The force required to open a door is a critical factor in enabling accessibility.  The criteria are set out in the Building Regulations and BS8300-2009.  A number of features and factors affect the performance, all of which have to be considered.


Ian hill Access was appointed by Stephen George and Partners LLP to appraise (on behalf of Telereal Trillium for the Department of Work and Pensions) the performance of all the doors in two of the Department of Work and Pensions Head Office Estates buildings in Sheffield:- Steel City House and Porterbrook House.  In all, some 111 doors were appraised and the findings recorded and recommendations made.  A table was devised with the following headings used to record the findings.

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DWP Head Office Estates Door Survey


 

We recommended two related courses of action:-


A.  bring the existing failing doors up to current expectations


B.  continued maintenance to ensure that all doors remain in good         operational condition


Using the information in this report, it was recommended that a

maintenance team should attend to the main common defects:-

-   adjust door closers

-   remedy defective smoke seals, particularly where they are binding

and, remedy other defects such as:-

-   doors binding directly on frames

-   doors binding on carpets

-   missing handles, missing ball catches, missing smoke / intumescent seals

Smoke seal - the presence or not of a smoke seal was recorded, together with comments on any effect on opening force.  By elbow type, is meant in the return of the door stop - this type does not tend to bind.


Number of leaves - was recorded, with comments where appropriate.


Closer - the presence or not of a closer was recorded, together with comments on any effect on opening force.


Ball catch - the presence or not of a ball catch was recorded, together with comments on any effect on opening force.  This is applicable to Porterbrook only.  It should be noted that all but 3 are missing, and it may well therefore be that this is deliberate in order to overcome some problem caused by the catches.


300mm space to side of leading edge - was recorded, as the absence of this can have an effect on the ability of someone achieving the required pulling force.


Mass of door - although not possible to establish with any realistic accuracy, an attempt was made to comment on the mass of the door, and comments made on any effect on opening force.  A simple assessment was used - 1 = not very heavy, 2 = medium heavy, 3 = heavier.


Air pressure - again, although not possible to establish with any realistic accuracy, an attempt was made to comment if it appeared that this factor had any significant effect on required pulling force.


The two buildings were visited by Ian Hill over two days, Thursday 17th December and Friday 18th December 2009.


Some doors additional to those identified by Stephen George and Partners were included where it was thought helpful (on key circulation route for instance).


Finally, we produced a report detailing the findings and making recommendations aimed at addressing the shortcomings and malfunctions of the doors.

Force measuring - the force required to open each door was measured.  A plunger-type Newton force measuring instrument from TTS was used (with a range of 0 N to 50 N), attaching to the handle as near as possible to the spindle.  This is the most important indicator and readings outside the parameters indicate that action is required.


A swing arc template was used to establish 30° and 60° swing of doors (Appendix B).  NOTE -

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