What are Building Regulations?
The Building Regulations are developed by the Government and approved by Parliament. They are minimum standards for design, construction and alterations to nearly every building.
The Building Regulations also contain a list of requirements that ensure minimum standards for health, safety, convenience, energy efficiency, welfare and sustainability. These are referred to as Schedule 1 and they also aim to prevent misuse, abuse or contamination of water supplies.
These regulations cover all aspects of construction including foundations, stability, damp-proofing, insulation, heating, ventilation, fire protection, means of escape and making sure there are adequate facilities for people with disabilities.
Building Regulations consist of Parts A – P and are regularly being updated.
Below are brief explanations of each part and a link to the documents themselves.
Where to get approval?
It is down to Building Control Bodies to ensure compliance with Building Regulations. There are two types and it is your choice who you choose.
Local Authority Building Control (LABC)– each local authority in England and Wales has a building control section.
Approved Inspector Building Control (AIBC) – approved inspectors are companies or individuals authorised under the Building Act 1984 to carry out building control work in England and Wales.
If you use a LABC then you can either make a full plans application or give a Building Notice. A building notice is really only appropriate for small jobs as no plans are required and the job will get inspected as you go along. Therefore if something does not comply you may have already done the work before the building control officer informs you that there is a problem. You also will not get a final certificate to show the works comply.
If you use an AIBC then it is like a full plan application and the AIBC will inform your LABC that they have been asked to oversee the work by sending them an Initial Notice.
If you wish to find out more about LABC’s then visit LABC.UK.COM
A – Structure
Part A is concerned with structural stability of buildings and encompasses design of foundations, walls, floors and roofs. It also deals with limiting the extent to which parts of a building may collapse if a major catastrophe occurs.
B – Fire Safety
Part B includes requirements for providing early warning of a fire, satisfactory escape routes, preventing fire spread both within and to other buildings and providing good access for the Fire Services.
This Part is split into two volumes
Volume 1 – Dwellinghouses
Volume 2 – Buildings other than dwellinghouses
C – Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture
Part C contains the recommendations for making sure the building remains watertight and free from damp, condensation and any contamination that may be in the ground.
D – Toxic Substances
Part D provides guidance on the prevention of toxic substances permeating into the building when inserting insulation into cavity walls.
E – Resistance to the Passage of Sound
Part E includes requirement aimed at reducing sound transference between dwellings, flats, communal areas and other certain types of rooms.
F – Ventilation
Part F provides for adequate levels of ventilation to buildings and the prevention of condensation forming in roof voids.
G – Hygiene
Part G deals with the provision of sanitary conveniences and washing facilities. It also includes requirements associated with unvented hot water storage systems.
H – Drainage and Waste Disposal
Part H deals with the disposal of sewerage, waste water and storm water along with details for household refuse.
J – Combustion Appliances and Fuel Storage Systems
Part J covers safety requirements when installing either solid fuel, gas or oil heating appliances.
K – Protection from Falling, Collision and Impact
Part K covers staircase design, handrails, balustrading, headroom and the guarding of balconies, landings and other raised areas.
L – Conservation of Fuel and Power
Part L gives minimum standards of energy efficiency and provides design criteria for space heating and hot water storage.
This Part is split into four
- L1A – Conservation of fuel and power in new dwellings
- L1B – Conservation of fuel and power in existing dwellings
- L2A – Conservation of fuel and power in new buildings other than dwellings
- L2B – Conservation of fuel and power in existing buildings other than dwellings
M – Access to and Use of Buildings
Part M deals with the way buildings are designed to allow all people to gain access and be able to use the facilities within the building. It includes requirements to help people with sight, hearing and mobility impairments use the building.
N – Glazing Safety in relation to Impact, Opening and Cleaning
Part N covers the issue of providing safety glass in critical locations.
P – Electrical Safety
Part P applies to electrical installation work. All new electrical installations need to be carried out by a qualified person and a certificate is needed on completion.
Regulation 7 – Material and Workmanship
Regulation 7 stipulates that building work shall be carried out with adequate and proper materials.