Increased guarding height for residential buildings

Guarding requirements for opening windows have changed for certain buildings, but this may be overlooked as the requirement is introduced in the new approved document O rather approved document Part K.

Approved document O (ADO) in England provides statutory guidance on overheating mitigation in residential buildings.  This is typically achieved through a combination of limiting solar gains and providing enough ventilation to remove excess heat.

In order to promote a passive approach, ADO recommends providing windows with a minimum free opening area to remove excess heat. 

Where windows are used for this purpose, there is a risk of occupants falling.  In order to reduce this risk, ADO recommends that guarding to such openings should have a minimum height of 1100mm.  This height is greater than the general guidance given in approved document K, Protection from falling, collision and impact, which recommends a minimum guarding height of 800mm for opening windows. 

Recognising this difference, ADO states that ‘This approved document has increased levels of protection from falling compared to Approved Document K.  Where applicable, the higher standard applies.

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