Building Regulations and Related Legislation

Building Regulations set minimum performance standards that building work must meet in terms of health, safety, energy efficiency, accessibility, and environmental standards. Towards the end of last year, the Government published its Housing Strategy which set out its commitment to quality, sustainability and design in housing. You can find out more at Chapter 7, here.

We have recently published a consultation on a number of proposals for changes to the Building Regulations. We are currently consulting on these proposals (for further information see here). The feedback from both the Red Tape Challenge and this consultation exercise will be used to develop future changes to the Building Regulations, including those which we currently aim to implement in 2012/2013.

You can find the regulations that relate to Building Regulations and Related Legislation to the left below. Visit the Housing & Construction theme landing page here.

Building (Amendment) Regulations 2001

Amends the Building Regulations 2000 (with regard to change of use, consultation with the sewerage undertaker, testing of building work), and repeals and modifies parts of the Building Act 1984 in relation to building over sewers and drainage of buildings.

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UK regulation

Building (Amendment) Regulations 2002

Amends the Building Regulations 2000 and extends the exemption from the need to give notice of: a building drainage provisions; building work; and replacement work (i.e. windows, rooflights, and doors) in existing buildings.

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UK regulation

Building (Approved Inspectors etc) Regulations 2010

Outlines the requirements for the approval of ‘Approved Inspectors’ and matters relating to the supervision of building work by Approved Inspectors. Approved Inspectors ensure compliance with the Building Regulations.

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UK regulation

Building (Electronic Communications) Order 2008

Allows documents, specified in the Building Act, Building Regulations or Approved Inspector Regulations, to be sent electronically.

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UK regulation

Building (Inner London) Regulations 1985

Increases extent of specifed provisions in the Building Regulations and the Building Act 1984 to Inner London authorities.

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UK regulation

Building (Inner London) Regulations 1987

Applies of further provisions in the Building Regulations and the Building Act 1984 to Inner London (see 12), and repeals and modifies parts of various London Building Acts (local Acts) and the Building Act.

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UK regulation

Building (Local Authority Charges) Regulations 2010

Sets out the framework for Local Authorities to charge for dealing with building control applications.

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UK regulation

Building (Repeal of Provisions of Local Acts) Regulations 2003

Repeals parts of local acts, mainly concerning drainage provisions.

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UK regulation

Building Act 1984 (Appointed Day and Repeal) Order 1985

Repeals section 30 of The Building Act 1984, which set out the procedure to resolve the situation when a question arose between a local authority and a person has executed, or proposes to execute, any building work.

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UK regulation

Building Regulations (Local Enactments) Order 1966

Repeals parts of a variety of local acts throughout England and Wales. These mainly cover cooperation, improvement or are local council acts.

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UK regulation

Building Regulations 2010

Defines building work including: the level of performance that the work must meet; the supervision of building work by local authorities (in conjunction with the Building Act 1984); authorises self-certification schemes; and sets out the requirements for the energy performance of buildings

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UK regulation

Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007

Implements the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (the EPBD Directive) which requires the production of Energy Performance Certificates when buildings are constructed, sold or rented out, the display of certificates in large public buildings and Air Conditioning Inspection Reports.

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EU regulation

Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2007

Amends the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 to ensure the alignment of the operation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Certificates with the home information packs.

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EU regulation

Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment No 2) Regulations 2007

Amends the commencement dates of various requirements of the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007. This was to ensure enough time to get trained and accredited assessors in place.

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EU regulation

Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2008

Amends the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 to: specify the fee for placing the energy performance certificates and display energy certificates on the register; clarify that building control officers have access to that register; transitional provisions to help manage the introduction of energy performance certificates into the non-domestic sector.

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EU regulation

Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment No 2) Regulations 2008

Amends the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007, the Building Regulations 2000, the Building and Approved Inspectors Regulations 2000, and the Home Information Pack (No.2) Regulations 2007. This increases the length of time that a energy performance certificate can be included in a home information pack, until it needs to be renewed. This regulations also extend access to the energy performance certificate register and alters how information can be disclosed. and amend the methdology of energy performance certificates

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EU regulation

Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2009

Amends the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007, with regard to the disclosure and display of energy performance certificates and recommendation reports.

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EU regulation

Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

Makes consequential amendments to the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 because of the suspension of sections 155 to 159 of the Housing Act 2004 (which relate to Home Information Packs), to ensure the regulations continue to work effectively.

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EU regulation

Building (Amendment) Regulations 2011, SI 2011/1515

Makes minor amendments to the Building Regulations 2010, including the authorisation of new Competent Person Self-Certification Schemes.

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UK regulation

Tell us what you think should happen to these regulations and why, being specific where possible:

130 responses to Building Regulations and Related Legislation

  • Tony Fenton said on February 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Local Acts relating to fire safety should have been repealed years ago as it duplicates an approval procedure that is unnecessary. Having said that, the technical requirements of the local Acts, if still considered to be relevant to the usually tall or high volume buildings they tend to apply to, should be applied nationally as logic would suggest. Part B5 was derived from such local Acts, so the remaining technical standards should be carried over before losing the process.

    It is in the interests of Approved Inspectors to lose local requirements such as Section 20 of the London Building Act (the ‘39 Act), as its existence tends to hand a competitive advantage to the local authorities with the power. It would be fairer to lose the process but to nationalise the technical standards in the Building Regulations. AIs should be aware that the repeal of the whole of this Act would leave some gaping holes in the general legislation of the built environment. Street naming and numbering and dangerous structures are both controlled here and must remain. I would also advocate, although I recognise it is an increase in legislation rather than a cut, the extension of Section 30 of this Act nationally in some form. Section 30 allows the local authority to consent to the erection of structures of a temporary nature such as stages, grandstands, large marquees and video and audio towers. These structures are not buildings controlled under the Building Regulations, but, as recent fatal stage collapses at concerts in Europe and USA have highlighted, they need to be controlled. As an inner London authority with the power of Section 30, we have been able to deal successfully with many of these structures at numerous events attended by large public audiences. Structures at Olympic events in Central London can be dealt with similarly, whereas an outer London authority without the power of Section 30 has had to enter into a voluntary agreement to use the Building Regulations for their temporary structures. It is arguable that the building regs apply to non-buildings, even if they will be in place for more than 28 days, so it would make sense to plug this gap in the legislation by making Section 30 national.
    Although the introduction of regularisation applications was introduced in recent times to allow for previously unauthorised works to be rectified/certified, I believe this has made the carrying out of unauthorised works less of a risk to those undertaking them and should be repealed or at least modified. With the fragmentation of building control (in one of our streets there are sixteen different building control surveyors inspecting the various sites, one id from the LA) the discovery of unauthorised works while in progress is far more difficult than it was 15 years ago. The local authority area surveyor is the only one who has the additional duty of finding these. Very few local authorities are prepared to fund a specific enforcement officer to look for these unauthorised sites. 15 years ago, when the LA surveyor knew that a site he was not controlling must be unauthorised, discoveries amounted to 10% of all applications (300 p.a.for my authority). We made 50 discoveries last year, but received 65 regularisation applications. That means there are between 150 and 200 unauthorised works going on each year in my authority area alone. The Minister talks of strict enforcement, but I’m afraid the current system works against this idea.

    Planning policies should be restricted to matters not controlled by building regulations. I see too many policies requiring higher standards than are already being imposed by the Building Regulations, particularly Part L. It seems to me that neighbouring local authorities are setting higher standards than one another to look greener. It causes huge problems for our customers who, as we know in BC, are looking for consistency of interpretation.

    Another recent area of construction that is being confused by planning policies (or a lack of them) is basement extensions, or subterranean developments as referred to by the Lords currently discussing them in the House. In densely populated streets these developments cause neighbours huge upheaval. The planners realise they cannot prevent these developments on those grounds so are asking for structural method statements and hydrology reports at the planning stage. In virtually all cases there will be an engineering solution, which should be dealt with at the building control stage, so why make it part of planning? My experience today shows the futility of this practice; a two storey rear extension collapsed into a basement extension in the course of construction. The structural method statement originally submitted with the planning application showed unsafe excavation methods. The BC surveyor checking this on behalf of the planners pointed this out and, through negotiation with the ‘engineer’, had it revised to a safer and more traditional underpinning method. Once approval had been gained the previous (quicker and cheaper) method was reinstated by the developer. This involved a 3m deep excavation along the whole 4m length of party wall. Luckily the collapse was when the site was vacant so nobody was injured. Today, the workmen were busy clearing out the trench of rubble – the sides of the trench and the 2m high garden wall above it had no support whatsoever. Following an urgent call to HSE their inspector visited and closed the site down. How exactly would self certification work?! I hope the CLG listen to the Lord presenting this Bill – there is a lot of common sense in it.

  • Richard said on January 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Enforcement of the requirements of the Building Regulations beyond the normal remit of the BCO, ie; continuing contraventions or the carrying out of works requiring BC approval without fist seeking approval should in my opinion be dealt with by a separate enforcement body to the normal local authority building control section, possible not even the local authority.

    Currently local authority standards vary enormously across the UK, in terms of BC enforcement, some take it seriously, and some hardly bother.

    All too frequently builders are allowed to continue to abuse the regulations (and indeed their customers) and some are getting away with serious contraventions or at least non-inspection of works.

    This is very concerning from a health and safety issue and indeed the honest builder is at a disadvantage, in terms of costing, as he is allowing for not only doing the job right, but also the cost of registering his work and having it checked by BC.

    Building Control can only be effective if it is applied in the first place. Personally I would like to see the introduction of the Scottish system in terms of having to display a notice on any property have works carried out. This would allow an element of enforcement control, both by passing BCOs and indeed neighbour monitoring.

    • Richard John said on January 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      Totally agree with this – Local Authorities have to spend all thier time providing the service (which generates income) rather than enforcement (which does not).

      Its ridiculous that LAs may well be reluctant to enforce because the client may not use thier service in the future and they have to consider lost icome. Which other regulatory services have the same dilemma ?

      The separation already exists – AI’s can allreay provide the service – but not enforcement, so perhaps we need to let them get on with it and leave the LA as the enforcement body only ?

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