What are Building Regulations?
Building regulations are precautionary measures designed to ensure that any builds or renovations are safe and constructed to the highest possible standards of quality.
The term ‘building regulations’ covers a wide range of topics from the structural integrity of a building to environmental protection, fire safety, and accessibility. This also trickles into ground-level concerns such as preventing falls, reducing noise pollution, and ensuring that wastewater and products are disposed of safely.
In recent years, more attention is being paid to climate-related issues such as water ingress, the risk of contamination to soils and the elimination of harmful gases.
These distinctly differ from planning permissions in that they have a specific, targeted approach to health and safety. While violating planning permissions can result in fines and loss of money, failing to adhere to building regulations can result in loss of life and every consequence that follows it.
It, therefore, becomes essential to understand your key responsibilities when it comes to building regulations and what you need to do to follow them.
General Requirements For All Construction Sites
While the full list of building regulations can be viewed from here, some key requirements for construction include:
Structure: This details guidance on ensuring that a building is structurally sound and robust.
Fire Safety: These rules cover five key requirements to ensure that fire prevention and safety is covered from the outset of a build
Site Preparation: This prevents the seepage of contaminants or oils into the ground underneath the build.
Toxic Substances: Handles the potential risks caused by cavity wall insulation.
Passage of Sound: Details the minimum safety standard for dampening sound through insulation on the walls of a build.
Ventilation: This covers the core air passage requirement in a building. These have recently grown in complexity and can be difficult to adhere to.
Sanitation and Hygiene: Covers the requirements for installing toilets, sewage and hot water systems as part of a build.
Drainage and Waste Disposal: The removal of previously used water from toilets, baths etc into safe repositories in settlement tanks.
Combustion Appliances: This requires an air supply for the efficient discharge of combustible materials that eliminates fire risks.
Protection from falling and collision: This sets core standards for building at an elevation from stairs, windows, and other barriers and doors operated at height.
Conservation of Fuel and Power: This is split into two key sections, measuring heating elements and requirements, safe testing and key systems to trail energy meters.
This becomes even more critical if you are choosing to self-build, which will require a separate set of permissions and formal approval before commencing with your work.
How We Can Help
If you are struggling with understanding or adhering to building regulations, you can find out how our team at MDA Architectural Services Ltd can help. Alternatively, if you require bespoke or targeted guidance, please do not hesitate to contact our in-house team directly and let us know exactly what you need.