RESIDENTIAL & SUSTAINABLE LIVING Closing the door on poor specifications

For those

considering either specifying a new door closer system for a building, or replacing an exisng one, a range of key issues need to be addressed. This includes ensuring cerficaon standards are met, performance needs are sasfied and considering just how flexible the chosen system is. David Hindle, head of door closer sales at ASSA ABLOY Opening Soluons UK & Ireland, advises.


eciding on the right door closer is not as straight-forward as simply who is using it and the opening force. There are a whole range of other factors to consider, including whether the door closer is for an internal or external door, inward or outward opening, what the size of the door is, the volume of traffic using it, the required closing force and how the door closer will be mounted.

Broadly speaking, however, there are three essential considerations when selecting new door closers for a building: certification, performance and flexibility.

Setting the standard

BS 8300-2:2018 is a British Standard setting out how buildings should be designed, constructed and maintained to create an accessible environment for all. BS 8300 was first introduced in 2009 and was last updated in 2018. The standard is consistently updated to take account of important legislation, such as the Equality Act 2010 and Approved Document M.

The overall aim of BS 8300 is to ensure everyone can use an environment. However, previous versions of the standard have focused more on the provision of accessibility solutions, specifically for people with a disability. In contrast, the latest update focuses on making sure the whole environment is more universally accessible, rather than simply adding on separate facilities for those with a disability. In short, a building should be accessible to all, without restriction or the need for assistance.

It is critical that decision makers install door closer solutions that consider impairments and disabilities, to help enable easy access for all.

It is important to note that BS 8300 advises on the maximum opening force for internal doors. It recommends a maximum opening force of 30N for the first 30 degrees of initial movement, and that this force must not exceed 22.5N from 30 to 60 degrees. It also covers how best to balance opening and closing forces when specifying a BS 8300-compliant door opening solution on fire rated doorsets.

Fighting fire

Door closers also need to provide maximum protection against fire and smoke, and fire safety legislation is an ever-increasing and complex part of any building’s design. Fire doors must be self- closing and, therefore, require a CE marked and tested door closer to be fitted and maintained. It’s always worth checking that a door closer supplier has the right accreditation in place, so specifiers can be confident that products will meet the necessary standards. Relevant ones include Warringtonfire’s FIRAS Installer Certification Scheme, BM TRADA’s Q-Mark Fire Door Installation and the Guild of Architectural Ironmongery’s Diploma. Furthermore, it is essential that suppliers have a comprehensive understanding of the legislation covering fire safety matters in and around buildings, such as Approved Document B, BS EN 1634 and BS 476.

It is also worth noting that, at the end of 2017, a number of UKAS accredited authorities withdrew certification for almost all door closers used on uninsulated metal fire doors. While a number of these certifications have since been reinstated, they typically only cover the use of door closers on the side of the fire door that is deemed most at risk. In many instances, it can be difficult to determine which side of the fire door this is. Therefore, it is important to partner with a provider that has undertaken the relevant testing to ensure their door closers meet the certification requirements for uninsulated metal fire doors, whether these are fitted on the exposed (fire) or unexposed (fire safe) side of the door. This way, decision makers can be confident that there are no caveats or risks when it comes to using the supplied door closers with uninsulated metal fire doors. Ultimately, it should be clear and easy to understand whether a door closer compromises fire safety regulations or not.

Performance options

A closed door can change the ambience of a building, and even act as a hazard for those using it, which is why features such as hold-open door closers are so in demand nowadays. For the


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