The K5 requirements in Building Regulation Part K cover additional provisions for glazing in buildings other than dwellings. This applies to commercial and non-residential buildings.
This article will cover the regulations on how to protect individuals from colliding with windows, rooflights, and other glazing elements that project from the building when open. It will also cover the safe opening, closing, and adjusting of these windows, rooflights, and other glazing systems. This section does not include glass doors.
Requirement K5.1: Protection from collision with open windows etc. (Section 6)
When glazing projects from a building, such as windows or rooflights, provisions need to be taken to ensure that people do not collide with the projecting glass and injure themselves. This applies whether the glass projects inside or outside of a building.
This can be done in two ways:
- Install the glazing so that the projecting parts cannot come into contact with people moving around the building.
- Install features that guide people moving in or around the building away from any open glazing solution.
Barriers or protective screens can be placed around the glazing to prevent people from coming into contact with the glazing. For windows on upper floors and rooflights, having the glazing open outwards where people are not moving around is a sufficient way to avoid a collision.
For ground floor windows that open outwards, putting a strip of flower beds or a pebbled strip below the window that extends as far from the property as the open window is a suitable provision. Alternatively for open glazing elements that project inside or out, a change in floor level can be placed below the window.
In some instances such as when access is required, a lower standard of provisions may be accepted.
Requirement K5.2: Manifestation of glazing (Section 7)
Where there are large glazing elevations that people are likely to come into contact with moving in or about the building certain features are required to make it apparent that there is transparent glazing there.
For shops, showrooms, offices, factories, public or other non-domestic buildings where transparent glazing makes up whole walls or doors, these are considered critical locations.
Requirement K5.3: Safe opening and closing of windows etc. (Section 8)
This section of Approved Document K states that any windows, rooflights or opening glazing elements, apart from doors, that will be opened by the building’s occupants must be designed in a way that they can be opened, closed, or adjusted safely.
This includes positioning the controls within safe reach of a permanent stable surface, or if this cannot be done then using a safe manual or electric control to remotely operate the glazing element.
Additional guidance is provided in Approved Document M in regard to switches and controls in sleeping accommodation.
Where there is a risk of an individual falling out of a window that is above ground level, suitable opening limiters such as windows restrictors must be put in place to prevent falls.