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Rob Norman explains how VBH makes compliance to Document Q very simple

It’s the subject that the industry’s been talking about for some months and it’s finally here.

Much has already been written, but to recap, from 1st October window and doors installed in new build properties in England and some of those in Wales must comply with the requirements of Building Regulations Approved Document Q.

The aim of the document is to increase the level of security in NEW BUILD homes and in existing buildings that have been converted into housing. This is to be achieved by increasing the level of security in windows and entrance doors. Document Q does not affect replacement products.

It is down to the people responsible for the building work, such as the designer, builder or installer, to ensure that the work complies. Of course, they will need documented proof from the fabricator to pass on to Building Control, and failure to comply may result in the building owner being served with an enforcement notice.

Document Q is applicable to all new build/conversion installations in England and those into excepted energy buildings in Wales, regardless of where the windows or doors are manufactured.

Conversely, products manufactured in England and Wales do not have to comply with Document Q if they are being installed outside of those two countries.

As when any new guideline or legislation is announced, there has been much gnashing of teeth and confusion within the industry about what Document Q means and what fabricators need to do to comply.

VBH are producing a selection of Document Q Compliance Packs that will support our fabricating customers in achieving that compliance.

There are a number of ways to achieve compliance and VBH can help in choosing the best route, but in short, the windows/doors must be consistently produced to a specification that has been tested to, and passed, the PAS24:2012 security standard or has achieved accredited product performance certification.

Manufacturers producing bespoke timber windows and doors will have to have their own products tested or demonstrate compliance to Appendix B of Document Q, which lays down a specification for bespoke timber doorsets.

On top of the existing PAS24 or product performance specs, Document Q also calls for a few additional features such as the fitting of door viewers on main entrance doors that do not feature clear glass or do not have a glazed panel adjacent to the door itself. There is also a requirement to fit a limiter or chain to such doors, unless there is good reason not to. The document advises that an example of this is where a warden may need emergency access to residents in sheltered housing. In this case an alternative means of caller identification such as electronic audio-visual door entry system should be fitted.

There are also added stipulations about the maximum allowable letterplate aperture and a requirement to fit a device to hinder fishing through that aperture.

It all sounds complicated but it needn’t be, as we at VBH have taken steps to make compliance to Document Q very easy for our customers.

Our product portfolio of own brand greenteQ and major market partners such as Maco, Roto and Yale, among others, enables us to offer our customers a tailored Document Q solution for all their applications.

A large part of my job is to work with PVCu and aluminium systems companies to make sure that their fabricator network has access to hardware when a new profile suite is launched, and to work together for the good of our mutual customers when new legislation is introduced. Document Q has been high on the agenda at meetings with many systems houses these past few months, as you can imagine.

I mentioned the Compliance Pack a little earlier. This is something that we’ve put together for users of the profiles that we’ve been in dialogue with. In short, it’s all you need to ensure that your windows and doors comply.

We would love to hear from you to discuss how we can help.

Rob Norman is Systems Sales Manager at VBH (GB) Ltd and can be contacted on 07740 401352 or rob.norman@vbhgb.com 

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