DIY Doctor

Clarification Needed on Building Regs Part B

Postby clanger32 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:22 pm

Hi all,
I have a bit of a quandry and I'm hoping someone can either provide a direction of potential solution to investigate.

Long story short, I had an extension built in 2016. Builder has gone belly up and is uncontactable, but building control sign off has not been achieved. Fortunately relatively easy to fix for the most part .

However one part is vexing me....part of the build introduced two new bedrooms, neither of which meet the build regs part B requirements for fire egress. For one of the beds, this is easy enough to fix - replace the side hung hinges with egress hinges - job done.
The other is more complex. The sash is 1050mm x 710mm and top hung. It's timber framed and double glazed, so quite substantial. The currently fitted hinges, whilst they ARE friction hinges and will support the window whilst open when the friction screws are tightened keeps slackening, so the sash won't stay open - hence BCO says "can't sign that off". I think this is just that the current hinge is rated for a max sash weight of around 20kg, whereas I'd estimate ours are running at around 35kg.

This is the tricky part, I can't find anywhere a formally designated "egress" hinge for top hung windows.
However, the building regs state "windows SHOULD be designed such that they will remain in the open position without needing to be held by a person making their escape”, which is suitably vague.

Does anyone have any experience of what this means in practice? Does "should" actually equal "must have be able to lock in the open position and stay there forever more" or does it mean "as long as the window holds itself in the correct position to comply with the area requirements for long enough for reasonably competent people to get out in a fire"?

My alternative unfortunately would seem to be to rehang the window side hung (which is going to be a whole barrel of laughs finding an egress hinge for that weight!) as well as re-siting the locking mechanisms and handles?

Very grateful if anyone has any advice on this - either of appropriate top hung egress hinge, or how the regs will be interpreted?
thanks
clanger32
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