The Importance of the Building Regulations

Should the Building Regulations be considered an unnecessary hurdle to negotiate for a building project? The short answer is no - most certainly not, and non-compliance with the Building Regulations may earn you or your builder a prosecution! James Shapland, Head of Building Surveying explains why.

The Importance of the Building Regulations

The Building Regulations are created by Government under the Building Act and play a vital role in ensuring construction and alteration work is carried out in an acceptable manner in terms of human safety, thermal efficiency and minimum construction standards.  There are a number of application methods, the choice of which will depend on the project, complexity of work, building type and competency of contractor:

  • A Building Notice is most suited to minor alteration and some small scale domestic extensions and is managed by on site assessment of the works by the building inspector.
  • A Full Plans submission involves the preparation and submission of detailed information such as drawings and notes which outlines how the Building Regulations are to be met. The plans are assessed for compliance before on site assessment of the works is carried out by the building inspector.
  • An application for Regularisation should only be considered as a last resort. This process is designed to regularise non-compliant works, or those which have been complete without going through either of the above two processes. This option can often be more expensive, disruptive and onerous.

Traditionally, submission would be made through the Local Authority Building Control department, but in modern times the use of independent Approved Inspectors is becoming more prevalent, ensuring a more competitive market for the service.

In summary therefore, it is important to consider the Building Regulations at an early stage. A good designer will be allowing for this aspect from the very early stages of a development design and will be able to advise you on the most appropriate route to compliance.

If you are considering alteration or development work, please speak with one of our Building Surveying team who will be able to guide you through the process.

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