A quick guide to the changes to access regulations in Part M and how they will affect door specification, and Davis Langdon takes a look at the costs of doors and windows

Think about the location of revolving doors

  • Revolving doors are not accessible for all users, so where they are specified, a non-revolving entrance door should be provided alongside
  • Provide sufficient clearance in front of the doors. Level landings measuring 1500 × 1500 mm should be provided immediately in front of the entrance, clear of any door swings
  • Where space is tight, sliding doors could be used to reduce the landing’s dimensions. However, these are expensive; Davis Langdon estimates the approximate cost of a sliding door as £3000 for a single or £4200 for a double leaf.

Select door-closers carefully

  • Part M requires the maximum opening force on manually operated doors to be 20 N. However, there appears to be a clash between the requirements of British Standard 8300, Part M and fire safety standard BS EN 1154. Door maker Dorma says that Part M requires door closers to have a maximum opening force of 20 N, BS8300 stipulates a maximum closing force of 20 N and BS EN stipulates door closers have a closing force of 18 N or above. As Dorma says, “All three standards cannot apply simultaneously”. The ODPM is preparing guidance on the issue. Meanwhile, Dorma recommends the alternative solution of specifying power-operated doors or electromagnetic hold-open doors

  • Make sure the door opening is wide enough. Internal doors should have a clear opening of 800-825 mm. External doors used by the public should be 1000 mm
  • Ensure door entry systems are accessible. Controls for power-operated doors should be accessible to wheelchair users. Door entry systems should also be suitable for people with hearing or speech disabilities.

Provide weather protection and think about safety

  • Where manual entrance doors are specified, weather protection should be provided
  • Ensure glass entrance doors and screens are obvious, particularly when left open across public spaces
  • Manifestation should help differentiate between doors and glazed screens. Doors within glazed screens should have a high contrast perimeter
  • Where glass doors can be permanently held open, the leading edge of the door should be protected with guarding.

What's the difference between Part M ...

  • Part M of the Building Regulations is about the provision of access to buildings

  • Part M applies to new buildings and changes to old buildings, including the addition of an extension or the building's change of use

  • Part M covers new homes

  • Part M merely requires compliance and is not affected by the Disability Discrimination Act.

... and the Disability Discrimination Act?

  • The DDA is about the rights of individuals

  • The DDA applies to all buildings and can be applied retrospectively

  • The DDA only covers employers and service providers' premises

  • With the DDA, building owners still need to address barriers to access caused by physical features in the building - even if they have complied with Part M.

Doors and Windows