1. What are performance doors, doorsets and windows?

These are products designed to provide a given level of performance in specific areas such as fire resistance, sound attenuation, security and reducing heat loss. More specialist areas like radiation control are sometimes included. Performance products invariably have been tested, calculated or assessed to recognised national and international standards and codes of practice.

2. What’s a portcullis door?

Portcullis is the generic name of a particular design of security door that has been pioneered by Soundcraft for over 30 years. This design, and variations of it, was initially confined to timber doors but increasingly portcullis doors made from powder coated steel have been introduced. The particular merit of the portcullis design is that it combines maximum visibility and light flow with maximum security.

Portcullis has become the predominant design for both timber and steel communal entrance security doors (and screens) used in access control or door entry systems throughout the UK.

3. Can Soundcraft doors be used with access control systems?

Yes, they can. Soundcraft communal entrance security doors are specifically designed to work with electronic access control systems. The range of doors has been specifically designed to accommodate access control equipment, with particular attention to wireways and the secure housing of equipment, but not forgetting the need to ensure easy access for maintenance.

4. Can Soundcraft supply Secured by Design doors?

Yes. The Integrity Range of communal entrance security doors are Secured by Design licenced products. To gain the licence the doors were tested to STS 202 (broadly similar to LPS 1175) by Exova Warrington and 3rd Party Certified by Warrington Certification. The doors reached security level BR2. In addition, the glazed screens in the Integrity Range achieved security level BR3.

It is important to note that the Police prefer doors that have been tested to STS 202 (or LPS 1175) and reached security level BR2 for use in high crime areas, as opposed to doors tested to PAS 23/24, which is a less robust test.

In addition to the Integrity Range, Soundcraft offer a wide range of PAS23/24 tested front entrance doors, that can also provide fire resistance. These door are also Secured by Design.

5. Can Soundcraft doors be used for disabled access?

Yes, they can. Doorsets can be supplied that meet the requirements of Part M regarding effective clear opening widths, minimum threshold heights and powered or automatic opening.

For more information see Part M/DDA page.

6. What is Part M? What does it mean for doors?

Please see Part M/DDA page.

7. What are fire doors?

BS 8214:2008 states: ‘A fire door is provided for the passage of persons, air or objects which, together with its frame and furniture as installed in a building, is intended (when closed) to restrict the passage of fire and/or gaseous products of combustion, and is capable of meeting specified performance criteria to those ends.’ Typically, timber fire door (assemblies) are specified to provide 30, 60, 90 or 120 minutes resistance when tested to either BS476:Part 22 or BS EN 1634.

8. What is a doorset?

There is some confusion about the terms doorset, door assembly and door leaf. BS 8214:2008: The Code of Practice for Fire Door Assemblies provides the following definitions.


A door frame with its door leaf or leaves pre-hung on hinges or pivots, supplied as a single unit from a single source. (Note: Doorsets can be pre-machined for ironmongery from the same source)

Door Assembly:

A complete assembly as installed, including door frame and one or more leaves, together with its essential building hardware supplied from separate sources.


A building component for closing an opening in a wall that allows access and might or might not admit light when closed (Note: The word door is used as a generic term for door leaves, door frames, doorsets, door assemblies and door kits).

For further related definitions see BS8214:2008

9. What is Third Party Certification?

This is a process carried out by an expert body to certify that the products or services supplied against a specification comply with the performance requirements therein. It is a preferred route for demonstrating the performance of fire doors under Approved Document B of the Building Regulations and is mandatory for Secured by Design.

Third Party Certification requires initial testing to recognised standards and auditing of facilities and systems, with subsequent annual audits to ensure continuing compliance.

For Soundcraft this is particularly important for fire doors, fire door installation and security doors.

Fire doors supplied by Soundcraft are manufactured under either the Exova BM Trada Q Mark, or the BWF/Certifire, Fire Door Manufacturing Schemes. Installation of fire doors is under the Exova BM Trada Q Mark Fire Door Installers Scheme. Security doors, the Integrity Range, are covered by Warrington Certification.

10. What’s the difference between a flush door and a panelled door?

Flush doors are basically a slab, typically with a core of solid material – either particle board or laminated timber – faced with, for example, plywood, veneer or laminate – to provide a flat surface. The edges are usually lipped with hardwood.

Panelled doors, or traditional joinery doors, are made from components – rails, stiles and infill panels – that are assembled to create the door.

Panelled doors have been around for thousands of years; flush doors are much more recent .

Both types of door can contain vision panels.

11. What is the difference between hardwood and softwood?

The division between these types of wood bears no relation to the softness or hardness of the timber. Softwoods are produced from coniferous or cone bearing trees which have needle-like leaves and are mostly evergreen, eg pines and yew. Hardwoods are produced from broad-leaved trees which produce seeds contained in an enclosed case or ovary, eg an acorn or walnut.

Specifications for security doors sometimes state, ‘Doors shall be made from hardwood…’ with the clear implication that the writer of the specification assumes a hardwood is necessarily hard. This is not the case. Balsa wood is a hardwood, but it is unlikely that doors made from it would provide much security, or anything else.