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Introduction to Building Control

Last Modified March 27, 2013
 

Building Control ensures buildings are properly designed and constructed for the health, safety, welfare and convenience of people using them.

Most building work (including new buildings, extensions, alterations and many other changes of use to a building) requires approval under the Building Control regulations.  
The Building Regulations 2010 (as amended) determine the fundamentals of construction. The regulations can be found at the front of the Approved Documents, which are in place to show compliance, however the approved documents are not supposed to be prescriptive and there are other ways in which compliance can be achieved.
The Approved Documents are available for viewing on the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) website. 

This is not the same as planning permission so you should check with a planning officer to see if you also require planning permission.

The principal areas covered by the Building Regulations are:

  • structural stability - will the building safely carry anticipated loadings?
  • fire precautions - controlling the materials used and ensuring buildings could be evacuated without loss of life during a fire.
  • the prevention of dampness and condensation in buildings
  • sound resistance of walls and floors between buildings
  • ventilation of habitable rooms and unheated voids
  • hygiene, sanitary appliances and drainage
  • heating appliances including the safe discharge of flue gasses
  • stairways, ramps and vehicle barriers
  • conservation of fuel and power
  • access to buildings and facilities for disabled people
  • the safe positioning of glazing in windows and doors.

 

Building Control generally operates as a two-stage process, referred to as the Full Plans application. The first stage (known as the plan stage) involves you submitting detailed plans for approval. These are carefully checked by a building control officer to ensure all necessary information is shown, and that it complies fully with the Building Regulations 2010 (as amended) . Wherever possible, you are given the opportunity to make amendments (if required) before either an approval, conditional approval or rejection is given.

The second stage (inspection stage) involves a series of site visits to check work proceeds in accordance with the plan, and complies with the regulations.

For more simple works an alternative, called the Building Notice application, is also available together with more specialised application types to meet specific needs.

 If you require further information please contact the Building Control team.

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