The Building Regulations

Building Regulations are in place to ensure that all construction carried out within the UK is done so with good workmanship, acceptable materials and to safe building practices.

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 regulations apply to most new buildings and many alterations of existing buildings, whether domestic, commercial or industrial. 

Building Regulations apply in England & Wales and promote:

Standards for most aspects of a building's construction, including its structure, fire safety, sound insulation, drainage, ventilation and electrical safety. Electrical safety was added in January 2005 to reduce the number of deaths, injuries and fires caused by faulty electrical installations.

Energy efficiency in buildings. The changes to the regulations on energy conservation came into effect on 6 April 2006 & aim to save a million tonnes of carbon emissions each year by 2010 and help to combat climate change.

The needs of all people, including those with disabilities, in accessing and moving around buildings. They set standards for buildings to be accessible and hazard-free wherever possible.

Who's Responsibility Is It To Comply?

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’s – 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 complywith the regulations.

So it is important that you choose your builder carefully. 

The fourteen ‘parts’ of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations are:



A. Structure

B. Fire safety

C. Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture.

D. Toxic substances.

E. Resistance to the passage of sound.

F. Ventilation.

G. Hygiene.

H. Drainage and waste disposal.

J. Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems.

K. Protection from falling, collision and impact.

L. Conservation of fuel and power.

M. Access to and use of buildings.

N. Glazing – safety in relation to impact, opening and cleaning.

P. Electrical safety.

Obtaining The Best Advice


Unless you have a reasonable working knowledge of building construction it would be advisable before any work is started to obtain appropriate professional advice which is relevant to the

building work you want to carry out. 

This is where Greenfields Architectural Services can help you.

We have experienced Architects, Structural Engineers and Building Surveyors on hand to advise you on how best to proceed with your project so as to comply fully with the regulations.


Do I Need To Consult My Neighbours About My Proposed Works.

Generally there are no obligations to consult your neighbours,but it would be sensible to do so.


In any event, you should be careful that your proposed building work does not interfere with their property as this could lead to bad feeling and possibly civil action for the modification or removal of the work.


For example, your work may comply with the Building Regulations but could result in the obstruction or malfunctioning of your neighbour’s boiler flue.


You should also check your boundary lines and satisfy

yourself that there are no deeds of covenant which may prevent you carrying out certain types of building work close to or directly adjoining your neighbour’s property.


Although consultation with your neighbours is not required under the Building Regulations, you should note that if your project is subject to the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 you must give notice to

adjoining owners under that Act. Consultation and objection procedures may also come into play if other legislation is involved – particularly, for

example, if your proposal requires approval under Town and Country Planning legislation.

There Are Two Different Types of Building Regulation Procedure's.

Depending upon the scale and type of work involved you may have the option of following one of two different procedures.


l). The depositing of a full plans application; or

2). The giving of a building notice (except for certain types of building work – primarily in respect of fire safety issues, where a building is used as a workplace or where it may affect a drain).

What Are The Differences Between The Full Plans & Building Notice Procedure?

Full Plans Procedure Explained.

An application deposited under this procedure needs to contain plans and other information showing all construction details, preferably well in advance of when work is to start on site.


Your local authority will check your plans and consult any appropriate authorities (e.g. fire and sewerage).


They must complete the procedure by issuing you with a decision within five weeks or, if you agree, a maximum of two months from the date of deposit.


When the plans deposited are deemed to comply with the Building Regulations you will receive

a notice stating that they have been approved.


If the local authority is not satisfied you will be asked to make amendments or provide more details. Alternatively, a conditional approval may

be issued. This will either specify modifications which must be made to the plans; or will specify further plans which must be deposited with your authority.


Your local authority may only apply conditions if you have either requested them to do so or have consented to them doing so. A request or consent must be made in writing.


A full plans approval notice is valid for three years from the date of deposit of the plans, after which the local authority may send you a notice to declare the approval of no effect if the building work has not commenced.


Your local authority will carry out inspections of the building work once it is in progress. They will explain about the notification procedures which the regulations require you to follow at various stages of the work – e.g. in connection with

foundations, damp proof courses and drains. In addition, if you request an inspection when you first make your application, the local authority will issue you with a completion certificate provided

they are content that the completed work complies with the Building Regulations.

A further point to bear in mind is that, if a disagreement arises with your local authority, the ‘full plans’ procedure enables you

to ask for a ‘determination’ from (in England) the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister or (in Wales) the Welsh Assembly Government about whether your plans do or do not comply with the Building Regulations. This however is very rarely the case.

Fees for the Local Authorities service can vary from council to council this information can be provided upon request.

Building Notice Procedure Explained.

This procedure does not involve the passing or rejecting of plans.

It therefore avoids the preparation of detailed ‘full plans’, and is designed to enable some types of building work to get under way quickly; although it is perhaps best suited to small work.

There are also specific exclusions in the regulations as to when building notices cannot be used. These are for building work which is subject to section 1 of the Fire Precautions Act 1971 or Part II of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997; for work which will be built close to or over the top of

rain water and foul drains shown on the ‘map of sewers’; and where a new building will front onto a

private street.

If you decide to use this procedure you need to be confident that the work will comply with the Building Regulations or you will risk having to correct any work you carry out if your local authority requests this. In this respect you do not have the protection provided by the approval of ‘full plans’.

Once you have given your ‘building notice’ and informed your local authority that you are about to start work, the work will be inspected as it progresses.You will be advised by the authority

if the work does not comply with the Building Regulations. 

If before the start of work, or while work is in progress, your local authority requires further information such as structural design calculations or plans, you must supply the details requested. 

A ‘building notice’ is valid for three years from the date the notice was given to the local authority, after which it will automatically lapse if the building work has not commenced.

A local authority is not required to issue a completion certificate under the ‘building notice’ procedure; and because no ‘full plans’ are produced it is not possible to ask for a determination if your local authority says your work does not comply with the Building Regulations. 

Fees for the Local Authorities service can vary from council to council this information can be provided upon request.

Building Regulation Services We At Greenfields Architectural Services Provide.

We produce detailed construction plans & structural calculations for submission to the local authority to show that your proposals comply fully with the building regulations.

These plans can also be used by the builder to construct from and also to give you a detailed costings breakdown for the proposed works. We liaise with building control on your behalf and the builder throughout the construction phase of the project and should the need arise attend site to inspect and advise on the works being carried out.







Greenfields Architectural Services, Lakeside Studios, 14 Saffron Crescent, Carterton, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, OX18 1LE
Tel. No: 07856736328 | Email:

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