Nick Bligh, Group Technical Manager at Jeld-Wen, helps you get a handle on Approved Document Q.
What is Approved Document Q?
Approved Document Q of the Building Regulations is the first security regulation of its kind for doorsets and windows in England. It was designed to ensure that properties can withstand security threats such as a physical attack by a casual or opportunist burglar.
The regulation applies to new-build dwellings and ‘material change of use’ applications whereby the building changes its use from one purpose to another – additionally extensions and refurbishments are not in scope.
The rigorous rules apply to any doorset or window that could provide a means of entry. Doorsets or windows in these areas must be proven to be ‘sufficiently robust’ and fitted with appropriate hardware.
How does Approved Document Q apply to doorsets?
The regulation affects any accessible doorset, such as the front door, rear patio or any other doors connecting to the house such as an integral garage door.
Depending on the project and building type, there could be additional accessible level surfaces which will need to be considered. Any doorway which is within two metres vertical of an accessible level surface such as the ground, basement level or balcony needs to meet the regulation.
With this in mind, if you’re working on a project where Approved Document Q is applicable, a variety of doorset and window specifications will need to be considered during the planning process.
What needs to happen to ensure a doorset is Approved Document Q compliant?
To meet the minimum requirements of Approved Document Q, any doorset that is installed needs to show evidence of compliance to PAS 24:2012 – the security test standard for doorsets and windows.
A pass proves that products meet the requirements of PAS 24:2012 and are therefore compliant with Approved Document Q.
For extra re-assurance, third-party product certification to PAS 24, such as the BSI Kitemark, can be used to demonstrate compliance with the Secured by Design (SBD) scheme – the highest level of compliance for Approved Document Q.
It is worth mentioning that doorsets can be assembled on site using components from various sources. This means the trade aren’t required to source a complete doorset with hardware together, however a joiner would need to show evidence of PAS 24 compliance for each component used, for example: separate door leaf, hinges and frame.
For Secured by Design certification however, a complete doorset must come from one manufacturer with factory production control certification
What compliant door options are there on the market?
With so many door options available on the market, it’s important to check the security credentials carefully. If your project requires the highest security performance, doorsets such as Jeld-Wen’s new INSULUX timber composite range offers superior performance with PAS 24 specification as standard, meeting the requirements of Approved Document Q and Secured by Design.
Also consider the locking systems provided. Euro cylinders are the most commonly used lock for doors and they are appropriate for most applications, but for heightened security, cylinder-free multi-point locks are recommended.
With no accessible cylinder, the aesthetic performance of the lock plays a key visual deterrent to any burglar. Jeld-Wen has adopted ERA’s Vectis Plus cylinder-free multi-point lock across the Canberra, Darwin, Farndale, DreamVu and Castle Composite doorsets.
Next month Nick will continue with part two on Approved Document Q focusing on windows.
For more information click here.