BILCO UK LTD

PAVILION 7, FORNHAM BUSINESS CENTRE
HALL FARM, FORNHAM ST MARTIN
BURY ST EDMUNDS
SUFFOLK IP31 1SL

Tel: 01284 701696
Fax: 01284 702531

Company Logo

Suppliers of: access doors floor access doors roof access hatches roof access hatches roof fire vents roof smoke vents automatic roof smoke vents bs 7346 roof smoke vents bs 558 smoke vents en 12101

Bilco UK Ltd Supply a range of roof access hatches, smoke vents, floor doors, floor access covers, fall protection products and commercial escape & access ladders.

Based in Suffolk, Bilco can supply the construction trade with a range of standard roof hatches, smoke vents, and floor doors in various sizes and materials direct from stock, delivered by a nationwide pallet-line system or dedicated consignment. Bespoke items can also be undertaken with the assistance of our technical team.

NSHEV (Natural Smoke & Heat Exhaust Ventilators)

 

CE Marking: Bilco UK complies with all CE Marking legislation. See our website for our declaration of conformity.

Useful Resources:

  • Bilco Assist: Use Bilco assist to identify the essential design considerations required to ensure safe access points onto flat roof areas
  • BIM Models: Click Here
  • NBS Specifications: Click Here
  • CAD Drawings: Click Here
  • Installation Videos: Click Here
  • Find out more about the RIBA Accredited CPD: Safe Access All Areas Click Here
  • View the Howe Green entry on BPi: Click Here

Bilco supply the following ranges:

Roof Access Hatches:

Roof access hatches provide access to the roof areas for routine maintenance and inspection as well as for servicing of HVAC systems and other roof mounted equipment. They are ideally suited for use in office buildings, flats, factories, warehouses, retail stores, shopping complexes, hotels, manufacturing plants, hospitals, schools, auditoria and sports facilities where roof access is a requirement.

Natural Smoke & Heat Exhaust Ventilators (NSHEV) - CE Marking Compliant:

Natural smoke vents help vent smoke and gases from burning buildings primarily to provide clearer means of escape for individuals within the building. They also aid firefighting visibility when entering the building to fight the fire and reduce the lateral spread of the fire. Used widely in stairwells, corridors, smoke shafts and on roof areas of factories, warehouses, auditoria and retail facilities. CE Marked Compliant.

Bilco natural smoke and heat exhaust ventilators are manufactured to comply with all the latest regulations including the Construction Products Regulation 305/2011. All standard vents are supplied CE marked and with a Declaration of Conformity and are manufactured to meet the demands of Building Regulations, Approved Document B, BS9999 and EN12101-2.

Safety Products:

Bilco can also supply a range of Safety Products to offer fall protection and safety in accessing roof and floor areas. Bilco can also supply intruder protection systems to safeguard against trespass.

Ladders / Step Over Ladders / Roof Mounted Walkways:

Bilco supply a comprehensive range of ladder and walkways for roof access. These include Fixed Vertical Ladders (with or without Safety Cages & Guardrails), retractable ladders and loft ladders; as well as a reange of roof mounted walkways to provide safe access to rooftops.

Floor Access Doors and Howe Green Access Covers:

Our range of floor access solutions includes through-floor doors and the industry standard for accessing underfloor services - Howe Green floor access covers.

Further technical information is available to download from the BPi download Library

ACCESS COVERS Airports .
ACCESS COVERS Airtight .
ACCESS COVERS Aluminium .
ACCESS COVERS Aluminium Anodized Finish
ACCESS COVERS Aluminium Custom Finishes
ACCESS COVERS Aluminium Surface Mounted
ACCESS COVERS Aluminium Tread Plate
ACCESS COVERS BS EN 124 .
ACCESS COVERS BS EN 124 Class A15-F900 Loadings
ACCESS COVERS Cable Outlet .
ACCESS COVERS Cellar .
ACCESS COVERS Composite .
ACCESS COVERS Composite Aluminium
ACCESS COVERS Concrete Floor Finishes .
ACCESS COVERS Double Leaf .
ACCESS COVERS Drainage Doors .
ACCESS COVERS Exterior External .
ACCESS COVERS Fall Protection Gratings .
ACCESS COVERS Fire Rated .
ACCESS COVERS Fire Rated BS 476:Part 22 1 Hour
ACCESS COVERS Fire Rated BS 476:Part 22 1.5 Hour
ACCESS COVERS Fire Rated BS 476:Part 22 2 Hour
ACCESS COVERS Fire Resistant .
ACCESS COVERS Flexible Floor Finishes .
ACCESS COVERS Flooring .
ACCESS COVERS Flooring Lightweight Composite
ACCESS COVERS Grating Incorporated .
ACCESS COVERS Hard Floor Finishes / Infills .
ACCESS COVERS High Security .
ACCESS COVERS Hinged Lifting Assistance Mechanism Assisted Opening
ACCESS COVERS Insulated .
ACCESS COVERS Internal Interior .
ACCESS COVERS Ladder Safety Posts .
ACCESS COVERS Lightweight Slim .
ACCESS COVERS Modular Systems .
ACCESS COVERS Multiple Unit .
ACCESS COVERS Natural Stone Floor Finishes .
ACCESS COVERS Pan Covers .See Also PAN COVERS:
ACCESS COVERS Purpose Made Bespoke and Custom Designs .
ACCESS COVERS Recessed .
ACCESS COVERS Recessed for Block Paviors
ACCESS COVERS Recessed for Floor Finishes
ACCESS COVERS Security Covers .
ACCESS COVERS Slip Resistant/Anti-Slip/Low Slip Surface .
ACCESS COVERS Stainless Steel .
ACCESS COVERS Steel .
ACCESS COVERS Steel Galvanised
ACCESS COVERS Steel Galvanised BS EN 124
ACCESS COVERS Steel Galvanised BS EN ISO 1461:1999
ACCESS COVERS Steel Galvanised Exterior
ACCESS COVERS Steel Galvanised Recessed
ACCESS COVERS Steel Galvanised Solid Top
ACCESS COVERS Tiled Walls .
ACCESS COVERS Tree Pit Covers .
ACCESS COVERS Unfilled .
ACCESS COVERS Vehicular .
ACCESS DOOR Grating Panels .
ACCESS DOORS . .
ACCESS DOORS Aluminium .
ACCESS DOORS Double Leaf .
ACCESS DOORS EN 124 .
ACCESS DOORS Extreme Loading .
ACCESS DOORS Fire Rated .
ACCESS DOORS Floodtight .
ACCESS DOORS Floor .
ACCESS DOORS Floor Fire Rated
ACCESS DOORS Floor Fire Rated ASTM E119
ACCESS DOORS Floor Fire Rated BS 476: 1 Hour - 3 Hour
ACCESS DOORS Floor Fire Rated NFPA 251
ACCESS DOORS Floor Fire Rated NFPA 80
ACCESS DOORS Floor Fire Rated Up To 3 Hours
ACCESS DOORS For Tiling .
ACCESS DOORS Lift Assisted .
ACCESS DOORS Lockable .
ACCESS DOORS Odour Control .
ACCESS DOORS Pit .
ACCESS DOORS Purpose Made .
ACCESS DOORS Recessed .
ACCESS DOORS Steel Galvanised Steel
ACCESS DOORS Steel Stainless Steel
ACCESS DOORS Walls .
ACCESS HATCHES See Also ACCESS COVERS: See Also ROOF ACCESS HATCHES:/LOFT ACCESS DOORS:
ACCESS LADDERS Aluminium BS 4211:2005 +A1 2008
ACCESS LADDERS Dropdown Means-of-Escape .
ACCESS LADDERS EN 14975 (DIN 4570) .
ACCESS LADDERS Flat Roof .
ACCESS LADDERS Retractable Concertina
ACCESS LADDERS Retractable Industrial Grade EN 14975
ACCESS LADDERS Roof Access .
ACCESS LADDERS Safety Cage and Guardrails Combined BS 4211:2005 +A1 2008
ACCESS LADDERS Safety Hoops Combined .
ACCESS LADDERS Safety Hoops Combined BS 4211:2005 +A1 2008
ACCESS LADDERS Safety Mounting Devices .
ACCESS LADDERS Security Gate Combined .
ACCESS LADDERS Sloped Ships Ladder Type .
ACCESS LADDERS Special Sizes .
ACCESS LADDERS Steel .
ACCESS LADDERS Steel BS 4211:2005 +A1 2008
ACCESS LADDERS Telescopic .
ACCESS PANELS Airtight .
ACCESS PANELS Aluminium .
ACCESS PANELS Antibacterial Antimicrobial .
ACCESS PANELS Fire Resistant .
ACCESS PANELS Fire Resistant BS 476:1987 Part 22
ACCESS PANELS Flexible Wall Tile Fitting / Tile Insert
ACCESS PANELS Floor .
ACCESS PANELS Invisible Closure Systems .
ACCESS PANELS Lockable .
ACCESS PANELS Metal Wall Tile Fitting / Tile Insert
ACCESS PANELS Plumbing .
ACCESS PANELS Purpose Made .
ACCESS PANELS Stainless Steel .
ACCESS PANELS Steel .
ACCESS SKYLIGHTS . .
ALARM SYSTEMS Fire Alarms .
BASEMENT DOORS Exterior Access Sloped Entrance Hatches .
BASEMENT DOORS Exterior Access Sloped Entrance Hatches Emergency Exit / Emergency Egress
BASEMENT DOORS Exterior Access Sloped Entrance Hatches HDPE Simulated Wood
BASEMENT DOORS Exterior Access Sloped Entrance Hatches Steel
BASEMENT DOORS Exterior Access Sloped Entrance Hatches Steel Sided
BASEMENT DOORS Exterior Access Sloped Entrance Hatches Wide Openings
BASEMENT ENTRANCES Exterior Basement Access Sloped Entrance Hatch / Stairwell Combined
BASEMENT LIGHTWELLS Emergency Exit Egress Window Wells
BASEMENT LIGHTWELLS HDPE .
BASEMENT LIGHTWELLS Modular Systems .
BASEMENT LIGHTWELLS Window Well Dome Covers .
CAR PARK Smoke Control Systems .
CAT LADDERS Handrail Combined .
CAT LADDERS Metal .
CAT LADDERS Safety Hoops Combined .
CAT LADDERS Steel .
CELLAR DOORS
CELLAR FLAPS .
COVERS EN 124 .
COVERS Fire Rated .
COVERS Insulated .
COVERS Lift out .
DOORS DOMESTIC Basement Cellar Access
DRAINAGE CHANNELS Linear .
DRAINAGE CHANNELS Linear Antislip Slip Resistant Safety Flooring Applications
DRINKING WATER TREATMENT Facilities Security Intrusion Detection Systems DHS Safety Act Anti-Terrorism Designation (USA)
DRINKING WATER TREATMENT Facilities Security Intrusion Detection Systems Security Services Approved (UK)
DRINKING WATER TREATMENT Facilities Security Intrusion Detection Systems Tampering Detection and Alarms
DRINKING WATER TREATMENT Facilities Security Intrusion Detection Systems Wireless Systems
DUCT COVERS Sealed Aluminium
DUCT COVERS Sealed EN 124
EXPLOSION VENTS Explosion Relief Fire Vents .
EXPLOSION VENTS Explosion Relief Smoke Vents .
FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS Commercial .
FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS Network Controlled .
FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS Wireless Radio Controlled
FIRE ESCAPES Dropdown Ladders .
FIRE ESCAPES Loft Ladders .
FIRE ESCAPES Telescopic Ladders .
FIRE VENTILATORS Roof .
FLOOR ACCESS COVERS See Also ACCESS COVERS: .
FLOOR ACCESS DOORS See Also ACCESS COVERS: .
FLOOR DRAIN Covers Stainless Steel .
FLOOR DRAIN GRATINGS .
FLOOR DRAIN GRATINGS Stainless Steel .
FLOOR DRAINS .
FLOOR DRAINS Linear Channel .
GRATING Access Hatches .
GUARD RAILS Roof Hatches .
GUARD RAILS Roof Hatches OSHA Fall Protection Standards (29 CFR 1910.23)
GUARD RAILS Rooftop Systems .
GUARD RAILS Smoke Vent Openings .
HATCHES Cellar See Also CELLAR DOORS:
HATCHES Emergency .
HATCHES Fire Escape .
HATCHES Glazed .
HATCHES Hatch Railing Systems .
HATCHES Roof .
LADDER Roof Hooks .
LADDER Safety Posts .
LADDERS Aluminium .
LADDERS Aluminium BS 4211:2005 +A1 2008
LADDERS Concertina .
LADDERS Fire Escape Ladders
LADDERS Industrial .
LADDERS Internal Roof Access .
LADDERS Ships Ladders Companionway Ladders BS 5395 Part 3
LOFT ACCESS DOORS Fire Rated BS 476:Part 22 1 Hour / 60 Minutes
LOFT ACCESS DOORS Loft Hatches .
LOFT ACCESS DOORS Loft Hatches Ladder Combined
LOFT ACCESS DOORS Loft Hatches Telescopic Ladder Fitting
LOFT LADDERS BS EN 14975 (DIN 4570) .
LOFT LADDERS Commercial Heavy Duty
LOFT LADDERS Electric .
LOFT LADDERS Fire Escape .
LOFT LADDERS Metal .
LOFT LADDERS Metal Collapsible Trellis Concertina Scissors Operation
LOFT LADDERS Retractable Folding Concertina
LOFT LADDERS Trap Door Combined .
METAL Plate Covers .
METAL Plate covers Aluminium
METAL Plate Covers EN 124
METAL Plate Covers Stainless Steel
METAL Plate Covers Steel
PAN COVERS Aluminium .
PAN COVERS EN 124 .
PAN COVERS Fire Rated 90 Minutes .
PAN COVERS Gas Strut Lift Assist .
PAN COVERS Heavy Duty Loading Applications .
PAN COVERS Hinged .
PAN COVERS Insulated .
PAN COVERS Shallow .
PAN COVERS Stainless Steel .
PAN COVERS Steel .
ROOF Fire Vents Automatic
ROOF Fire Vents Automatic Acoustical
ROOF Fire Vents Automatic Natural Daylight
ROOF Mechanical Vent Systems .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Air Tight BS EN 12207:2000 .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Aluminium .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Controls .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Electric Operated .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Emegency Exit Panic Latch
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Equipment Access .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Fire Rated .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Glazed .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES High Security .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES High Security Applications .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Hinged .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Insulated .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Ladder Access .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Ladder Access Flat Roofs
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Louvred Curb .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Manual Handling Regs Requirements .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Plant Access .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Powered Access .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Purpose Made Bespoke and Custom Designs .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Refurbishment .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Safety Guardrails .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Security Access .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Security Burglar Resistant BS EN 1627
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Service Stair Access .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Ship Stair Access .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Sit On Curb .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Translucent Dome .
ROOF ACCESS SYSTEMS Guardrails .
ROOF ACCESS SYSTEMS Ladder Incorporated .
ROOF ACCESS SYSTEMS Ship Stair Incorporated .
ROOF EDGE PROTECTION Roof Edge Protection Systems Roof Edge Protection Barriers
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Bespoke Purpose Made .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS BS 6399 Part 2 .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS BS EN 14122 .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS EN 13374 Class A .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Self-Supporting Safety Railings .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Temporary Portable Guardrails Collapsible Guardrails
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Tubular .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Tubular Aluminium .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Tubular Counterbalance Handrails .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Tubular Freestanding .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Tubular Steel .
ROOF SAFETY BARRIERS Railings Barriers Fencing .See Also ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS:
ROOF SAFETY SYSTEMS Permanent Fixed
ROOF SAFETY SYSTEMS Permanent Ridge .
ROOF SAFETY SYSTEMS Valley Frames Portable Mobile Walking Frames
ROOF VENTILATORS . .
ROOF VENTILATORS Fire Control .
ROOF VENTILATORS Flat Roof .
ROOF VENTILATORS Fusible Link Control .
ROOF VENTILATORS Heat and Smoke Release Automatic .
ROOF VENTILATORS Remote Control .
ROOF VENTILATORS Smoke Release .
ROOF WALKWAYS Rooftop Walkway Systems .
ROOF WALKWAYS Rooftop Walkway Systems Aluminium
ROOF WALKWAYS Rooftop Walkway Systems BS 5395:Part 3
ROOF WALKWAYS Rooftop Walkway Systems Roof Mounted Stepovers / Step Over Systems
ROOF WALKWAYS Rooftop Walkway Systems Safety Walkways
ROOF WINDOWS Access .
ROOF WINDOWS Smoke Ventilation .
ROOF WINDOWS Smoke Ventilation Automatic AOVs .
ROOFLIGHTS Access Hatches .
ROOFLIGHTS Ventilated Fire Opening
ROOFLIGHTS Ventilated Smoke Ventilation
SAFETY ACCESS SYSTEMS .
SAFETY RAILS Rooftop .
SHOWER DRAINS Linear Shower Channels .
SKYLIGHTS Electrically Operated .
SMOKE CONTROL Actuators .
SMOKE CONTROL Control Panels Control Units
SMOKE CONTROL Fire Ventilation .
SMOKE CONTROL Firemans Override Switches .
SMOKE CONTROL Management Systems .
SMOKE CONTROL Sensors Smoke Detectors
SMOKE CONTROL Systems .
SMOKE CONTROL Systems Car Park .
SMOKE CONTROL Ventilation - See Also SMOKE VENTILATORS: .
SMOKE SHAFT Ventilation .
SMOKE VENTILATORS AOV Automatic Opening Vents .
SMOKE VENTILATORS Car Park .
SMOKE VENTILATORS Controls Control Equipment and Accessories .
SMOKE VENTILATORS Louvred .
SMOKE VENTILATORS Mechanical Mechanically Operated
SMOKE VENTILATORS Network Controlled Management Units .
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) .
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) Acoustic
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) BS EN 12101-2
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) CE Compliant / CE Accredited
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) CE Marked / CE Marking Declaration of Conformity
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) Construction Products Directive 89/106/EEC
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) Double Leaf
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) EU Regulation 305/2011
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) Special Sizes
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) Stairwell
SMOKE VENTILATORS Positive Pressure .
SMOKE VENTILATORS Purpose Built .
SMOKE VENTILATORS Refurbishment .
SMOKE VENTILATORS Roof .
SMOKE VENTS See Also SMOKE VENTILATORS: .
STEP OVER LADDERS Fixed Units .
VENTILATION Smoke Control .
VENTILATION SYSTEMS Smoke Control .
VENTILATORS Smoke Control .See Also SMOKE VENTILATORS:
WALKWAYS Flat Roof .
WALKWAYS Roof .
WINDOWS: MISCELLANEOUS Basement .
BIL-GUARD Rooftop Guardrail Systems
BILCLIP Flashing System
BILCO FIXED VERTICAL LADDERS Flat Roof Access Ladders
BILGUARD Rooftop Guardrail Systems
BL-Z Retractable Ladders
BL-ZBOX Retractable Ladders
BV-F90 Pan Covers
BV-THERMO Pan Covers
BVA MULTI Sealed Duct Covers
BVA-SLIM Access Panels
BVH-MAXI Deep Pan Covers
BWALK-A Roof Walkway Systems
CLASSIC SERIES Basement Access
CNIGUARD Water Treatment Facility Intrusion Detection
GOLDEN KEY Access Cover Lift-Off System
LADDERUP Ladder Safety Post
LUMIVENT Fire Vent
OS2 Electronic Operators for Smoke Control Systems
PERMENTRY Basement Access
POGO POLE Ladder Safety Post
REM SMOKE VENTS Automatic Smoke Vent
ROOFEP Roof Edge Protection Systems
SKY Automatic Smoke Vent
SKY-ACCESS Roof Access Hatches
THERMOLATCH II Hold/Release Mechanism
TNEMEC Coating
TYPE SM Basement Access
ULTRA SERIES Basement Access
VERSAMOUNT Roof Access Hatch

Bilco - Three things to consider when specifying Roof Access Hatches

March 2021

When choosing roof access hatches for commercial or residential projects, there are a number of factors that must be addressed at the initial design stages in order to not only achieve a successful specification, but also deliver safe and sufficient access for the entire lifecycle of the building. Here Tony Stevens, Technical Estimator at Bilco UK, discusses which factors should be taken into consideration when selecting Roof Access Hatches:

1) Purpose for access

Whether for the education, healthcare, leisure or commercial sectors, roof access hatches are required to provide permanent and secure access to the roof area. In order to make sure you’re choosing the correct system to meet your project’s unique requirements, you must first identify the main reason for requiring access to the roof.

Is it purely for maintenance reasons? Or will a safe means of access also be required for the regular installation or removal of equipment from the roof?

Here you should also identify what tools and equipment will need to be transferred through the access hatch, or whether it will just be the individual themselves that is conducting the necessary work.

2) Frequency and product specification

Once you have established your reason for requiring safe access to the roof, you will then be able to make an informed choice regarding which roof access hatch and corresponding ladder system is best suited to meet the needs of your project.

It is important to specify the correct Roof Access Hatch and Ladder combination to ensure that access from the ladder, through the roof access hatch, is as safe as possible.

For example ,a small roof access hatch should be accessed via a fixed vertical ladder, which is also the most suitable option for projects where space is limited. Alternatively, if you use a companionway ladder or a retractable ladder, the roof access hatch length must be extended to around 1500 mm in order to provide for easy and safe access.

However, here it should be noted that a minimum head clearance of 120mm is required and that the maximum single climb is no more than three metres, in accordance with BS4211-7.2.

Regardless of the size of the roof access hatch, the system should be operated easily and safely with one hand, in accordance with the requirements outlined within the Manual Handling Regulations, enabling the individual to maintain three points of contact with the fixed ladder.

During the installation process, the ladder must be positioned opposite the hinge to ensure safe and unobstructed access.

If access to the roof is required on a regular basis for professionals that will have to transfer tools and equipment through the hatch, a Fixed Staircase Roof Access Hatch, also known as a Service Stair Roof Access Hatch, should be specified with a Companionway Ladder or a Fixed Staircase.

It should here be noted that the roof hatch must be sufficient to maintain a head clearance of 2000mm, as detailed in Building Regulations Part K.

3) Bespoke requirements

To ensure all the criteria are successfully met, you should also consider whether a custom made roof access hatch should be chosen to ensure each of these areas is adequately fulfilled.

This includes options such as Bilco UK’s SKY Flatglass, which functions as both a Roof Access Hatch or a Smoke Ventilator, and is supplied with a clear, translucent lid to enable natural daylight into specific areas of the building, without impeding the functionality and accessibility of the hatch.

Increased access opening sizes or double leaf configurations should also be explored where access is required for larger items of equipment or tools. Motorised options also allow the individual to safely maintain contact with the ladder when entering or exiting the hatch.

By working closely with a manufacturer at the initial stages of a project, you can ensure that each of these important factors have been adequately considered and catered for.

Regardless of the project type, all installations should be subject to individual Risk Assessments. Comprehensive training should also be provided for all professionals, supported by Method Statements regarding safe and correct use of the access solutions installed.

For further information on Bilco UK’s complete range of roof access solutions, visit www.bilcouk.co.uk or call 01284 701696.

For advice on how to specify the correct ladder, visit: https://www.bilcouk.co.uk/news/specifying-ladders

For further information on specifying the right roof access hatch for your upcoming project, download Bilco UK’s free guide:

https://www.bilcouk.co.uk/files/downloads/choosing-the-right-access-hatch-bilco.pdf

Bilco - How to Select the Proper Sound Rating for Automatic Smoke Vents

February 2021

Bilco - How to Select the Proper Sound Rating for Automatic Smoke Vents

Diving into the world of acoustical ratings is like opening a can of alphabet soup. You are unsure which letters will float to the top, what their significance is and how to unscramble and define the mishmash of letters staring at you.

While there is a jumble of letters, the critical ratings for determining the acoustical quality of building products fall into two groups: Sound Transmission Class (STC) and Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class (OITC). Depending upon the structure being built and the application of the products, the difference in the ratings is essential for architects, designers and construction teams to understand.

STC measures the extent to which sound is prevented from being transferred from one area to another. The higher the STC value, the less that sound can be transferred through a building product. STC is typically used to measure sound transmission loss over a frequency range from 125 to 4000 hertz and is most applicable for interior areas that experience mid to high frequency noises, such as conversation, television, telephones, and office equipment. A product with a high STC value, ranging from 50-60, indicates that loud speech is barely heard, if at all. A low STC rating, 20-25, indicates that loud speech is audible.

OITC rates the transmission sound between outdoor spaces and indoor spaces in a structure. Like the STC rating, OITC measures sound intensity loss in decibels. The OITC rating was developed in 1990 and is typically used to measure sound transmission loss over a frequency range from 80 to 4000 hertz. It is most applicable for measuring the prevention of low frequency exterior sounds such as automotive traffic, construction, and low-flying airplanes through exterior building surfaces.

How does this apply to automatic smoke vents? It is essential that building designers understand the source of noise, and how they can best diminish its impact.

“OITC is the preferred rating when addressing sound insulation from exterior noise – especially when transportation noise sources are impacting a building facade with significant low-frequency (bass) sound,” says Harold Merck, principal and acoustician for Merck & Hill Consultants of Atlanta. “While STC ratings may be fine for typical interior noise sources such as voices, STC does not adequately address the extended low-frequency noise contribution of aircraft, traffic or even large roof-top equipment. This also applies to large roof-top equipment noise sources as well. The OITC better addresses low-frequency noise impacts and is the more applicable sound rating for roof mounted automatic smoke vents.”

Like automatic smoke vents, the same theory holds true for exterior building windows. “Windows might have an excellent STC rating, but without a high OITC rating, low-frequency sounds can be intrusive,’’ Merck said. “Windows with a high STC rating typically have the same OITC rating as windows with a lesser STC rating, which can be a bit misleading. Ratings that include the OITC are more useful to assess how well a window will isolate environmental noise.”

Automatic smoke vents are life safety products that are generally used in large one-story buildings per National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. In the event of a fire, the vents exhaust smoke, heat and burning gases from the building to improve visibility and to protect the building structure. This provides safe egress for building occupants and allows fire fighters to enter the building and contain the fire. When specifying automatic smoke vents, it is important to consider a product with an acoustical sound rating for applications such as theatres and concert halls, or projects located near highways, airports, or railroad lines.

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