When you’re carrying out building work you are responsible for making sure that that building work complies with certain rules and regulations. Find out more about what those rules are and how to make sure you are compliant.
What are building regulations?
If you’re building a house in the UK, you will need Building Regulations Approval to do it.
Building regulations are legal requirements that you must meet to ensure your building work is being carried out in the right way to meet current safety standards and government requirements.
Why do we need building regulations?
Building regulations do not aim to stifle innovation. They simply lay out minimum standards for the design and construction of buildings. This is important to make sure they are safe for people living and working in them and are not likely to be damaging to health based on current understanding. Building regulations also include requirements that relate to the way we treat resources and the way we meet modern norms in society. For example, by making sure fuel and power are conserved and facilities are provided for people with disabilities.
Who is responsible for complying with building regulations?
If you employ a building contractor to do the work for you, the responsibility for complying with building regulations should be theirs but it is always worth confirming this up front. Ultimately, as the owner of the building, any resulting enforcement of rules would be served on you.
There are currently 14 parts (sections) to the building regulations and each is accompanied by an Approved Document. The Approved Documents usually take the form of stating the legislation first and then providing a number of means which are deemed to satisfy the regulations. Compliance with the rules is what is ultimately required and there are many ways of doing this in addition to those set out in the documents. You should discuss this with your architect or builder who should be able to help you come to a satisfactory solution to meet both the building regulations and your design requirements.
Below is a list of the Approved Documents:
- Part A - Structure
- Part B - Fire safety
- Part C - Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture
- Part D - Toxic substances
- Part E - Resistance to the passage of sound
- Part F - Ventilation
- Part G - Sanitation & Hygiene & Water Efficiency
- Part H - Drainage and waste disposal
- Part J - Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems
- Part K - Protection from falling, collision and impact
- Part L - Conservation of fuel and power
- Part M - Access to and use of Buildings
- Part N - Glazing - safety in relation to impact, opening and cleaning
- Part P - Electrical safety – Dwellings
Building regulations application – how to apply
Building regulations applications are required for new builds and property extensions. They are also required for works of a minor nature, particularly:
installation of fittings
new heating appliances and systems
alteration of a building’s structure
changing the use of a building
or building work affecting fire safety.
In some instances, repair work to buildings will also require a Building Control Application. Some work is exempt from building regulations but may require approval under other legislation, such as an application to the planning service. The best way to check that you are doing the right thing is to contact Building Control Services before starting your project.
Alternatively, you can contact us at the beginning for advice which will help you avoid problems further down the line.