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 Airtight 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 .
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 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 UK - Design dominates the Riverside Museum, Glasgow

July 2021

Housing the Glasgow Museum of Transport, one of the UK’s foremost transport and technology collections, the Riverside Museum reflects Glasgow’s historic role as a centre of shipbuilding, train manufacturing and engineering.

Previously located in a former tram depot on the Glasgow South Side, the Transport Museum’s exhibits have moved to The Riverside Museum, designed by renowned architect, Zaha Hadid.

The museum’s iconic and beautiful design dominates its riverside location, whilst paying homage to the heritage of its surroundings. Crucial to the museum’s flowing design is its roof, which curves and undulates and continues around the east and west sides of the
building to constitute the majority of the external structure.

Silver‐grey zinc panels complete the effect, placing the building firmly in the context of the River Clyde. As part of the roof construction, Bilco UK was commissioned to manufacture and supply a E‐50TB Roof Access Hatch, in addition to two ESW‐50REM Smoke Vents, to
meet strict requirements for convenient access and building safety regulations.

Both the roof access hatch and smoke vents were custom‐designed to unique specifications by Bilco UK’s in house team and clad in zinc to create a seamless, aesthetic finish with the museum’s distinctive roof.

Expertly engineered to meet the requirements of Manual Handling Regulations, the E‐50TB Roof Access Hatch allows for regular and convenient maintenance by facilitating easy one handed operation.

The Access Hatch will enable engineers with small tools to safely access the roof to conduct essential maintenance, whilst its overlapping cover design, fully welded corners and insulated cover ensure both weather tightness and energy efficiency to deliver
the highest standards of longevity for the museum.

Specified to ensure strict adherence with relevant fire safety regulations, the two ESW‐50REM Smoke Vents open to 140 degrees in the event of a fire within 60 seconds, guaranteeing the highest standards in fire safety and allowing for the venting of smoke, heat and noxious gases in the event of a fire.

Mark Baird, Sales Operations Manager at Bilco UK, said: “Knowing that Bilco UK’s products are part of such a unique and ambitious project, especially one which is so architecturally significant, is incredibly rewarding. The Riverside Museum is a great example of how taking a bespoke approach to roof access solutions can achieve unparalleled aesthetics, without compromising on convenience or safety.

“Not only do our custom‐made access hatches and smoke vents integrate seamlessly into the overall design, they also offer the highest possible standards of fire safety and efficiency.”

Open to Glasgow to the North and the Clyde to the South, the museum’s interior is complex, inviting visitors to snake their way around the various exhibits. The building “flows from city to waterfront, symbolising the dynamic relationship between Glasgow and the
ship‐building, seafaring and industrial legacy of the river Clyde.” (Zaha Hadid).

Bilco UK - Choosing the right roof access hatch and ladder for your project?

July 2021

Choosing the right roof access hatch and ladder for your project?

Whether you are working on a commercial or residential project, there are a number of
factors that must be addressed when deciding on a roof access hatch and accompanying
ladder to ensure its safe and compliant application for the entire lifecycle of the building.

Here Tony Stevens, Technical Estimator at Bilco UK, explores the main areas that should
be taken into consideration.

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 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.

The first considerations that must be addressed when specifying a ladder to gain roof access
is where the ladder will be mounted and the requirement of any additional safety elements
to ensure the continued safety of the individual when using the system. If a ladder is to be
mounted externally to gain access to a roof, it must be fitted with a safety cage and guard
rail to ensure safe and secure access.

For a small roof access hatch, such as the Bilco E‐50TB, which has internal dimensions of
915mm x 915mm, a fixed vertical ladder should be chosen. This type of ladder is also the
most suitable option for projects where space is limited.

In this instance, a retractable ladder would not be recommended, as the ladder angle would
hinder easy access as an individual moved closer to the hatch. However, retractable ladders
are ideal for use in areas including schools and hospitals where the roof hatch is larger, at
around 1500 mm in size and the floor area must be kept clear at all times.

To ensure easy and safe access, a minimum head clearance of 120mm is required, whilst the
maximum single climb should be no more than three metres, in accordance with BS4211‐
7.2.

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. The companionway ladder is a 75 degree angled, rigid ladder, which
provides permanent access to a roof hatch of up to 2440mm.

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.

When specifying a retractable ladder, it is essential that you know the height of the space
between the ceiling and the roof, more commonly known as the roof void. This is to ensure
the ladder box liner will fit inside the space once retracted. Calculating the height of the
floor to the underside of the roof access hatch should also be done at the initial stages to
ensure the ladder isn’t too short or long.

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.

3.) Bespoke requirements
To ensure the criteria is successfully met, consideration should be given to the wider options
available for both the roof access hatch and corresponding ladder.

For example, ladders that are supplied with relevant fire ratings and available with vertical
backboards that include steps and a handrail for enhanced safety and security should also
be considered to meet relevant building regulations.

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.

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 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

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