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Forza - Defining Doors

Visual appearance of Doors, Frames and Ironmongery (FTN3)

Approved Document M - Access to and use of buildings (2013) Section 3 - Horizontal and vertical circulation in buildings other than dwellings

3.8 The presence of doors, whether open or closed, should be apparent to visually impaired people through the careful choice of colour and material for the door and its surroundings. For example, when a door is open, people with impaired sight should be able to identify the door opening within the wall, as well as the leading edge of the door.

3.10 e) all door opening furniture contrasts visually with the surface of the door.

3.10 f) the door frames contrast visually with the surrounding wall.

3.10 g) the surface of the leading edge of any door that is not self-closing, or is likely to be held open, contrasts visually with the other door surfaces and its surroundings.

Definitions within (AD) M
Contrast Visually: when used to indicate the visual perception of one element of the building, or fitting within the building, against another means that the difference in light reflectance value (LRV) between the two surfaces is greater than 30 points. Where illuminance on surfaces is greater than 200 lux, a difference in (LRV) should be a minimum of 20 points. Where door opening furniture projects beyond the face of the door or otherwise creates enhanced differentiation and shade, a minimum difference in (LRV) of 15 points is considered adequate.

Illuminance: the amount of light falling on a surface, measured in lumens per square metre (lm/m2) or lux (lx).

Light Reflectance Value (LRV): the total quantity of visible light reflected by a surface at all wavelengths and directions when illuminated by a light source.
From the 6th April 2013 the Approved Documents (AD) incorporating the 2013 amendments are for use in England only. Building regulation powers were devolved to Wales on 31/12/2011and the 2013 amendments for England do not apply to Wales.

Many paint and material surface manufacturers notate the light reflectance value of their products by a two digit number between 00 and 99 working on a black to white basis, the higher the LRV number the lighter the colour (i.e. a result of 0 is a surface that perfectly absorbs all light - assumed to be totally black - whereas a result of 99 is near perfectly reflective - considered to be totally white).
Forza Doors Ltd through the use of an in-house spectrophotometer have tested and noted in table LRV 01 the Light Reflectance Value of a number of its most popular veneers, timbers, paints and laminates.

Forza Doors Opinion
The series of Approved Documents issued by the Secretary of State providing practical guidance with respect to the requirements of The Building Regulations offers no obligation to adopt any particular solution contained in an Approved Document providing the relevant requirement is meet in some other way. As with British Standard recommendations and Approved Document requirements the overriding considerations should be "is it safe, practical and functional?". Project contractors and end user clients responsible for buildings should ensure that materials and colours chosen for aesthetic design should also meet the recommendations and requirements of the relevant British Standards and Approved Documents.

FTN technical notes represent the interpretation and opinion by Forza Doors Ltd of the various approved documents and British Standards from which extracts have been reviewed. No responsibility or liability is accepted by Forza for any loss/damage relating to any error or omission contained in the technical notes. April 2013