Under the building regulations building work in England and Wales, such as erecting or extending a building, must be carried out with adequate and proper materials and in a correct manner to suitable standards.
The Building Regulations are split into a number of parts including:
- Building structure (Part A),
- Fire Safety (Part B),
- Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture (Part C),
- Toxic substances (Part D),
- Resistance to the passage of sound (Part E),
- Ventilation (Part F),
- Sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency (Part G),
- Drainage and waste disposal (Part H),
- Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems (Part J),
- Protection from falling, collision and impact (Part K),
- Conservation of fuel and power (Part L),
- Access to and use of buildings (Part M),
- Glazing – safety in relation to impact, opening and cleaning (Part N) and
- Electrical safety (Part P).
These regulations are further supported by a set of approved documents which give guidance on how to comply with the regulatory requirements. There are separate sets of approved documents for building work in England and Wales. Building work in Scotland is governed by separate regulations and guidance.
Following on from the Phase 1 report of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry the Government recently published changes to Approved Document B: Fire Safety which will come into force in England from 1st December 2022.
Under the new guidance new blocks of flats with a top storey more than 11m above ground level will need to be provided with a secure information box to store information about a building for use by the fire service during an incident, which is easily located and identified by firefighters, secured to resist unauthorised access but readily accessible by firefighters protected from the weather and sized to accommodate all necessary information. This is in addition to a recent update which introduced a requirement for sprinkler systems to be installed in new blocks of flats over 11m
Also new blocks of flats with a top storey more than 18m above ground level will need to be provided with an evacuation alert system should be provided in accordance with the relevant standard.
Details of the building regulations and approved guidance can be found on the relevant national government website: