Compliance for doors and shutters

19 August 2020

The doors providing access to a building, especially in a general commercial building, are the first thing people see. In many cases they are designed to be a standout feature to create a good first impression.

All doors, including entry doors need to be inviting, practical and functional for general use. The most important function they serve is to provide the means of escape in an emergency.

Some important items to look at when selecting and designing doors include:

  • Access for persons with a disability
  • Type and function of locking devices and mechanisms
  • Restrictions on Panel doors/roller shutters.

Access for persons with a disability is an item that is becoming more predominant in our industry. It is important when selecting and designing doorways within a building, to ensure the required circulation spaces documented in AS1428.1-2009 are met. The minimum door size able to be used is a 920 to allow for 850mm clear opening, with circulation space provided on each side for access.

The type of latch and locking device can often be an issue that is picked up during final certification of a building. It is important to remember when selecting latching and locking devices, that they comply with the requirements of the National Construction Code (NCC) and are:

  • Lever type handles, with a small return on the end. Knob style locking devices are not acceptable.
  • D type handles on sliding doors or push/pull doors.
  • Any locking device installed will disengage when the lever is pressed for egress.

Any additional locking devices, such as deadbolts etc. do not comply with the NCC. It is possible to use these through an alternative solution and management plan, which requires these locking devices be disengaged during occupation.

The use of roller shutters or panel doors installed to the entry of individual tenancies are for securing the shop at night and not for general use.

The NCC allows the use of these shutters in clause D2.19 (b)(ii), without additional exit doors being required in certain circumstances, generally where the area of the shop is less than 200m2 (and the shutter is held open during occupation). Where the area of a shop exceeds 200m2, additional exit doors are required and must be provided.

Where in doubt, speak to your certifier about site specific requirements.

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