When it comes to home security, it is of the upmost importance that your development’s doors and windows are up to scratch.
The introduction last year (in October 2015) of new Building Regulation requirements, known as Document Q, has in many ways merely reinforced this centrality.
As with most regulations the requirements for Document Q were phased in – but as of October 2016 it is compulsory for developers in England.
Yet, many are still confused over exactly what Document Q means for the industry, which types of developments it applies to and exactly whose responsibility it is to ensure it is met.
We have prepared a simple factsheet that you can download <link> to cut through the confusion and make yourself at home with exactly what Document Q means for the homes you build.
Here we’d like to answer some of the questions we are most frequently asked about Document Q.
Q (& A)
Q: What exactly is Document Q?
A: It is the latest addition to Building Regulations. It brings security to the forefront by setting out reasonable standards for doors and windows in all new residences.
All relevant doors and windows in these properties must be made to a design that can be shown, by test, to meet the security requirements of PAS24:2012.
Existing homes are currently not required to meet these requirements.
Q: Exactly what properties are covered by Document Q?
A: It applies to all new dwellings, and this includes existing buildings that have been converted into dwellings. Conservation Areas are not exempt from its requirements.
Q: What exactly is a ‘relevant’ door or window?
Document Q relates to doors providing an entrance to a building. This includes garage doors where there is a connecting door to the house and any door that allows access into communal areas of buildings containing flats and apartments (communal entrances, emergency exits, drying rooms, cycle stores and refuse areas, for example).
It also applies to all ground floor, basement and other easily accessible windows, including roof windows and skylights.
Q: Does it apply to extensions?
A: Extensions fall outside of the current scope of the legislation.
Q: Does it apply to doors leading to a balcony?
Q: Does it apply to replacement windows?
A: It currently only applies to new build homes, flats and apartments.
Q: Does it apply to hotels or commercial properties?
Q: Does it apply to key worker or student accommodation?
A: This is slightly more nuanced.
If the design of the building will offer accommodation that is clustered into a number of bedrooms that are accessed by a shared front entrance door then it is applicable.
However, if the development’s bedrooms are located off a shared hallway then it will fall outside the requirements of Document Q.
Q8: What is the difference between Document Q and Secured by Design?
A: Let’s consider first the similarities.
The technical standards that are used by Document Q and Secured By Design are the same. This means that if you are using a Secured By Design approved product you can be 100% confident you are complying with the law.
Where the two differ is that Secured By Design requires door and window products to be fully certificated. Document Q, however, requires only that they can be tested once fitted to ensure they are compliant.
Q: Does it supersede the requirements set out in Part B for the fire regulations of apartments and flats?
A: No, you must comply with both.
Document Q in a nutshell
In essence the requirements of Document Q are straightforward enough and mirror what developers, suppliers and fitters have been practicing for many years.
Download your guide here. <link>
As ever, though, the devil can be in the detail.
If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to give us a call.
You won’t be alone – so we politely ask you to join the ‘queue’!