Simplifying the specification process with new architectural ironmongery guides

Five new guides on architectural ironmongery for different applications have been launched for architects and specifiers.

The new guides have been launched by the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) to ensure that anyone involved in the specification of architectural ironmongery has access to the latest, best practice advice. 

Based on the RIBA approved CPD presentations created by the GAI, each guide contains comprehensive product information, diagrams and detail on the relevant building regulations and industry standards. All of the guides are available to download for free from the GAI website.

“We have produced these guides to ensure that all construction industry professionals have access to comprehensive guidelines and best practice covering all aspects of architectural ironmongery,” said Douglas Masterson, technical manager at the GAI. “We recognise that specifying architectural ironmongery can be complex, so we’ve pulled together all of the information an architect or specifier will need to ensure the hardware is not only compliant but also performs as expected and suits the environment it is being used in.”


The Specifier’s Guide to Ironmongery and Security helps specifiers to navigate security issues that they may face relating to doors. 

The guide covers mortice locks, including a breakdown of the main types of mortice locks and where they can be used. It also includes the different shapes of cylinders and how they work within a master key system, and electronic locks that can be used as part of an access control system. 

It provides an in-depth look at PAS 24, Approved Document Q, relevant British and European Standards, and industry certification schemes. The guide has been endorsed by Secured by Design, the official UK Police security initiative. 

Kenny McHugh, Secured by Design Senior Development Officer, said: 
“The GAI Specifier’s Guide to Ironmongery and Security is an excellent document and will be an invaluable ‘go-to guide’ for Police Crime Prevention and Designing out Crime officers. These officers play a crucial role, working with architects, developers and contractors to ensure that appropriate guidance is given around how the correct specification of door and window ironmongery hardware can help in respect of security issues in a building”.

Access Control

The Specifier’s Guide to Access Control is designed to give a comprehensive overview of the role of access control, covering how to specify access control products and systems. 

It contains a helpful guide to the questions that need to be asked when specifying an access control system, and the order that access control product should be specified in a building. There is also a checklist for reviewing the system that is being specified. 


The Specifier’s Guide to Ironmongery and Accessibility outlines the best practice guidelines of accessible and inclusive design. As well as covering all of the relevant ironmongery, the guide includes information on the dimensional guidelines required for lever and pull handles, locks, keys, thumb turns and handrails to be compliant with BS 8300.

It also covers specifying ironmongery and signage that has strong visual contrast and light reflective value (LRV) to assist those with visual impairments to meet BS 8300 guidelines, as well as legislation that applies specifically to this area of architectural ironmongery. This includes the Equality Act and guidance documents to building regulations on accessibility throughout the UK and Ireland, including Approved Document M.

Specialist Applications

The Specifier’s Guide to Ironmongery for Specialist Applications helps specifiers choose the correct ironmongery solutions for specialist applications in public buildings such as schools, care homes and hospitals.

The guide gives information on accessibility regulations that impact the specification of ironmongery including specialist closing devices, door automation, visual contrast and light reflectance value (LRV). It also covers more specific hardware solutions such as anti-ligature hardware, anti-microbial door furniture, finger protection and specialist signage, detailing relevant product information, current standards and best practice.

Fire and Escape Doors

The Specifier’s Guide to Ironmongery for Fire and Escape Doors emphasises the critical role of fire and escape doors and the importance of correctly specified architectural ironmongery.

It explains different types of fire and escape doors and details the corresponding essential ironmongery, seals and signage including the standards that they must adhere to. It also contains a useful guide to the questions that need to be asked when specifying hardware for escape doors, as well as further guidance on fire door inspections and ongoing ironmongery maintenance.
Upcoming Event GAI webinar: Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) 16 Jun 2021 @ 9:00 - 16 Jun 2021 @ 10:00
Upcoming Event GAI webinar: Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) 16 Jun 2021 @ 9:00 - 16 Jun 2021 @ 10:00