Heritage door upgrades: what you need to know
In Australia, we are lucky to have a considerable number of buildings which are of cultural or historical significance and are protected by heritage preservation orders. However, sometimes it is difficult to adhere to new fire safety regulations while simultaneously preserving a heritage building.
At FSE Special Purpose Doors, we specialise in upgrading heritage doors to improve the fire safety of a building. But what are the challenges of heritage door upgrades and how do we create the best possible results? Read on to find out more.
What is a heritage building?
Typically, a heritage building is any structure that requires preservation because of its historical, architectural, cultural, aesthetic or ecological value. Statutory registers provide legal protection for heritage items. In NSW, legal protection generally comes from the Heritage Act, 1977 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Places on the National Heritage List are protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Heritage buildings not only reveal the story of Australia’s past, but they can also be a green, sustainable, investment or community building. Despite this, it is always essential that heritage buildings adhere to current regulations so that all of the building occupants remain safe.
Fire safety regulations
Australia has strict guidelines surrounding fire safety within buildings, and fire-safe doors are an essential part of adhering to these rules. Office fire doors are vital as they uphold a fire protection model, ensuring the safety of residents. Fire safety doors, also known as a fire-rated door set, must consist of a door leaf, frame and associated hardware that all comply with regulations. These elements must be thoroughly tested in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (i.e. AS1530.4) to make sure that they achieve the appropriate fire rating. Fire safety doors in office buildings are part of several fire protection and systems that prevent fire and smoke from spreading. They also isolate fires so that they fit into manageable areas and allow for timely evacuations.
What is a heritage door upgrade?
Heritage door upgrades refer to the process of upgrading the doors in heritage buildings to meet the current fire-resistant ratings set by the BCA. This process may involve upgrading hardware, dismantling the door so that concealed adjustments and proofing can be carried out, or even replacing the doors altogether..
Challenges of heritage door upgrades
As important as heritage preservation orders are, they can pose a significant challenge to builders and designers. The hardest part about heritage door upgrades is ensuring adequate fire safety standards which align with national regulations while also maintaining that the building’s important features and historical significance is not damaged or changed substantially in the upgrade. Suppliers and builders involved in a heritage door upgrade must be experienced and knowledgable in this area and have the skills necessary to appropriately fireproof the building without impacting negatively on its period features.
Heritage door upgrades at FSE Special Doors
FSE Special Purpose Doors is able to supply and install tested and approved fireproofing systems to existing heritage doors. These fireproofing systems have been successfully tested to AS1530.4 and fully comply with the relevant building codes. This enables building owners and operators to maintain their building’s historical significance and meet modern safety standards. Furthermore, heritage-style hardware can be utilised in order to ensure the upgrade maintains the existing design and period of the heritage door.