Transfer grilles should not be fitted in any wall, door, floor, or ceiling enclosing a protected stairway.

Loft Conversions. A loft conversion of a two-storey house will result in the need to protect the stairway (by providing fire-resisting doors and partitions) where previously no protection may have existed. If it is considered undesirable to replace the existing doors (e.g. if they are historical or architectural merit) it may be possible to retain the doors or upgrade them to an acceptable standard.

Doors Between Dwelling Houses and Garages. Where a door is provided between a dwelling house and the garage, the floor of the garage should be laid to fall to allow fuel spills to flow away from the door to the outside. Alternatively, the door opening should be positioned at least 100mm above garage floor level.

Fire Doors. All fire doors should have the appropriate performance given in Table B1. Fire doors serving an attached or integral garage should be fitted with a self-closing device.

Hinges for Fire Doors. Unless shown to be satisfactory when tested as part of a fire door assembly, the essential components of any hinge on which a fire door is hung should be made entirely from materials having a melting point of at least 800 degrees centigrade.

Part 2: Buildings other than Dwelling Houses

Most of the fire safety Building Regulations that apply to dwelling houses also apply to other buildings. Additional Building Regulations apply also. These are set out in Part 2 of Building Regulations Part B.



BUILDING REGULATIONS PART E: RESISTANCE TO THE PASSAGE OF SOUND

Corridors in Building Divided into Flats. Any door between a flat and a shared corridor should have good perimeter sealing (including the threshold where practical) and a minimum mass per unit area of 25kg per square metre.

Noisy Parts of a Building. Noisy parts of a building containing flats should preferably have a lobby, double door, or high performance doorset to contain the noise. Where this is not possible, nearby flats should have similar protection. 

BUILDING REGULATIONS PART L: CONSERVATION OF FUEL AND POWER

New Dwellings

Thermal Bridges. The building fabric should be constructed so that there are no reasonably avoidable thermal bridges in the insulation layers caused by gaps within the various elements, at the joints between elements, and at the edges of elements such as those around window and door openings.

Existing Dwellings

Areas of Windows and Doors in Extensions. In most circumstances reasonable provision would be to limit the area of windows, roof windows and doors in extensions so that it does not exceed the sum of 25% of the floor area of the extension, plus the area of any windows or doors which, as a result of the extension works, no longer exist or are no longer exposed.

Conservatories. Where the extension is a conservatory, the walls, doors and windows between the dwelling and the conservatory should be insulated and draught-stripped to at least the same extent as the existing dwelling.

Buildings other than Dwellings

Most of the conservation of fuel and power Building Regulations that apply to dwellings also apply to buildings other than dwellings. Other regulations also apply; these are set out in Parts L2A and L2B of the Building Regulatons.

BUILDING REGULATIONS PART M: ACCESS TO AND USE OF BUILDINGS

Dwellings

Manifestation on Glazed Doors. Building Regulations Part N contains guidance on manifestation on glazed doors and screens.

Landings. Wheelchair users need adequate space to stop on landings, to open and pass through doors without having to reverse into circulation routes or to face the risk of rolling back down slopes.

Intermediate Landings. Any intermediate landings should be at least 1.5 metres long and should be clear of any door swings or other obstructions.

Thresholds. The route from the exterior across the threshold should provide weather protection, and not present a barrier for wheelchair users or a trip hazard for other people. A level threshold is preferred, especially for doors in frequent use.

Door Entry Systems. Any door entry systems should be accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people, and people who cannot speak.

Weather Protection. Weather protection should be provided at manual non-powered entrance doors.

Principal Entrances. Doors to the principal, or alternative accessible, entrance should be accessible to all, particularly wheelchair users and people with limited physical dexterity. A powered door opening and closing system, either manually controlled or operated by sensors, is the most satisfactory solution for most people.

Width of Doors for Principal Entrances. The effective clear width through a single leaf door, or one leaf of a double leaf door, should be in accordance with Table 2.

Manually Operated Entrance Doors. Manually operated non-powered entrance doors will satisfy requirement M1 if: a. The opening force at the leading edge of the door is no greater than 20N. b. There is an unobstructed space of at least 300mm on the pull side of the door between the leading edge of the door and any return wall. 

Door Furniture. All door opening furniture should contrast visually with the surface of the door and should not be cold to the touch.

Revolving Doors. Revolving doors are not considered accessible. They create particular difficulties, and risk of injury, for people with assistancedogs, people with visual impairment or mobility problems and for parents with children and/or pushchairs. Ifa revolving door is used, an additional entrance door should be provided immediately adjacent to it.

Manifestation for Glazed Doors. People with visual impairment should be in no doubt as to the location of glass entrance doors, especially when they are within a glazed screen. The choice of a different style of manifestation for the door and the glazed screen can help to differentiate between them.

Buildings other than Dwellings

The access and use of buildings Building Regulations applying to buildings other than dwellings are set out in Part M of the Building Regulations.



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