Building Regulations are guidelines that help to create safer homes and business premises.
They include various aspects of design and construction, including electrical work, plumbing, use of utilities as well as how to well our homes need to be insulated. Understanding Building Regulations is important.
What are Building Regulations?
The Building Regulations are made under powers provided in the Building Act 1984. This act applies in England and Wales. There are separate rules and regulations in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The current edition of the Building Regulations is called ‘The Building Regulations 2000’. It is always important to check if these regulations have changed or been updated before you start your build or renovation project.
These regulations exist for one reason: to ensure the health and safety of people in and around all types of building and apply to domestic, commercial and industrial buildings.
These regulations also cover energy efficiency, an important factor in modern builds and existing properties.
There are various sections in Part l of the Building Regulations which deal with definitions, procedures and what is expected in terms of technical performance of building work.
For example, Building Regulations help to:
- Define what types of building, plumbing and heating projects are ‘building work’, thus making them subject to control under the regulations
- Specify what types of building are exempt from the regulations
- Set out the notification procedures when starting, carrying out and completing building work
- Set out how the building work and completed project must comply with health and safety of building users, as well as access and use of the building
- Set out the responsibilities in relation to energy conservation and efficiency.
Are Planning Permission and Building Regulations the same thing?
Some people confuse the two but you need to be aware that these two things are separate. You may be given permission to complete your building project but you still need to ensure that any work complies with and meets standards as set out in the Building Regulations.
What are the Building Regulations part 1?
Practical guidance on the regulations are contained in a series of Approved Documents. These are to be read alongside the thirteen parts in Schedule 1 (or Part 1) to the Building Regulations.
Each of these documents general guidance on performance expected of materials and building work. They also offer practical examples and solutions on how to achieve compliance.
The thirteen parts of Building Regulations part 1 are:
- Part A – Structure
- Part B – Fire Safety
- Part C – Site preparation and moisture resistance
- Part D – Toxic substances
- Part E – Ventilation
- Part G – Hygiene
- Part H – Drainage and waste disposal
- Part J – Combustion appliances and fuel storage
- 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
Are Building Regulations compulsory?
It is difficult, if not impossible to have a building or project signed off as being fit for use unless all the building Regulations and rules are met.
As changes are made to the regulations, they can become more stringent and one area that has seen significant changes are the Building Regulations for insulation.
It is not just about Building Regulations for roof insulation or Building Regs. for floor insulation as the need to build energy efficient homes and commercial properties is more important than ever. Building Regs. for insulation also cover stringent cavity wall insulation building Regulations and permissions too, effectively sealing the property from the cold and through heat loss through the roof, the walls, the floor and through windows and doors too.
Understanding Building Regulations Part 1 is key to a successful build.