Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Why the architect will benefit from specifying doorsets

When it comes to specifying doors, the architect has to make a choice. Should he choose a ready made doorset, or ought he instead decide a door assembly should be made up on site from individual components? In this article, the Door & Hardware Federation outlines the benefits of choosing the complete doorset.

To start with, let us define what is meant by a doorset. It is a complete unit, designed and engineered to meet specific performance requirements, and is manufactured to exacting and consistent standards. It is usually delivered to site as a completely pre-assembled unit for installation into the building, A door assembly, however, comprises constituent parts from various sources that are assembled on site to make up the finished door.

So what are the benefits of the completed doorset compared to on-site fabrication? A doorset comes complete with straightforward and unambiguous documentation. This enables the specifier to determine the performance requirements for an intended application, so ensuring he chooses the right doorset for the purpose.

It gives the specifier vital assurance on quality control. The doorset supplier has complete control over the quality and compatibility of all individual components and materials comprising the completed doorset. This ensures the product delivers dependable and consistent performance standards. It also gives the guarantee that the doorset supplier alone is responsible and accountable for the performance of the entire doorset.

Choosing a completed doorset offers the specifier many other benefits, too:
  • Factory preparation of the doorset ensure more accurate, speedy and precise installation on-site
  • Doorsets reduce the potential for on-site health and safety issues concerning assembly and door ironmongery preparation
  • The specifier, client and contractor benefit from economies in the supply chain thanks to fewer purchasing transactions
  • Pre-assembled doorsets mean there is less chance of loss or pilferage on site
  • Specifying a doorset is the “green” option for specifiers - much less waste is generated on-site when compared to on-site fabrication of individual door assemblies.

The Door and Hardware Federation has long championed the benefits of doorsets. Specifying doorsets from DHF members gives the architect the added benefit that members adhere to the compulsory minimum standards of capability, customer service and quality which are a compulsory condition of DHF membership.

Architects face another consideration when choosing doorsets. From July 2013, when the new Construction Products Regulation comes into being, CE marking will start to become compulsory. A doorset cannot be placed on the market without a CE mark if it is covered by a harmonised standard. (Where the harmonised standard has not yet been published, CE marking will become compulsory at a later date, possibly a year or more after 2013).

Only a pre-assembled doorset comprising all the necessary constituent parts from a single supplier can be CE marked (It can still be CE marked if it is delivered in the form of a factory-prepared kit ready for assembly with simple tools on site). It cannot be CE marked, however, if the parts come from more than one source or if not all parts are included, or if assembly involves more complex construction methods on site.

Sources of further help for the architect and specifier:
  •  The DHF presentation on CE marking and its specific application to doorsets is currently being presented to RIBA member architects around the country under the RIBA Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme.

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