They are national regulations, made by the government under powers given in the Building Act 1984.
The Building Regulations are completely separate from Town and Country Planning rules and regulations. Approval under Building Regulations does not give you planning permission and vice versa.
The Building Regulations are revised from time to time in accordance with Government Policy and changes in building methods. Currently the regulations cover the following areas of building construction:
- Part A: Structural stability, loading and ground movement.
- Part B: Means of escape in case of fire, internal fire spread, external fire spread and access and facilities for the Fire Service.
- Part C: Site preparation, dangerous and offensive substances and resistance of floors, walls and roofs to moisture.
- Part D: Toxic substances.
- Part E: Sound insulation of walls, floors and stairs. (This regulation only applies between dwellings and between dwellings and other buildings).
- Part F: Ventilation of buildings. The prevention of condensation in roofs.
- Part G: Provision of bathrooms, safety of hot water storage and provision of sanitary conveniences and washing facilities.
- Part H: Sanitary pipework and drainage, cesspools and septic tanks, rainwater drainage and the storage of solid waste.
- Part J: Air supply to heat producing appliances, discharge of the products of combustion and the protection of buildings from the risk of fire due to heat producing appliances chimneys and flues.
- Part K: Stairs ladders and ramps. Protection from falling. Vehicle barriers and loading bays. Protection from collision with open windows, sky lights and ventilators.
- Part L: Conservation of fuel and power i.e thermal insulation and the control of certain heating systems. Switching and design of artificial lighting systems.
- Part M: Access to and use of buildings - Means of access, sanitary conveniences and audience or spectator seating.
- Part N: Glazing, protection against impact, manifestation of glazing, safe opening and closing of windows, skylights and ventilators. Safe access for cleaning windows.
- Part P: Electrical safety - deals with the design, installation, inspection and testing of fixed electrical installations in the home. For more information ask for a copy of our basic guide to electrical safety in dwellings.
- Reg 7: Materials and workmanship.
Guidance documents approved by the government are available for each of these Approved Documents (external link).