Building Regulations

The Building Regulations

The Building Regulations are made under powers provided in the Building Act 1984, and apply in England and Wales. The current edition of the regulations is The Building Regulations 2000 (as amended) and the majority of building projects are required to comply with them. They exist to ensure the health and safety of people in and around all types of buildings (i.e. domestic, commercial and industrial). They also provide for energy conservation, and for access and facilities for disabled people.


The Building Regulations contain various sections dealing with definitions, procedures,

they: and what is expected in terms of the technical performance of building work. For example,

Define what types of building, plumbing, and heating projects

amount to Building Work and make these subject to control

under the Building Regulations.

Specify what types of buildings are exempt from control under

the Building Regulations.

Set out the notification procedures to follow when starting,

carrying out, and completing building work.

Set out the requirements with which the individual aspects

of building design and construction must comply in the

interests of the health and safety of building users, of energy

conservation, and access and facilities for disabled people

Anyone wanting to carry out building work which is subject to the Building Regulations is required by law to make sure it complies with the regulations The primary responsibility for achieving compliance with the regulations rests with the person carrying out the building work. So if you are carrying out the work personally the responsibility will be yours. If you are employing a builder the responsibility will usually be that firm but you should confirm this position at the very beginning. You should also bear in mind that if you are the owner of the building, it is ultimately you who may be served with an enforcement notice if the work does not comply with the regulations. So it is important that you choose your builder carefully.


Building Work is defined in Regulation 3 of the Building Regulations. The definition means that the following types of project amount to Building Work:-

The erection or extension of a building.The installation or extension of a service or fitting which is

controlled under the regulations.

An alteration project involving work which will be relevant

to the continuing compliance of the building, service or

fitting with the requirements relating to structure, fire, or

access and facilities for disabled people.The insertion of insulation into a cavity wall.

The underpinning of the foundations of a building.


If whatever work your project involves amounts to ‘Building Work’ then it must comply with the Building Regulations.

This means that if you want to:-

Put up a new building, or extend or alter an existing one

(e.g. by converting a loft space into living space).

Or provide services and/or fittings in a building such as:

washing and sanitary facilities (e.g. WCs, showers, washbasins, kitchen sinks, etc).

Hot water cylinders,

Foul water and rainwater drainage.

Replacement windows.

Fuel burning appliances of any type.

then the Building Regulations will probably apply.


They may also apply to certain changes of use of an existing building           even though you may think that the work involved in the project will not amount to Building Work. This is because the change of use may result in the building as a whole no longer complying with the appropriate requirements for its new type of use, and so having to be up-graded to meet additional requirements specified in the regulations for which building work may also         be required.