UK Building Regulations Part N

UK Building Regulations Part N – Glazing

Window panes are essential to any part of the building. Other than the aesthetic value it may give to the building, its functions are indispensable that one cannot just put on a building without having to employ the use of windows, skylights and ventilators. Thus, it should follow that strict guidelines on glazing safety should be set and conformed. At all cost, the safety and welfare of the people should always be the main concern in any project being undertaken. The following things should be handled in order to achieve such:

Glazing Safety and Impact

When you are working on a new and refurbished building your compliance with the glazing requirements is critical in order to avoid hazards to people who move in or about the building. Safety requirements relating to the use, preparation, and cleaning of glazed surfaces must be given importance on your building proposal. Therefore, you must focus on preventing or at least minimizing injuries (or even death) to people who are in either occasional or frequent access to the glazed structures.

Oftentimes it can be difficult to determine if a particular piece of glass is actually a safe glass. Glazing in critical locations should be considered reasonably safe whereby if breakage occurs, glass particles would be relatively harmless, especially to the vulnerable children. To ensure “safe breakage” the glass should pass the impact test, and in case if glass is broken the result of the impact would only create a small opening with a limit to the size of the detached particles or as such that breakage can only result in separate pieces that are not sharp or pointed. This is where the importance of glass robustness is very well appreciated. Hence, you must strictly install strong glazing materials to avoid any untoward situation in the long run.

Giving consideration to large transparent glazing, you must incorporate apparent features to aware people of the existing glass. You can make use of mullions, transoms, door framing or large push and pull handles.

Opening and Cleaning

Clean glazing is essential. More than preserving aesthetics, cleaning washes off pollutants that can eventually degrade the performance of materials, and ultimately in extreme conditions, health and safety issues could arise. The question for you is, what should you do to promote health and safety of the people inside the building as well as the person who is tasked to clean the glasses?

Inspectors often ask whether safe glass installation meets the building regulations, and if opening or access for cleaning can assure the safety of a person. The position of windows, skylights and ventilators which can be accessed by people shall be installed in the safest position where they may be opened, closed or adjusted safely. When glazed surfaces are positioned in a way that a standing person cannot easily reach them for cleaning or maintenance, your project proposal must incorporate provisions for a safe and easy access to the equipments such as cradles or portable ladders with attachments for safety harness.

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