Author Topic: 9999 door width  (Read 1087 times)

Online lyledunn

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9999 door width
« on: June 28, 2018, 12:57:41 PM »
Would anyone know why 9999 17 stipulates door widths as 800mm "absolute minimum"?

Online lyledunn

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Re: 9999 door width
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2018, 08:20:46 AM »
Perhaps I should explain: I am interested in the use of the word "absolute". I assume it reflects the notion that no further reduction in door width can be had by taking advantage of any control measures beyond the minimum package cited in the document. However, the term "absolute" has been taken in the same context as a mother chiding her child with "that's absolutely your last sweet!
Either way, a door on a MOE less than 800mm clearly doesn't comply with 9999. More to the point the implication might be asserted that no matter what you do to compensate for lack of door width will still leave the situation as unacceptable. Such is the case in one of my jobs in an existing pub. Due to limitations on space one door width ended up at 780mm. The door serves a room which will have no more than 40 people. There is a L2 FA system in place. The building control officer sought consultation with NIFRS who insist that if BS9999 2017 is to be used as the means of compliance then the door width must be at least 800mm. So if I want a completion certificate I need to make the necessary modifications. Absolute balls!

Offline Fishy

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Re: 9999 door width
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2018, 10:44:12 AM »
My understanding - it's not a capacity issue per se - it reflects the fact that 800 mm is the minimum acceptable clear door width that enables wheelchair access (see Table 2, BS 8300).

So, if there's level access from street to the area, and the door is on a means of escape then they may well have a point.

Offline AnthonyB

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Re: 9999 door width
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2018, 07:39:20 PM »
BS9999 has quite some flexibility over traditional guides so has to have some absolutes or people would cherry pick & bend it to the point it becomes dangerously worthless.

It's primarily meant for designing a new building so can have minimums as in theory there's nothing in bricks and mortar yet.

NIFRS are correct - if you are going to use BS9999 on an existing building to squeeze some more people in it then the whole standard must be applied (structure, management and the lot not just the TD & width stuff) and met without cherry picking.

If your building doesn't meet BS9999 then you can't apply it's relaxations and either have to alter the deficiencies to meet it or revert to benchmark standards (or an engineered, modelled solution of course)


Anthony Buck
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Offline colin todd

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Re: 9999 door width
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2018, 11:30:51 PM »
Well said, Tony.  I wish I had said that.
Colin Todd, C S Todd & Associates

Online lyledunn

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Re: 9999 door width
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2018, 09:08:49 AM »
Yes indeed Anthony, well said! I completely agree with you, however, I am using 9999 to help demonstrate compliance with the Building Regulations. There are times that I use another British Standard, Bs7671, to demonstrate compliance with other statutory provisions such as the electricity at work regulations. Often full compliance with the BS is not possible or difficult to achieve in a reasonably practicable way. Nonetheless, I can still use my engineering skill and judgement to make the case that the installation is safe.
So in this case, taking a Kango to a wall in fully- decorated premises to achieve an extra 20mm leaves skill and judgement dead in the wake of blind compliance.

Online Tom Sutton

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Re: 9999 door width
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2018, 11:32:58 AM »
Yes indeed Anthony, well said! I completely agree with you, however, I am using 9999 to help demonstrate compliance with the Building Regulations.

It is unlikely that BS 9999 was used to design the building unless it is recently constructed, I would think, you need to establish which guidance was used to design the building and apply that guidance. Start with what year was it constructed/designed and has there been major works carried out later.
All my responses only apply to England and Wales and they are an overview of the subject, hopefully it will point you in the right direction and always treat with caution.

Offline Owain

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Re: 9999 door width
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2018, 04:50:04 PM »
So in this case, taking a Kango to a wall in fully- decorated premises to achieve an extra 20mm leaves skill and judgement dead in the wake of blind compliance.

And if you took 20mm off the opening you'd have to recheck the lintel loading.

Offline Fishy

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Re: 9999 door width
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2018, 10:22:10 PM »
Is this a new doorset?  If so, then some push-back from the regulators should be expected, unless there's a really good reason why it can't be 800 mm, as it complies with neither BS 9999 nor Technical Booklet R (Access to and use of buildings)?

Online lyledunn

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Re: 9999 door width
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2018, 08:34:29 AM »
It was an existing door and frame on the first floor of a pub which we refurbished. We removed it and replaced it with what I had originally specified as a door to provide a cow of 800mm. This was because the existing opening in the stone wall would not provide for a wider door. The door is 800mm but the nib of the stone wall against which the door swings prevents it from opening to the full 800mm. Modifications to the room which is used for dining required travel distance to be extended. There is advantage in 9999 in that regard. In NI we must specify on the building control application how fire safety will be complied with. The options are Technical Booklet E, BS 9999 or the engineered solution. The former would not allow the slightly increased travel distance and the latter is outside my skill set. In any event, 9999 is what we use on every job. I like the notion of compliance with a British Standard, but in this case I am 20mm off the mark!

Offline colin todd

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Re: 9999 door width
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2018, 06:18:25 PM »
Hope you have checked ALL relevant recs of BS 9999, especially the management recs, as unless it all complies all your use will be unfounded.
Colin Todd, C S Todd & Associates

Offline GM

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Re: 9999 door width
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2018, 10:28:45 AM »
why use 9999 in this situation?

Commonsense as well would 20mm difference prevent it from working?

Remember unit widths 550mm for one person, what benefit if it is 800mm as opposed to 780mm.

Prove it works on site if you are getting any hassle from regulatory authorities

Why 800mm for diasbled? an existing building you are allowed 750mm -775mm for door widths for Part M disabled access

Online lyledunn

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Re: 9999 door width
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2018, 08:56:45 AM »
The great thing about 9999 is that there is a need for management buy-in. Normally the management level required is B2 and I can tell you that some of the wee back street pubs in piece of turf have more robust fire safety strategies than an airport.
The matter has now been resolved. Funny how a site meeting, a cup of java and a bit of deference can alter attitudes. I think what swung it though was the fact that I told the fire officer and the chap from building control the infamous CT agreed with them.