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Article first published 01/06/2006
Building Regulations covering the thermal insulation properties of industrial and commercial doors have been rewritten, thanks to successful lobbying by the Door & Hardware Federation (DHF).
The Department for Communities and Local Government (formerly known as the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) has finally acknowledged that it was impossible to achieve the levels of thermal insulation in doors and shutters laid down in the previous Building Regulations approved document. This was causing problems for door suppliers, contractors and specifiers who were unable to demonstrate compliance with the Regulations.
Revised Approved Document L of the Building Regulations (England and Wales), which addresses the energy performance of buildings other than dwellings, is now in force. It has revised the acceptable levels of thermal insulation in industrial and commercial doors and shutters. Crucially, the new levels are both commercially attainable by door manufacturers yet still make a significant impact on environmental improvement.
Said Ray Nowell, technical officer of the DHF: “We wholeheartedly welcome this change of heart by the ODPM. It follows several years of campaigning by the federation.
“The original thermal values were set many years ago without consultation with the industry. The DHF has played an active part in the subsequent consultation process, and this has achieved a most positive outcome for the industry whilst giving building designers more accurate information.”
The changes in revised Approved Document L concern industrial and commercial vehicle access doors and similar large doors. The original unattainable area-weighted average u-value for thermal resistance of a door was 0.7 W/m2K which, it was thought, was based on the calculated value of an insulated panel but not the completely installed door. This has now been changed to a more accurate figure of 1.5 W/m2K. This figure applies to buildings with a number of doors. For a single door installation, the new thermal resistance level is 4.0 W/m2K. These new values will give architects and specifiers the freedom to use different configurations of doors and still be able to calculate a total building performance within the Government’s statutory requirements.
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