Approved Document Q

Secured by Design welcomes the introduction of a security element within the Building Regulation as we have been campaigning for this for many years. Approved Document Q goes some way to improving security in the residential built environment, but does not include many of the elements that have contributed to the sometimes staggering improvements* in security that Secured by Design has delivered in communities around the country.

What does Approved Document Q ask for – and where?

Approved Document Q applies to all new dwellings, including those resulting from a change in use of an existing building, such as commercial premises, warehouse and barns undergoing conversions into dwellings. It also applies within Conservation Areas.

ADQ creates security requirements in relation to doors at the entrance to a building, including garage doors where there is a connecting door to the dwelling; ground floor, basement and other easily accessible windows; and any easily accessible roof-lights. The requirement is that the product must be shown to have been manufactured to a design that has been tested to an acceptable security standard.

How Secured by Design helps to get to the front of the ‘Q’

For many years Secured by Design has required that doors and windows are not only tested by the product manufacturer, but that independent third-party certification from a UKAS accredited independent third-party certification authority is in place. This requirement exceeds the requirements of Approved Document Q.

The Secured by Design Award has now been expanded to include Gold, Silver and Bronze levels. In order to achieve the Gold Award, the property has to achieve the requirements of Approved Document Q and also show that the development layout and some ancillary security requirements, such as lighting and cycle storage, have been met. The Silver Award fully discharges the requirements of Approved Document Q and, in addition, requires certification from independent third-party certification bodies. Secured by Design Bronze is primarily for the refurbishment market but, where issued in respect of a new home with ‘bespoke’ products, it can also satisfy the requirements of Approved Document Q.

Secured by Design National Building Approval

Secured by Design has also introduced a scheme called SBD National Building Approval (SBD NBA). This award is granted to developers who regularly build homes (and other buildings) to a similar design and specification in different locations. SBD ensures that the full requirements of ADQ are met (and exceeded) and issues a certificate confirming this. The certificate confirms that the doors, windows and roof-lights specified for use within the development are of the required standard. SBD NBA is at the same level as a Silver SBD Award and developers can extend this to Gold if the development also meets the standards for that award.

* Research results and case studies are available from Secured by Design.

For more information, please contact us or download our brochure.

FAQ’s relating to the implementation and technical content of Part Q: Unauthorised access – Building Regulations 2010 (England) and the relationship with Secured by Design (SBD)

Q1: When did Part Q take effect?

A: It came into effect on 1 October 2015. It does not apply to work started before 1 October, or work subject to a building notice, full plans application or initial notice before that date, providing work is started on site before 1 October 2016.

Q2: What products fall within the scope of Part Q?

A: The following falls within the scope of Part Q:

  • all dwelling entrance doorsets
  • all easily accessible windows, roof windows and skylights
  • communal entrance doorsets (flats/apartments)
  • emergency egress doorsets allowing access into the common areas of the building (flats/apartments)
  • other doors that may allow access into common areas of the building (flats/apartments), such as drying rooms, cycle stores and refuse areas
  • If there is a connecting doorset between the garage and the dwelling, then either the main vehicular doorsets, together with any pedestrian doorsets, will fall within the scope of the regulation, or alternatively the connecting doorset.

Q3: Does Part Q apply to all homes?

A: No, the new Building Regulation applies to new homes and existing buildings that are being converted into new homes only (such as a warehouse, barn, etc). Existing homes are currently not required to meet the security requirements within Part Q.

Q4: Does Part Q apply to extensions?

A: No, extensions currently fall outside the scope of Part Q.

Q5: Are replacement windows incorporated within the requirements of Part Q?

A: No, replacement windows are not currently required to comply with Part Q.

Q6: Does the new Building Regulation apply to hotels?

A: No.

Q7: Does the new Building Regulation apply to key worker or student accommodation?

A: If the accommodation provided is clustered into groups of bedrooms served by a shared front entrance doorset (similar to that of an apartment) then Part Q is applicable.

However, if the bedrooms are located off a shared/common hallway then such developments fall outside the scope of Part Q.

Q8: Are the requirements of Part Q and Secured by Design the same?

A: No, whilst the technical standards within Approved Document Q and SBD are the same, the SBD requirements call for all door and window products to be fully certificated. This ensures that the company fabricating the doors or windows has been subject to factory production controls protocols and regular product and test audits by the certifying authority to ensure the continued quality and security needs are met. Part Q asks for testing only.

Q9: I would like to use products that meet the European security standard (EN 1627), does this meet Part Q?

A: No, the National Forward for the UK version of the European Standard (BS EN 1627) makes it clear that PAS 24 is the preferred route to compliance. This is for good reason: the European standard fails to address some important areas of security which would render such products vulnerable if utilised within the UK.

Q10: Is Part Q applicable to doorsets leading to a balcony?

A: Yes. Doorsets providing access to a balcony are required to be secure.

Q11: Which Building regulation takes precedence for apartment/flat entrance doorsets – Part B or Part Q?

A: Neither. Both have equal weighting within the Building Regulations. It is imperative that fire doorsets are tested in exactly the same configuration as they were tested for security. You cannot add any additional or alternative features to an apartment/flat doorset without ensuring that the doorset meets the requirements for both fire and security. Some examples of areas that need careful consideration are as follows:

  • Glazing – you must ensure that all fire rated glazing either meets the requirements of BS EN 356 grade P1A (min) or is supplemented by additional security glazing meeting the same standards
  • Locks – the locks must be the same for both fire and security testing
  • Letter plates – if letter plates are required, the manufacturer must demonstrate compliance with both the requirements for fire and security
  • Concealed door closers – some types of concealed door closer can substantially increase the risk of a security test failure when installed in particular types of door materials. Concealed door closers should therefore be installed within the doorset when it is security tested to ensure compliance.