Building Regulations: Approved Document M – A Basic Overview

Posted at 15/02/2018 14:22:07 Category: Articles

Approved Document M is a building regulation that covers access to and the use of buildings. There are two parts to this document. The first volume refers to dwellings and the second volume refers to all other buildings other than dwellings. It is an extensive document and as such, this blog is merely a brief insight into what sort of things are included in this legislation. Full information and a copy of Approved Document M can be found at

All facilities in a workspace should be useable for absolutely everyone.

Where there are obstacles in achieving this - an access strategy is necessary; people must be warned of the accessibility situation and temporary measures may be put into practice.

There are many considerations within a building that need to be taken into consideration with ease of access. Some of these include:

  • The width of corridors should allow access for all users.
  • Emergency Break Glass Units, Light Switches and Exit buttons need to be within reach of everyone.
  • It should be ensured that doors are wide enough and easy enough to open for every user.
  • The entrance door to a building should be easily identifiable. It might be that lighting is required.
  • The threshold of the main entrance should be level, it might be that a ramp needs to be purchased for wheelchair users.
  • If the door closer being used on a door, fails to keep the door closed; automatic door operators or low energy swing door may need to be installed instead.
  • The locks on the doors should have 72mm centres minimum so that all users are able to insert a key into the lock without any problem. You should also think about the style of handle on the door – can everyone use it easily?

Non-compliance with Doc M can lead to prosecution under the Equalities Act and the Local Authority Building Control body can take enforcement against any Doc M contravention, ending up in a costly process for the building owner.

There are plenty of facilities that can be factored in that would come under Approved Document M, such as Disabled Toilets, Reception Desks and kitchen worktops and design functions would take into account things such as lifts, doorways, access to switches and so on. This list is not exhaustive.

There are plenty of products that can help with ease of access and it’s worth taking the time to choose the products that work best with your premises, and comply with the relevant building regulations. For access control, Door Controls Direct has a wide range of products to suit your needs and you can find these here. For general door hardware, including signage and lever handles, browse our range online here.

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