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Safety glass according to the new NEN 3569

Safety glass according to the new NEN 3569

In December 2011, the new NEN 3569 :2011 “Limiting the risk of physical injury caused by breaking and falling glass” was published. This new NEN 3569 replaces the old NEN 3569, dating back to 2001, titled “Safety glazing in buildings”.

The scope of the standard has been split in two. All cases that involve a risk of injury as a result of the glass breaking (fall protection) and that relate to the structural safety of the glass are now included in the new NEN 2608:2011 and will be controlled directly by the new Building Decree. This includes, for example, requirements for the collapsibility of roof glazing or floor divisions with a height difference of more than 1 meter, situations that were included in NEN 3569:2001.

The scope of the NEN 3569:2011 is now limited to preventing injury by breaking and falling glass that has been installed vertically and is accessible to people. That is to say, the only risk that is still considered is the unsafe breaking of glass when people fall or bump against it.

The standard still has the same structure, distinguishing between:

  • The function of the room in which the glass has been installed
  • The type of construction adjacent to the glass
  • The type of construction containing the glass
  • The position of the glass relative to the floor

The different categories of safety glass to be used according to NEN-EN 12600


Gebruiksfunctie = User function
Situatie I = Situation I
Situatie II = Situation II
Situatie III = Situation III ]
User functions

The six different functions specified in NEN 3569:2011 are:

  • Non-communal part of living or lodging area, including other relevant functions, such as outside sheds and garages. For example, residential homes, apartments and hotel rooms
  • Office functions, education, functions, health care functions, and areas not referred to under a) of residential buildings and accommodation functions, such as offices, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and common areas of residential buildings and hotels.
  • Sales areas of areas with a shop function (e.g. showrooms and shops)
  • Meeting functions, sports functions, other functions for the transport of passengers and the parts of buildings – not entire buildings – intended for visitors (e.g. club houses, sports cafeterias, theatres, cinemas and events halls).
  • Industrial function and light industrial function, other than greenhouses (e.g. farms, light industry, production rooms and factories)
  • Libraries and archives

Construction type

A distinction is made between four different applications of glass:

  • I. Partition structures and mobile construction parts in which the bottom of the glass is less than 0.85m removed from the adjacent floor.
  • II. Partition structures and mobile construction parts on access roads in which the bottom of the glass is more than 0.85m but less than 1.40m above floor level.
  • III. Door constructions with side screens in which the bottom of the glass is less than 1.40m above the adjacent floor.
  • IV. Other

For the first three situations, there are certain requirements with regard to the use of safety glass. When glass is used in application IV, “Other”, the risk of a break in the glass due to the impact load of a person, as well as the risk of serious personal injury is so small that NEN 3569 specifies no requirements with regard to the breakability of the glass, as well as permitting the use of floating glass.

Door constructions with side screens

With regard to glass used in door constructions belonging to situation III, the pane in the door itself, as well as the glass directly adjacent to the door, in the side screens, are covered by NEN 3569.

In such situations, a zone of 0.3m must be observed, measured horizontally from the reveal of the door frame to the directly adjacent side. If there is a glass surface within this zone, it must comply with the same requirements as the glass in the plane of the door in situation III.

What category of safety glass should you use?

According to NEN 3569, glass used in situations I, II and III, depending on the function, must be safety glass meeting at least the requirements established in the safety classes in the table below, as specified in NEN-EN 12600.

In summary:

This table shows that all glass with a user function, of which the bottom of the glass is less than 0.85m above floor level, and all door constructions with side screens, such as sliding doors, in which the bottom of the glass is less than 1.40m above floor level must be safety glass.

In the earlier version of the standard, this was not made clear. In the new Building Decree, which came into effect as of 1 April 2018, this has changed.

Under the “old” NEN 3569:2001, class 3(B)3 safety glass, such as wired glass, was still allowed in certain circumstances, but that is no longer the case under the new NEN 3569:2011.

Start date NEN 3569:2011

With the publication of the NEN 3569:2011, the old NEN 3569:2001 has been repealed. Since the NEN 3569 does not directly fall under the Building Decree and still constitutes a standard under private law, the standard came into immediate effect on the date of publication in December 2011, applying to new construction as well as existing properties.

In other words, all safety glass applications must be assessed according to the new NEN 3569 as of December 2011.

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