What are building regulations?

Building Regulations set standards for design and construction which apply to most new buildings and many alterations to existing buildings in England. 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 access to and use of buildings.

Building regulations are laid out in 14 parts dealing with individual aspects of building design and construction ranging from structural matters, fire safety, and energy conservation –to hygiene, sound insulation, and access to and use of buildings. Not all the functional requirements may apply to your building work, but all those which do apply must be complied with as part of the

overall process of complying with the Building Regulations.

To summarise, Building Regulations will probably apply if you want to:

  • Put up a new building.
  • Extend or alter an existing one.
  • Provide services and/or fittings in a building such as washing and sanitary facilities, hot water cylinders, foul water and rainwater drainage, replacement windows, and fuel burning appliances of any type.

One should bear in mind that complying with the Building Regulations is a separate matter from obtaining planning permission for your work. Similarly, receiving any planning permission which your work may require is not the same as taking action to ensure that it complies with the Building Regulations. 

 Who is responsible for complying with Building Regulations?

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.( click here for exceptions).The primary responsibility for achieving compliance with the regulations rests with the person carrying out the building work.

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. Contact us if you require a competent builder.

Fourteen Parts of Building Regulations

The requirements with which building work should comply are contained in Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations and are grouped under the fourteen 'parts':

•    Part A - Structure,
•    Part B - Fire safety,
•    Part C - Site preparation and resistance to moisture,
•    Part D - Toxic substances,
•    Part E - Resistance to the passage of sound,
•    Part F – Ventilation,
•    Part G – Hygiene,
•    Part H - Drainage and waste disposal
•    Part J - Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems,
•    Part K - Protection from falling, collision and impact
•    Part L - Conservation of fuel and power
•    Part M - Access to and use of buildings,
•    Part N - Glazing - safety in relation to impact, opening and cleaning
•    Part P - Electrical safety. 


The Building Regulations can be contravened by not following the building control procedures they set out for handling your building work, and/or by carrying out building work which does not comply with the requirements contained in the Building Regulations.

If a person carrying out building work contravenes the Building Regulations, the local authority or another person may decide to take them to the magistrates’ court where they could be fined up to £5000 for the contravention, and up to £50 for each day the contravention continues after conviction. For more information on enforcement click here

Few Examples of buildings which are exempt from control under the Building Regulations
1. A detached single storey building, having a floor area which does not exceed 30m2, which contains no sleeping
accommodation and is a building—
      (a) no point of which is less than one metre from the boundary of its curtilage; or
      (b) which is constructed substantially of non-combustible material.

2. A detached building designed and intended to shelter people from the effects of nuclear, chemical or conventional weapons,
and not used for any other purpose, if—
      (a) its floor area does not exceed 30m²; and
      (b) the excavation for the building is no closer to any exposed part of another building or structure than a distance equal to the depth of the excavation plus one metre.

3. A detached building, having a floor area which does not exceed 15m², which contains no sleeping accommodation.
The extension of a building by the addition at ground level of—
     (a) a conservatory, porch, covered yard or covered way; or
     (b) a carport open on at least two sides;

Works not controlled by Building Regulations
Vehicle crossovers are controlled by the individual council.

  • Hoarding, scaffold and skip licenses.
  • Erection of boundary fence and boundary walls, but these may be controlled by Planning legislation.
  • Works relating to common areas between two properties may come under Party Wall Act and is not controlled by Building


  • New driveway or patio areas are not controlled by Building Regulations.
  • If you are carrying out building work personally, it is very important that you understand how the building regulatory system and material applies to your situation as you are responsible for making sure that the work complies with the building regulations.
    If you are carrying out, or having construction or building work done, you may need to notify the  Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and may have other duties as well.

Please call Plan B Architecture Today On 0208 4072472 To Find Out How We Can Help You With Building Regulations And Building Control Application. 

Please click here for Building Regulation FAQ

Last modified on Sunday, 18 February 2018 17:04