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The Building Regulations

The Building Regulations Front CoverThis page contains information on the Building Regulations and Approved Documents, with external links to download copies of these.

The Department Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is responsible for Building Regulations.

The regulations apply to new buildings and the extension or alteration of existing buildings in England and Wales, whether domestic, commercial or industrial.

However some buildings and works are exempt from these requirements under schedule two of the Building Regulations 2010 (amended).

It is a criminal offence not to comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations.

The Building Act 1984 is the enabling act under which the Secretary of State is empowered to make Building Regulations for any purposes of:-

  • securing the health, safety, welfare and convenience of persons in or about buildings and of others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings,
  • furthering the conservation of fuel and power, and
  • preventing waste, undue consumption, misuse or contamination of water.

Regulations can be made with respect to the design and construction of buildings and the provision of services, fittings and equipment to or within buildings.

An Approved Document Front CoverMost people assume that the Building Regulations are a set of rules which if followed will establish compliance. However the Building Regulations are not prescribed rules, with prescribed solutions that have to be followed. They are requirements that the buildings to which they apply are designed and constructed so that certain issues are addressed and shown to be adequate. These items include structural stability, fire safety, site preparation, ventilation, drainage, conservation of fuel and power, sound insulation and numerous others.

There is guidance issued in the form of approved documents which suggest methods of approach to demonstrate compliance with the individual requirements. These documents by their nature are very technical, do not apply to all cases and there is no obligation on the applicant or designer to adopt any solution approach in the guidance.

These are further more supported by supplementary guidance documents and a vast array of other standards, for example British Standards, Good Building Guides, Building Research Establishment reports and so on.

Download the documents

You can view the Building Act, Building Regulations [external link] and the approved documents [external link] via the Planning Portal.

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