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equality act opening forces doorset solution

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Building designers and specifier’s must avoid creating access difficulties for disabled people whilst taking all steps possible to provide effective barriers against smoke and fire.

It can be extremely difficult for wheelchair users, and for people with assistance dogs, low upper body strength or walking aids to manoeuvre through a door-opening against the force exerted by a closing device and any extra resistance exerted by seals and air pressure differentials

The Leaderflush Shapland team has long been concerned about these difficulties and the challenges involved in the production of a fully accessible performance door set, so has focused its efforts and resources on resolving the issues.

Using special door set geometrics; Leaderflush Shapland have developed an Equality Act Opening Forces doorset solution. This complete engineered door set will satisfy the opening forces requirements of the Equality Act (previously the Disability Discrimination Act or DDA) whilst still complying with fire and smoke control regulations.


No other doorset manufacturer can make this claim with third-party test evidence.


  • Doorset solution already successfully installed

  • Ideal for any building – from Hospitals and Schools to Commercial Offices or Accommodation Blocks.

  • Unique Leaderflush Shapland design

For disabled people to have independent access through single or double swing doors, the opening force, when measured at the leading edge of the door, should be no more than 30 N from 0° (the door in the closed position) to 30° open, and no more than 22.5 N from 30° to 60° of the opening cycle.

Where hinged or pivoted fire resisting doors need to be accessible by disabled people, the door closing devices fitted should have ‘controlled’ action, conforming to the requirements of BS EN 1154:1997, Annex A, be of a variable power type and conform to the recommendations above.

The Leaderflush Shapland solution is a complete door set which is a combination of elements specially designed to work together to meet the legislation - doorleaf, frame, seals, hinges, handle, lock, closer and all other ironmongery.

Many of our largest institutions are insisting that the door set opening forces set out in the Equality Act (formerly the Disability and Discrimination Act or DDA) are achieved and yet they need the security of smoke and fire protection. Hospitals in particular have a very high number of users for whom door opening forces can be a very real problem – wheelchair users, porters with trolleys or patients on crutches for example.

The Legislation

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), now known as the Equality Act, aims to make it a duty to avoid discrimination against disabled people and requires that reasonable adjustments to the design of buildings are made to provide this universal level of access.

Areas of consideration for door sets to meet Equality Act (DDA) requirements are opening forces, visual contrast, effective clear widths, glazing in doors - minimum zones of visibility and ironmongery designs, positions and critical dimensions.

Part M of the Equality Act Regulations, ‘Access to and use of buildings’, requires reasonable provision for access by people to buildings. Regardless of compliance with Building Regulations, there is also an obligation under the Equality Act for service providers and employers to consider barriers created by physical features in buildings.

Using our wealth of knowledge and technical expertise, we can work with you, guiding you through the design and specification process to help you deliver a fully compliant door set solution without sacrificing performance or aesthetics.

Download Information Leaflet >>