Edinburgh – Cutting the bottom off classroom doors?

Below is a briefing from City of Edinburgh Council on the Scottish Government’s plans to cut the bottom off classroom doors.

Door Cutting Briefing
The City of Edinburgh Council are considering all options in regards to CO2, ventilation and fire safety in our classrooms in relation to COVID-19.

Before any works relating to the cutting and removal of the bottom of any doors, there are a number of factors that would need to be considered before carrying out such works:

  1. Can ventilation improvements be introduced through less invasive changes?
  2. Is it safe and practical to support additional ventilation by leaving the door open, particularly during peak occupancy or to purge the air in spaces in between use?
  3. Adaptation or keeping a door open will only help with ventilation where the space it opens onto is ventilated.
  4. What doors should be cut to meet the requirement?
  5. Are the doors in question Fire Doors?
  6. What are the clearances below the door before making the cut?
  7. What should the overall minimum/maximum clearance distances be – from base of door to floor covering?
  8. Does the door contain any asbestos?
  9. Is the an entrapment risk of hands/arms for small children?
  10. Is there now an acoustic issue from neighbouring spaces?
  11. Will cutting the door impact the structural integrity of the door?
  12. Are there better alternative options that could be employed? i.e. intumescent grills
  13. Will this affect the fire strategy for the premises?

To date the City of Edinburgh Council have not carried out any works to doors that involve the cutting or removal of the bottom of any doors, fire or otherwise.

The City of Edinburgh Council have also been proactive throughout the pandemic carrying out easing of windows were required to increase ventilation in schools. Local authorities are directed through Scottish Government guidance to ensure their schools and Early Learning Centre settings have access to CO2 monitoring, whether via mobile or fixed devices. This is in order to support the goal of all school buildings, including all learning and teaching spaces, being assessed regularly for ventilation issues with a view to remedial action being taken where required.

The City of Edinburgh Council are working to ensure that appropriate strategies for continuing effective CO2 monitoring are in place, with a particular focus on supporting schools to achieve good ventilation balanced with the requirement for user comfort and warmth.


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