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Task Group Developing Performance Standard for Doors

A Door Operation and Function Task Group has formed in ASTM Serviceability Subcommittee E06.21 to write a new doors performance standard. When Committee E06 on Performance of Buildings met last in October in Orlando, Fla., it was decided a performance standard was needed to combine the operation and function of standard doors (swinging, sliding, lifting, revolving, and folding) for the benefit of code officials and other authorities with jurisdiction over door construction in buildings.

As they develop the standard, the task group is collecting input from engineers, locksmiths, Building Officials and Code Administrators, Underwriters Laboratories, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Leading the task group is Mel Sporkin, certified door consultant (C.D.C.), Sporkin Affiliates Corp., Merion Station, Pa., who explained that doors and hardware represent about 1% to 3% of gross construction costs—a minor consideration in relation to the total project. However, when the building is finished and occupied, doors and hardware become one of the most important items, he said: “Doors represent, but are not limited to, the needs of security, privacy, handicapped performance, fire and life safety, environmental surroundings and movement of the people in that building.

“Unfortunately, there are standards, codes, and laws that regulate each of the characteristics of each door, and at times become contradictory,” he continued. “Further, the operational requirements of the door assembly are usually lost once the door has been installed and operating. Thus the various code officials, management personnel, and authorities of jurisdiction are not fully aware of why a door was specified or designed to operate in a specific environment.”

According to Sporkin, the proposed standard will alleviate some of these issues by establishing a commonality of standard, and uniform marks and information on doors or frames that are visible when parts are exchanged: “The information attached will permit a continuation of the proper requirements that the architect or specifier created at the initial understanding for that opening.

“Further, code officials will be able to have a single source of reference to review the installation of an entirely new opening,” he averred. “It is unfortunate to say, but code officials who are not continually involved with doors may be unaware of some aspects of their door opening needs. They may not realize all the various code or standard requirements that should be addressed at any one location. They may address a fire door but forget the handicapped requirements of the same opening.

This standard should offer some authorities a better understanding of the requirements of any opening.

To become involved in this activity, contact Mel Sporkin, C.D.C., Sporkin Affiliates Corp., Merion Station, Pa.(fax: 610/667-5954). Committee E06 meets April 1-4, Phoenix, Ariz. For ASTM meeting or membership details, contact Staff Manager Steve Mawn (phone: 610/832-9726). //

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