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Min door height in a commercial unit?

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by Gazman16, 14 Mar 2019.

  1. Gazman16

    Gazman16

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    Hello guys

    Anyone clued up on commercial regs?
    Ive got someone who wants me to fit PVC doors in this as cheap as possible. Its an upstairs office (near the top of the stairs/landing).
    The doors although solid don't have incandescent strips and the walls are just standard stud and plasterboard so I assume fire rated isnt required?
    Just the height I'm a little worried on, Is there a minimum height regulation? Its going to be about 6ft opening if I go within the existing timber frame by the time it has a PVC top frame under it.

    P.S I did quote to enlarge the opening for them but they want to get the price down from that.
     

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  2. wessex101

    wessex101

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    1. If the doors are on the first floor opening near the stairs they are likely to need to be fire doors.
    2. Whilst I am not aware of a minimum door height I would say general Health and Safety at Work would deem 6ft a significant risk of injury. (not for me as I'm a short arse)

    The mind boggles why anyone would want PVCu doors internally.
     
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  3. Gazman16

    Gazman16

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    Hello
    Thanks for that, Good point about the general health and safety.
    The existing doors are not fire doors and the walls are certainly nothing more than standard stud walls. No fire brakes above the stud walls either.

    I guess I'm probably going to have to get building controls opinion and then they will probably want everything upgrading
     
  4. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    There are no minimum sizes
     
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  5. Leofric

    Leofric

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    Tell them the doors need to be at least standard 1981mm high otherwise anybody over 6ft will keep banging their head if the doors are only 6ft high.
    ps presume you meant intumescent strips. You are probably right to involve Building Control if you are installing doors that should be fire doors ( fire doorset :cautious: ) and then they might want to reconsider pvc doors :!:
     
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  6. Gazman16

    Gazman16

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    They wanted double glazed PVC for the soundproofing really, Also full glass doors for the additional light. One of the downstairs offices has already done this but have gone with a good height.
    I'm certainly going to refuse to fit lower doors now but you guys have made me a little concerned about the fire proofing.

    As I say the old doors don't have intumescent strips around them. The walls are just normal stud and normal plasterboard, Above the ceiling tiles is completely open with no fire breaks between the multiple offices.
    Would we have a duty to upgrade to fire doors or even upgrade everything else just because they want to change the doors?
    Or is this something I have to run by building control to get a definitive answer?
     
  7. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    If that's an office environment, and that's an escape route, the doors will need to be self-closing fire doors with intumescent strips. And certainly no raised threshold.

    The owner occupier should have a fire safety risk assessment, and this would state this. Otherwise, if there is a fire or they get a routine visit from the fire service doing checks, then he's in trouble.
     
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  8. Leofric

    Leofric

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    I would cover yourself and refuse to fit any doors unless you are sure building regs on fire safety are being met.
    ps glazed doors can be fire resisting and glazed vision panels are required in doors on a common corridor in offices anyway.
     
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  9. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Its not building regulations but the Regulatory Fire Safety Order 2005. The onus is on the building owner/occupier to do (arrange) the risk assessment, and it's whether the risk assessor deems a fire door to be required - but in all work environments, and fire door will be required on offices, corridors and escape routes.

    There would be no come-backs on the fitter, unless the fitter is the person advising the owner.
     
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  10. Leofric

    Leofric

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    Doesn't the building control authority liaise with the fire service nowadays on the provision of fire doors in accordance with Approved Document B and fire safety in buildings ?
    I know the building owner/occupier has responsibilities regarding fire safety .
     
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  11. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    No. Responsibility for ongoing fire safety has been placed on the building owner/occupier with the fire service as the enforcement body.

    The b/regs are really for new build and alterations, with a proviso that any subsequent replacement of a controlled fitting must not make the situation worse than the regulations in force when the place was built.

    But the FSO 2005 goes way beyond the b/regs and can require enhanced safety items, and this is an annual/regular assessment so is ongoing. Potentially the work that is existing, fully compliant with b/regs can be required to be improved, and then this could well be required to be improved again on the next assessment if industry thinking has changed in the meantime.
     
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  12. Gazman16

    Gazman16

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    Hello again, Thanks for all your input guys. I know fire regs have got very strict since the Grenfell incident and they are so complex now its hard to know what you can and cant do.

    I have just had another thought/possible work around.
    What if we were to keep the existing doors but cut out the middles so that we could fit glass into them?
    We wouldn't be replacing the doors or surrounds then and could fit fire rated glass if thats necessary?

    In theory as long as the glass has the same fire rating as the existing timber nothing has really changed
     
  13. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    By piercing the door you have destroyed the fire integrity - glazed fire doors need to be supplied with a test certificate. The issue is not only the glass, but also the intumescent glazing mastic, lippings, etc.

    Are the doors actually compliant now? I.e. gap round 3 sides of 2 to 4mm, max gap beneath of 4mm (with or without a drop seal fitted), fire rated hinges on intumescent packers, appropriate intumescent or intumescent/brush seals in frame, frame appropriately sealed and fire-stopped (beneath architraves), doors currently marked with something like a CertFire or BCF rating sticker, appropriate closer, etc
     
  14. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    The certificate of a fire door is invalid as soon as you alter it.

    If you did cut a hole and fit a glass panel, it may well be OK, but no one (a trained assessor) will say that, so the it only way to prove it's performance would be to test it, and thus destroy it.
     
  15. Gazman16

    Gazman16

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    As I say I don't think they are fire doors (certainly not to modern specs anyway) just solid core doors I think. I will take one off and feel how heavy it is.
    It has some wool brushpile strips around the frame but they don't go past/around the hinges and there is nothing between the 2 doors or under them
    Here is an inside pic, The doors would be around 15 years old.


    I have fitted Pyro glass for a loft conversion before so I have the specs for the glass, beading sealing of the edges etc although that was around 3 years ago before Grenfell.
    Good point about a test certificate though.

    I didn't have a good look around the offices myself but the customer has informed me that there are 2 other fire escapes with metal stair cases at either end of the building.
     

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