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American National Standard for Hardware for Architectural Glass Openings
Standard ANSI/BHMA A156.44-2021 establishes performance requirements for exit device hardware used on swinging architectural glass doors and includes operational, cycle, strength and security tests. For further information, consult the full standard.
BHMA has created this series of Hardware Highlights to provide useful, accessible information about builders hardware for anyone with an interest in devices that hang, control, secure, and trim the doors. BHMA is the trade association which represents almost all of the North American manufacturers of builders hardware. One of its main activities since 1983 has been the development and maintenance of ANSI-approved standards for over 40 separate product categories.
Product Performance: Purchasers of hardware certified to A156.44 (http://buildershardware.com/cpd) can be assured products will perform to their expectations.
Below are an explanation and some examples of the evaluations conducted for certification:
Attributes such as the force to retract the latch and force to close the door are measured to ensure ease of egress and smooth closing. For example: this hardware locks must latch with a maximum force of 4.5 lbf.
Building products are expected to last a long time, and builders hardware is no exception. Grade 1 locks, for example, must pass a rigorous test through one million cycles of opening and closing.
Locksets are counted on to allow carefree operation to those who are authorized, and ensure a high degree of security from the outside. Seven aggressive tests are specified, including an Impact Under Load Test of 50 Joules.
Builders hardware provides several attributes that are essential to building safety and performance, including egress and fire protection. BHMA locksets are designed to comply with all applicable requirements.
There are various types of trim which meet the ADA and A117.1 requirements for operable parts to be “operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist.” In addition, BHMA certified hardware must comply with the operational forces in their respective standards, which have been shown to be suitable for accessible applications.
Certified Builders Hardware contributes to building sustainability through their verified durability, as well as material characteristics such as recycled content and recyclability. The reliable closing and sealing of openings can also contribute to energy conservation. BHMA has developed Product Category Rules, which will further define sustainability requirements and guide life cycle assessments and environmental performance declarations.
Type Numbers: Another significant contribution of standards for product specification is a numbering system for the type of product. Please consult A156.44 for the full list; an example is provided here: G01011
The first character “G” denotes Section G The second and third characters identify Product Type i.e. 01 = Type 1 Rim Exit Device The fourth and fifth characters indicate product category i.e. 01 = Exit Device The sixth character indicates the grade