What Is Approved Document Q?

What is Approved Document Q and when, and to whom, is it relevant?

Approved Document Q is one of the newest additions to the Building Regulations.  Its purpose is to improve the security of new dwellings whether it is through the construction of a new dwelling or the material change of use of an existing building into a dwelling.

A material change of use is such that when you convert a barn or office block in to a home or apartments.  These types of projects, because you are creating a new dwelling even though using an existing building also have to comply with the new regulation.

When Did It Come Into Effect?

It came into effect on 1st October 2015 for use in England (there are separate regulations for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland).  It does not apply to work started before 1st October 2015 or work subject to a building notice, full plans application or initial notice submitted before that date provided the work is started on site before 1st October 2016.

So if the erection of a new dwelling, and by the same principle a material change of use, started before 1st October 2015 then it does not apply.  All new planning applications registered after the 1st October 2015 deadline do have to comply with the new regulation.

What Is Its Purpose?

The purpose of the Approved Document is to improve security for all new dwellings or material change of use to a dwelling.  The document covers the manufacture of doors and windows and the minimum standards for security.  Glass and ironmongery also has a minimum requirement in easily accessible locations.  The regulations also require the use of door chains, door viewers and other components to meet the regulations where required.

What Standards Do Products Have To Meet?

Doors and windows have to meet PAS 24:2012 as a minimum standard.  If another similar, or superior standard, is adhered to this can supersede PAS 24:2012.  Such standards include STS 201 Issue 5:2013, STS 202 Issue 3:2011 burglary rating 2, LPS 1175 Issue 7:2010 security rating 2, LPS 2081 Issue 1:2015 security rating B and others.

Glass for easily accessible locations has to contain at least one leaf of class P1A/P2A glass in accordance with BS EN 356:2000.  6.8 mm laminated security glazing achieves class P1A.  Approved Document Q doors and windows still have to meet the other Approved Documents as this new regulation does not supersede the others; it is in addition to them for new build dwellings and conversions.

 The State of Play

We undertook some market research of companies awareness and understanding of the new regulation and were somewhat surprised by the results.  This was targeted at the industry “professionals” and not the general public with many sales people and estimators either not aware or with limited or incorrect knowledge of what the regulation requires.

This is a worrying state of affairs as it means those that supply doors and windows, whether aluminium or aluminium clad timber, are at risk of being issued with an enforcement notice, a prison sentence or an unlimited fine for contravening the Building Act 1984 and Building Regulations 2010 (plus subsequent amendments).

Contact Reveal Doors and Windows for any help or assistance on 0113 386 9207.