Things to consider with handles for commercial aluminium doors.

Things to consider with handles for commercial aluminium doors.

Any reputable installer will know that for commercial buildings, ranging from a small shop to a complete office block or retail centre, it is commercial aluminium doors that are the most suitable and fit for purpose.

Doors installed today are required by law to be accessible by the elderly and disabled.

The Equality Act is one current piece of legislation that applies to commercial doors in buildings that are not dwellings.

What you may not know is that commercial doors are covered and fall under the requirements of:

  • Building Regulations
  • Approved Document M
  • The Equality Act
  • BS8300
  • Certifire
  • and other standards and legislation.

What to consider with commercial door handles.

The above examples of standards and legislation can apply to handles typically fitted on commercial doors.  If you are a door installer, it is important that you have some knowledge of your responsibilities in ensuring your client complies with the relevant standards in place for buildings that are not dwellings.

If you are confused by these standards and are not sure what you need to comply with, contact us and we can help.  A summary of typical standards includes the following:

BS 8300. 

BS8300 is the British Standard which provides guidance on what door furniture such as handles can be used in public buildings.  This even includes your local shops and independent traders.

Approved Document M.

This is an official Building Regulations document explaining how doors can comply in providing accessibility for disabled people.  You may also have heard Approved Document M referred to as “DDA”.  The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was incorporated into the Equality Act 2010 and the Equality Act is the current requirement.

What can you do to ensure your doors comply?

An excellent example of a door with the correct cranked handle in a contrasting colour.

A commercial door with an easy to use cranked handle and one in a contrasting colour. 

BS8300 contains guidance on the right door handles that can comply.  Examples include contrasting colour hardware.  No specific guidance is given on exactly what is a contrasting handle but good working practice generally involves handles that are visually different in colour to the door leaves themselves.  For example, black or blue handles on white doors.

“Warm to the touch” handles are also mentioned.  Again this is open to interpretation as obviously differing temperatures can effect what is a warm or cold handle.  Our advice is to choose nylon coated handles wherever possible.

Nylon Coated handles, warm to the touch, in a contrasting colour such as these will comply with the DDA

Nylon Coated handles are generally regarded as warm to the touch. 

 

What else should you consider?

Our advice if you are unsure is always to check with your local building control officer as every building is different and may be specified differently.

Low thresholds are also required on all types of commercial or public entrance doors.  Unlike the “step over” threshold found in residential doors, this must be a flat ramp type threshold at no more than 15mm high.

If you would like more information about hardware for commercial aluminium doors, please contact us.