Safety

Where glazing provides protection to personnel from a hazard, such as a fall, Building Regulations dictate that it is acting as a barrier, and as such, design is guided by Regulations and Codes of Practice and should consider the strength of glass, containment and limiting deflection under loading.

Glazing as a Barrier

The England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Éire all have their own building regulations with regards to guards and barriers.

Country

Building Regulations

Section

England & Wales

Approved Document K [1]

K2 – Protection from Falling

Scotland

Domestic Handbook [2]

Non-Domestic Handbook [3]

Section 4.4 – Pedestrian Protective Barriers

Northern Ireland

Technical Booklet H [4]

Section 5 – Guarding

Éire

Technical Guidance Document K [5]

Section 2 – Pedestrian and Vehicle Barriers

These documents are freely available from the respective government websites, and the documents appropriate to the location of the building under consideration should be consulted to ensure that local requirements are met.

These documents make reference to various codes and standards to assist with determining suitable glass types and thicknesses.

Codes of Practice

Test Standards

EN 1990:2002 [6]

EN 1991-1-1:2002 [7, 8, 9]

PD 6688-1-1:2011 [10]

BS 6180:2011 [11]

BS 6262-4:2005 [12]

EN 12600:2002 [13]

BS 6206:1981 [14]

The required thickness of glass is typically determined by calculation, and will compare the stress and deflection generated in glass under prescribed loadings, based on circumstance and building occupancy, to allowable limits. Guarding calculation request forms can be found on the website LINK, or contact the Specification Managers in your area for more information.

Design Requirements

Design requirements are typically governed by applied loads, which are related to the occupancy of a building. The applicable line loads can be determined directly from the UK or Éire National Annex for EN 1991-1-1, with uniformly distributed loads (UDL) and concentrated point loads defined by PD 6688-1-1:2011. The below table is applicable to the UK and Éire, with the values in brackets showing the values from the Irish national Annex where different from the UK.

Category

Sub-Category

Area

Horizontal Uniformly Distributed Line Load (kN/m)

Uniformly Distributed Load (kN/m2)

Concentrated Point Load (kN)

A

(i)

Single dwelling, including stairs and landings, but excluding external balconies and edges of roofs

0.36 (0.50)

0.50

0.25

(ii)

Residential areas not covered by (i)

0.74 (0.75)

1.00

0.50

B

C1

(iii)

Areas not susceptible to overcrowding in office and institutional buildings, reading rooms, and classrooms (including stairs)

0.74 (0.75)

1.00

0.50

(iv)

Restaurants and Cafes

1.50

1.50

1.50

C2

C3

C4

D1

D2

(v)

Areas with fixed seating within 530 mm of the barrier

1.50

1.50

1.50

(vi)

Stairs, landings, balustrades, corridors and ramps

0.74 (0.75)

1.00

0.50

(vii)

External balconies and edges of roofs. Footways adjacent to sunken areas

0.74 (0.75)

1.00

0.50

(viii)

All retail areas

1.50

1.50

1.50

C5

(ix)

Footways or paths less than 3 m wide adjacent to sunken areas

1.50

1.50

1.50

(x)

Theatres, cinemas, discotheques, bars, auditoria, shopping malls, assembly areas and studios. Footways greater than 3 m wide adjacent to sunken areas

3.00

1.50

1.50

(xi)

Grandstands and stadia

See Requirements of Local Certifying Authority

The load requirements for the UK above equate to the load requirements defined in BS 6180:2011 within the UK, allowing this standard to be used for guidance when considering the requirements of Eurocodes.

Compliance

When determining the load requirements for a building, local Building Control (or the equivalent certifying authority) should be consulted to ensure that the requirements for the specification will meet the requirements that will be placed upon the building when undergoing final approval.

Full consideration should be given to the requirements of Building Regulations as well as Eurocodes and any associated applicable documents.

GLAZING IN CRITICAL LOCATIONS

Where people can come into contact with glass, where glass is acting as a barrier to a hazard, such as a fall, or glass is required to provide some additional security, consideration should be given to applicable building regulations and design guides.

Glazing in Critical Locations

Local building regulations throughout the UK and Éire, listed below, provide guidance where safety glass types must be used:

Country

Building Regulations

Section

England & Wales

Approved Document K [1]

K4 – Protection Against Impact With Glazing

Scotland

Domestic Handbook [2]

Non-Domestic Handbook [3]

Section 4.8 – Danger from Accidents

Northern Ireland

Technical Booklet V [15]

Section 2 – Limiting the Risk of Impact with Glazing

Éire

Technical Guidance Document D [16]

Section 1 - Materials

These documents will typically provide details of areas which are considered critical locations, and they should be consulted when specifying glazing.

Critical locations will typically require a glass that is tested in accordance with EN 12600:2002 [13] to demonstrate that it breaks safely upon impact. These glass types include laminated glasses, such as STADIP and STADIP SILENCE and toughened glass such as SECURIT.

Referenced Documents

[1]

HM Government, The Building Regulations 2010 - Approved Document K - Protection from falling, collision and impact, 2013.

[2]

Riaghaltas na h-Alba, Technical Handbook 2015 - Domestic, Riaghaltas na h-Alba, 2015.

[3]

Riaghaltas na h-Alba, Technical Handbook 2015 - Non-Domestic, Riaghaltas na h-Alba, 2015.

[4]

Department of Finance and Personnel, Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 Guidance - Technical Booklet H - Stairs, ramps, guarding and protection from impact, DFPNI, 2012.

[5]

Environment, Community and Local Government (Éire), Building Regulations 2014 - Technical Guidance Document K - Stairways, Ladders, Ramps and Guards, Government Publications (Éire), 2014.

[6]

European Committee for Standardization, EN 1990:2002 - Basis of structural design, CEN, 2002.

[7]

European Committee for Standardization, EN 1991-1-1:2002 - Eurocode 1. Actions on structures. General actions. Densities, self-weight, imposed loads for buildings, CEN, 2002.

[8]

European Committee for Standardization, NA to BS EN 1991-1-1:2002 - UK National Annex to Eurocode 1. Actions on structures. General actions. Densities, self-weight, imposed loads for buildings, CEN, 2002.

[9]

European Committee for Standardization, NA to IS EN 1991-1-1:2002 - Irish Annex to Eurcode 1 - Actions on structures - Part 1-1: General actions - Densities, self-weight, imposed loads for buildings, CEN, 2002.

[10]

British Standards Institute, PD 6688-1-1:2011 - Recommendations for the design of structures to BS EN 1991-1-1, 2011: BSI.

[11]

British Standards Institute, BS 6180:2011 - Barriers in and about buildings. Code of practice, BSI, 2011.

[12]

British Standards Institute, BS 6262-4:2005 - Glazing for buildings - Code of practice for safety related to human impact, BSI, 2005.

[13]

European Committee for Standardization, EN 12600:2002 - Glass in building - Pendulum test - Impact test method and classification for flat glass, CEN, 2002.

[14]

British Standards Institute, BS 6206:1981 - Specification for impact performance requirements for flat safety glass and safety plastics for use in buildings, BSI, 1981.

[15]

Department of Finance and Personnel, Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 Guidance - Technical Booklet V - Glazing, DFPNI, 2012.

[16]

Environment, Community and Local Government (Éire), Building Regulations 2013 - Technical Guidance Document D - Materials and Workmanship, Government Publications (Éire), 2013.