The Building Regulations apply in England & Wales and are the minimum acceptable standards,which govern the design and construction of most new buildings and refurbishment work in this country. They protect the occupiers of buildings and members of the public against dangers to health or personal safety, contribute substantially to the conservation of energy and ensure the reasonable provision of access to buildings for disabled persons.
The regulations apply to most new buildings and many alterations of existing buildings, whether domestic, commercial or industrial, and are intended to promote:
Standards for most aspects of a building's construction, including its structure, fire safety, sound insulation, drainage, ventilation and electrical safety. Electrical safety was added in January 2005 to reduce the number of deaths, injuries and fires caused by faulty electrical installations.
The needs of all people, including those with disabilities, in accessing and moving around buildings. They set standards for buildings to be accessible and hazard-free wherever possible.
The legislation provides the framework for the Building Control system, and the requirements are expressed in broad functional terms, in order to give designers and builders maximum flexibility. The regulations are underpinned by technical guidance documents, called 'Approved Documents' which are available for downloading, below, and which indicate how compliance with the Regulations may be achieved. Alternative methods to demonstrate compliance are available.
It is in every client's interest that designers and contractors make sure the buildings they construct comply with the statutory requirements. Most designers consider the implications of the Building Regulations in the very early stages of the design, and right through the construction period clients appreciate the significant role of Local Authority Building Control.