Technical Bulletin – BS 8300 Update

Recent updates to BS 8300 has put the standard back in the spotlight. With this in mind, David Hindle, Head of Door Closer Sales at ASSA ABLOY UK, explains what the latest update means for doorset specifiers.

The advisory British Standard on accessibility, BS 8300: 2009, has now been withdrawn and replaced with two new standards:

BS8300-1: 2018 Code of Practice
Design of an accessible and inclusive built environment. External environment.

BS8300-2: 2018 Code of Practice
Design of an accessible and inclusive built environment. Buildings.

So, effectively, it has been split into two, internal environment and external environment. The bulk of BS 8300:2009 has fallen in to BS 8300-2: 2018.

Buildings should be easily accessible to all, regardless of impairment or disability. For doorset designers and specifiers, this principle is outlined by the Equality Act 2010.

The Act states that building design must avoid creating access issues, whilst taking all possible steps to provide effective barriers, against smoke and fire. However, it does not offer any detailed physical guidance on how to meet this requirement.

Consequently, it is recommended that building professionals adhere to guidance contained within Approved Document M and BS 8300 (now BS8300-2: 2018), and specify doorset solutions that guard against smoke and fire without impeding access for all.

BS 8300-2: 2018 offers best-practice recommendations about how architectural design and the built environment are accessible to less able people (more inclusive). This update to the 2009 standard has remained unchanged for doorsets and architectural ironmongery.

However, did everyone realise or meet their obligations to the Equalities Act 2010 on new or existing buildings via ADM and/or BS8300 previously? As a quick re-cap, and in light of more on site testing being carried out by building control officers around door opening forces, here’s a quick guide to help you cut through the legislation and be compliant.

The update does make important changes to project completion and handover procedures. For example, it encourages more rigorous use of BS 8300 by inspecting building officers. While the standard is not a legal obligation, because it supports the Equality Act 2010 in scope and content, many building officers won’t sign off on builds that don’t adhere to the standard. This can have a real impact on the handover of a building, so it’s essential the standard is consulted.

As a result, it is clear that following the standards laid out in BS 8300, is in the best interests of those specifying doorsets. The current requirement for internal doors is a maximum opening force of 30N for the first 30 degrees of initial movement, and that force must not exceed 22.5N from 30 to 60 degrees. On fire doors, you must still maintain the required closing force at the same time of course, and this is where it can be tricky to comply with both sets of requirements.

Even though BS 8300 allows the opening force to vary up to 34N depending on the measurement’s location and the force meter’s accuracy, it is still a demanding standard to meet. This becomes even more difficult when hinge and seal resistance is taken into account. Badly-hung doorsets or the use of low quality door hardware items can seriously hinder accessibility and compromise overall fire safety.

ASSA ABLOY products are designed to adhere to the criteria laid out in BS 8300. For further information on ASSA ABLOY’s extensive choice of high-efficiency door closers, click this link.