Building regulations

Building Regulations are legal requirements aimed at achieving adequate standards for the construction of domestic, commercial and industrial buildings.

They are laid down by Parliament and are supported by separate documents containing practical and technical guidance on compliance, which are known as 'Approved Documents'. These are produced in different parts.

The Planning Portal Interactive House shows situations that require a Building Regulations application.

Approved Documents from the Planning Portal are summarised below. 

Part A - structural safety

  • the weight of the building will be transmitted to the ground, so as not to cause instability to the building or other buildings
  • requires buildings to be built in a way ensuring no collapse will occur disproportionate to its cause
  • ground movement will not impair the stability of the building

Part B - fire safety

  • requires safe means of escape
  • requires the stability of a building to be maintained in a fire, both internally and externally
  • internally - the walls and ceiling will resist the spread of flames and give off reasonable levels of heat, if on fire
  • internal stability will be maintained during fire and fire spread will be prohibited
  • fire and smoke will be prohibited from spreading to concealed spaces in a buildings structure
  • externally - the external walls and roof will resist spread of fire to walls and roofs of other buildings
  • the building will be easily accessible for fire fighters and their equipment

Part C - site preparation and damp proofing

  • nothing should be growing on the ground covered by the building
  • precautions must be taken to stop gases and dangerous substances from previous land use from entering the building
  • subsoil drainage will be in place, if needed, to stop the passage of ground moisture to the interior of the building and to prevent damage to the fabric of the building
  • the walls, floors and roof shall prevent moisture passing to the inside of the building
  • the building must have provision to prevent condensation occurring in the roof structure

Part D - toxic substances

Measures must be taken to stop fumes from insulating materials inserted into cavities reaching occupants of the building

Part E - soundproofing

  • floors and walls between domestic buildings should have a resistance to the passage of sound
  • sound insulation requirements apply to floors and certain walls within individual dwellings

Part F - ventilation

  • the building must have adequate provision for ventilation

Part G - hygiene

  • adequate sanitation facilities i.e. toilet
  • a house must have either a bath or shower with ability to heat hot water
  • unvented hot water storage systems - installation restrictions apply

Part H - drainage and waste disposal

  • an adequate system to carry water to a sewer, cesspool or settlement tank must be in place
  • a cesspool or settlement tank must be impermeable to liquids and have adequate ventilation. It must also have means of access for emptying and not contaminate water or water supply
  • an adequate system to carry rainwater away from the roof of a building eg. guttering

Part J - heating appliances

  • must have an adequate air supply for combustion and efficient working of fluepipe or chimney
  • appliances shall discharge to the outside
  • the appliance, fireplace and chimney shall reduce the risk of the building catching fire

Part K - stairs, ramps and guards

  • stairs, ramps and ladders shall provide safety for people when moving between different levels of a building
  • stairs, ramps, floors and balconies shall be adequately guarded
  • safety shall be provided for people using vehicle ramps and loading bays

Part L - conservation of fuel and power

  • provision must be made for the conservation of fuel and power in a building
  • the fabric of the building must limit heat loss
  • controls for operating the heating of the building and heating of water
  • heat loss from hot water tanks and pipes must be limited
  • lighting systems should have adequate controls
  • new buildings to have thermal calculations provided to demonstrate energy efficiency

Part M - access to and use of buildings

Buildings should have reasonable provision:

  • for all people to gain access and use the building
  • toilets provision for all
  • if a building has seating such as audience or spectator seating, provision should be made for people with disabilities 

Part N - glazing materials and protection

  • glazing should, if broken, break in a way unlikely to cause injury, resist impact without breaking or be shielded from impact
  • buildings, other than dwellings that have transparent glazing which people come into contact with while moving around a building, must be made apparent. Windows that can be opened must be operated safely and provision made for safe cleaning    

Part P - electrical safety

  • reasonable provision shall be made in the design, installation, inspection and testing of electrical installations
  • sufficient information shall be provided so that persons wishing to operate, maintain or alter an electrical installation can do so with reasonable safety
  • installers who are members of a certified Competent Persons Scheme may carry out electrical work without the need to submit a formal building regulations application
  • find a registered electrician - www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk/
  • general Guidance - www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice

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Last updated: 15 February 2019 07:19:04