Building regulations and do you meet them?

The most recent amendments to the Building Regulations came into force on the 1st October 2010, they exist primarily to ensure the health and safety of all people in and around buildings. The regulations apply to most new buildings and many alterations of existing buildings in England and Wales whether domestic, commercial or industrial.

The principle areas covered by the Regulations are:

  • Structural stability - will the building safely carry anticipated loadings;
  • Fire precautions - both controlling the materials used according to the degree of risk and making sure that buildings could be evacuated without loss of life in the event of a fire;
  • The prevention of dampness and condensation in buildings;
  • Sound resistance of walls and floors between dwellings;
  • Ventilation of habitable rooms and unheated voids;
  • Hygiene, sanitary appliances and drainage;
  • Heating appliances including the safe discharge of flue gasses;
  • Stairways, ramps and vehicle barriers;
  • Conservation of fuel and power. Is the building properly insulated etc;
  • Access to buildings and facilities for disabled people;
  • The safe positioning of glazing in windows and doors etc.

To check the technical requirements of the Building Regulations please see the technical requirements section.

If you are undertaking building work and are unsure of if you need to meet the Building Regulations, please contact us for advice.

What is the purpose of a Building Regulations inspection?

Applicants should be aware of the purpose and limitations of Building Regulation inspections. The reason that a Building Consultancy Surveyor makes an inspection is to ensure that the requirements of the Building Regulations are being met. You will not be required to do anything unless it is needed in order to secure reasonable standards of health and safety.

Building Regulations inspections are not a suitable substitute for day to day site supervision. You should employ an independent professional person to supervise quality control and other private contractual matters between you and your builder, if you feel it necessary to do so. This is particularly important if your project is complex.

Are there any penalties for contravening the Building Regulations?

Yes. If the correct notification for inspection is not given, or the works do not comply with the Building Regulations, then the person responsible will be asked to open up or rectify the alleged contravening work.

Everyone concerned usually prefers to resolve any problems quickly and without referring the matter to a Magistrate's Court. Nevertheless, as a last resort, matters may be referred to the council's solicitor for legal proceedings to be taken. Action for alleged contravention of the regulations can be taken against both the owner of the work and the builder. Where proven, a contravention of the Building Regulations is a criminal offence.

Will I need proof if a Building Regulations application was not required?

Sometimes it may be necessary to find out whether work carried out previously should have had Building Regulation Approval or not. If your solicitor has asked you to provide written evidence that Building Regulations Approval and / or Planning Permission were not required for the alterations/extensions made to your home you can submit a written request. This process takes about 7-10 days and a response will be sent out informing you that either permission was or was not needed. This is a free service.

If a Building Regulations application was required you may be able to apply for a Regularisation Certificate. A Regularisation Application will need to be submitted. If, after looking at the work on site, we are happy that it satisfies the Building Regulations we will issue a formal Regularisation Certificate. The Certificate may be used when selling a house to show that the work complies with the Building Regulations

Building Regulations: Technical Requirements

Approved Document A (Structural safety)

This section covers the technical guidance that supports Part A of schedule 1 of the Building Regulations concerned with the requirements with respect to structural safety.

Approved Document B (Fire safety)

This section covers the technical guidance that supports Part B of schedule 1 of the Building Regulations, concerned with the requirements with respect to fire safety.

Approved Document C (Resistance to contaminants and moisture)

This section covers the technical guidance that supports Part C of schedule 1 of the Building Regulations, concerned with the requirements with respect to site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture.

Approved Document D (Toxic Substances)

This section covers the technical guidance that supports Part D of schedule 1 of the Building Regulations, concerned with the requirements with respect to toxic substances.

Approved Document E (Resistance to sound)

This section covers the technical guidance that supports Part E of schedule 1 of the Building Regulations, with the requirements with respect to resistance to sound.

Approved Document F (Ventilation)

This section covers the technical guidance that supports Part F of schedule 1 of the Building Regulations, concerned with the requirements with respect to ventilation.

Approved Document G (Sanitation, Hot Water Safety and Water Efficiency)

This section covers the technical guidance that supports Part G of schedule 1 of the Building Regulations, with the requirements with respect to Sanitation, Hot Water Safety and Water Efficiency.

Approved Document H (Drainage and waste disposal)

This section covers the technical guidance that supports Part H of schedule 1 of the Building Regulations, with the requirements with respect to Drainage and waste disposal.

Approved Document J (Heat producing appliances)

This section covers the technical guidance that supports Part J of schedule 1 of the Building Regulations, with the requirements with respect to heat producing appliances.

Approved Document K (Protection from falling)

This section covers the technical guidance that supports Part K of schedule 1 of the Building Regulations, with the requirements with respect to protection from falling.

Approved Document L (Conservation of fuel and power)

This section covers the technical guidance that supports Part L of schedule 1 of the Building Regulations, with the requirements with respect to Conservation of fuel and power.

Approved Document M (Access to and Use of Buildings)

This section covers the technical guidance that support Part M of schedule 1 of the Building Regulations, with the requirements with respect to Access to and use of buildings.

Approved Document N (Glazing safety) From 6 April 2013 - Only relevant to Wales

This section covers the technical guidance that supports Part N of schedule 1 of the Building Regulations, with the requirements with respect to glazing safety.

Approved Document P (Electrical Safety)

This section covers the technical guidance that supports Part P of schedule 1 of the Building Regulations, with the requirements with respect to electrical safety.

Approved Document 7 (Workmanship and Materials)

This section covers the technical guidance that supports Regulation 7 of the Building Regulations, concerned with the requirements for workmanship and the materials used.