October 2015 saw the introduction of Part Q, a new section to building regulations in England and Wales.
Part Q relates to security in dwellings and applies to all new dwellings and also to new dwellings created through a material change of use.
This new part of the building regulations places increased requirements on doors and windows serving houses and flats. For example, this relates to doors and windows forming access into a dwelling from outside, into parts of a building containing flats from outside, into flats from common areas. The objective of part Q is to design in good standards relating to security and resistance to physical attack by opportunistic thieves or burglars.
Part Q governs both openings within certain parameters on the exterior of a building and also doorsets, windows and ironmongery.
A doorway or window of which any part is within two metres vertically of an ‘accessible level surface’, such as the ground, a light-well serving a basement or a balcony must be designed to meet the requirements of the new part Q. All doorsets and windows in these locations must be manufactured to meet the requirements of British Standards Publication PAS 24:2012. Guidance is provided in the approved documents Appendix B for the design
requirements of Bespoke Timber Secure Doorsets.
Doorsets may also be deemed acceptable if they conform to the standards providing similar or better performance such as; STS 201 Issue 5:2013, or LPS 1175 Issue 7:2010 security rating 2 for example.
Further advise is also available on the Secured by design website. See; www.securedbydesign.com. See guidance on secured by design’s new homes 2014.
The introduction of the new legislation means that from the 1st of October 2015, doors and windows will have to manufactured to a design which has been shown through testing to meet the security standards included in part Q including PAS 24, LPS 1175 and LPS 2081.
For members of the public moving into new homes, it is worth taking note of the new legislation and also making note of the doors and windows in their property, as bespoke timber installations will be subject to alternate requirements. See Annex B of the document which states that; ‘doorsets should be manufactured from solid timber with a minimum density of 600 Kg/m3 in accordance with BS 644:2003’, Annex B is intended for doors that do not exceed 1000mm in width and 2000mm in height, additional measures could be necessary for larger door sets, Door rails, stiles and muntins should be a minimum of 44mm thick, The minimum thickness of any panel within the door set should be 15mm. The panel should be securely held in place. Beading should be screwed and glued in position, The smaller dimension of each panel, which can be either the width or height of the panel, should not exceed 230mm. Further standards are provided on the performance requirements of Locks hinges and letter plates, door limitation and caller identity and glazing.