The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) is urging each part of the door hardware supply chain - from architects through to contractors - to consider ways to minimise risk in product sourcing, specification and supply. This is especially important in the case of architectural ironmongery as the risk of litigation or criminal prosecution in the case of fire and access for all issues, is particularly great. This requires consideration from the start of the design process since the onus is now on the architect or specifier to provide an Access Statement under the Equality Act (previously the DDA) and a Fire Risk Assessment under the Regulatory Reform Order, which must be ready at handover.
All doors in commercial and public settings must comply (where appropriate) with:
- Equality Act: ADM / BS 8300
- Construction Products Regulations: CE mark / BS ENs / ETAs
- Building Regulations: Approved Documents (particularly ADB), BS 9999 - both recommend standards.
And the financial consequences of getting it wrong can be substantial - ranging from the cost of supplying replacements, labour costs and making good, right through to legal action which could result in fines and/or imprisonment.
The easiest way to minimise risk, says the GAI, is to ensure strict compliance with product standards. Courts make judgements based on evidence and compliance with product standards provide offer evidence that proper materials are being used and fitness for purpose. Using a CE marked product offers the legal protection that shows that due diligence has been exercised.
CE Marked (or products tested to EN or BS or other relevant European specification where CE marking is not applicable) also give protection against claims under Building Regulation 7 which states that materials and workmanship must be 'proper'.
It is also vital that specifiers and contractors know and understand the relevant standards, recognise and check the classification codes, and ensure all accessories/finishes and variants are included in any CE mark or certification.
This is a particular skill of qualified architectural ironmongers and architects and contractors using the services of an experienced, qualified ironmonger - preferably a RegAI - to write and sign-off of schedule will have added peace of mind and security. The GAI's architectural ironmonger members are trained and skilled at specifying the hardware - hinges, seals, handles, closers and the like - which make doors operate efficiently and may save lives in the event of fire.
The GAI represents the majority of architectural ironmongers in the UK as well as the leading manufacturers of architectural door and window hardware. The GAI also administers the benchmark qualifications for professional architectural ironmongers and it says it is dedicated to raising specification standards and encouraging best practice in all aspects of this sector.
For more information visit www.gai.org.uk
Posted October 17th, 2011 at 0915 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: email@example.com