In the UK, over the last ten to fifteen years, we have seen a widespread move away from joiners preparing and hanging door leaves in frames on-site (known as door assemblies) to installing complete doorsets, pre-hung in factories using CNC machinery.
The advantages of using doorsets are too obvious and numerous to list here, but it may be beneficial to reflect for a moment on what we think a doorset is and difference to a door assembly.
For reference, the Health Technical Memorandum (HTM58 and SHTM58) use the following definitions;
Doorset – a manufactured component comprising frame, leaf (or leaves) and ironmongery pre-assembled and delivered as one unit;
Door assembly – a frame, leaf (or leaves) and ironmongery intended for use as an assembly after fitting together on site;
It’s important to get hold of this difference and furthermore, understand that whilst generally it is accepted that a doorset is hinged and pre-hung in the factory that’s not the end of the story. Preparation for the other items ironmongery is often itemised as a separate requirement or worse still missed off altogether.
As well as simply missing off the ironmongery preps, it can get far more complicated.
Ironmongery (other than hinges) is traditionally supplied by an Architectural Ironmonger and between everyone, the door manufacturer, ironmonger, architect and site team many details can get lost in translation. Doorsets can end up underperforming in key areas such as acoustics and ray protection and incompatible to relevant certification for fire and other building requirements. According to a research report conducted by CABE Some common failures of specification on new build secondary schools included poor quality windows and doors and inadequate ironmongery, indicated by broken windows stays, doors splitting at lock points and requirements for new door closers and stops.
This is where we get to the subject of this post: integrated doorsets. They are widely accepted as a complete doorset in the sense that everything is supplied together (and potentially can be CE marked once the guidelines are available). Many door manufacturers have teamed up with architectural ironmongers to provide this service. It helps tremendously as it ‘integrates’ these two areas of expertise, reduces conflict of interest (door suppliers and ironmongers can often be in competition) and as a spin off the contractor only has one supplier to work with.
In practise, however, we find nothing is changed. It’s great to have one supplier heading everything up but there’s still the same round of meetings with the door guy and then another round with the ironmonger. There is still the two separate schedules and every change that’s made requires laborious ‘syncing’ of these schedules. Generally the door scheduling is done first and when the ironmonger comes along a whole host of changes are required because of the impact of ironmongery functionality that the door manufacturer is not aware of. And so it goes on.
So, what is the alternative?
Simple really. Suite it all together. Right at the start.
By suite we mean taking selected elements and designing them together for compatibility. In the “suiting process” ensuring the door and ironmongery scheduling is undertaken by the same person. Make sure they’re an expert in all areas of door and ironmongery specification and make sure they have access to proper door “suiting software” and manufacturing facilities so that the schedules you are presented with come off the same suited database.
This way any changes automatically sync across all aspects of the doorset. It doesn’t matter then how you want it to come to site, flat packed, fully assembled, ironmongery delivered separately. The choice is yours – It can be because it’s a true doorset.
We call this a DorSuite – it is the design for compatability of not only all the components but the entire process to specify, manufacture and deliver a doorset.
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