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Building Regulations

Understanding UK building regulations is a key part of approaching architectural projects from a position of knowledge.

They are a key stage in the build process and, without a Building Control Approval or submission, works cannot start on site.

Complying with these Government regulations is essential to the success of any design project. It’s crucial to understand what the building regulations entail – and, more importantly, how they affect the build process, the programme and the build costs of any residential or development project.

At Unit One Architects, our experience as technically driven architects and technologists means we can provide our clients with expert support when it comes to adhering to building regulations and acquiring that all-important Building Control Approval.

The building regulations now also need to be considered at the planning stage – and gaining planning permission approval is dependent on us proving to the Local Authority that a proposed building can be developed into a Building Control Compliant and deliverable solution.

 

Find out more about UK building regulations and what they mean for you.

Part A: Structure

Structural integrity is a fundamental of architecture. Buildings must be designed and constructed to be structurally sound and to protect the stability of adjacent and surrounding buildings.

Part B: Fire safety

Safeguarding against potential hazards is crucial in the architectural planning process. Ensuring that buildings provide a safe means of escape in the event of a fire, as well as being designed in such a way as to protect the building – both internally and externally – and surrounding structures in the event of a fire is essential.

Part C: Resistance to contaminants & moisture

To guarantee a building is fit for use, actions should be taken not only to eliminate any existing mould inside the building, but also to protect the property from future contamination or damage.

Part D: Toxic substances

Insulating material in the walls of building can produce toxic fumes – and preventative measures should be taken to protect occupants from accidental inhalation.

Part E: Resistance to sound

The doors and walls that separate two residential properties should meet the minimum performance standard for sound insulation – with tests being completed by a registered UKAS organisation.

Part F: Ventilation

Buildings are required to satisfy ventilation and air quality standards, in order to guarantee a sufficient standard of living for the property’s inhabitants.

Part G: Sanitation, hygiene & water efficiency

To meet sanitation requirements, properties must include adequate sanitation facilities, as well as either a bath or shower with hot water access and unvented storage systems for the hot water.

Part H: Drainage & water disposal

Systems must be in place to transport water used for the washing, cooking, toilet, bath or shower to a sewer, settlement tank or cesspool – and access should also be available to where this water is collected. The building must also provide systems for general waste disposal and carrying rainwater away from the roof.

Part J: Combustion appliances & fuel storage systems

In line with regulations, properties should have a suitable air supply for combustion, and to guarantee the efficiency of a chimney or flue pipe. Appliances within the property should discharge combustion emissions outside, and any related fire hazards should be actively addressed.

Part K: Protection from falling

As part of ensuring the structural integrity of the building, stairways, ramps and ladders should meet the minimum safety standards to protect inhabitants from falls, collisions and impacts.

Part L: Conservation of fuel and power

Properties should be built with an attention to fuel and power conservation – guaranteeing maximum efficiency across lighting and heating, as well as considering the insulation values of materials used.

Part M: Access to & use of buildings

Provisions should be made to ensure complete access to and within the building, including providing adequate access and toilet facilities for disabled people.

Part P: Electrical safety

Safety should be a primary concern throughout the design, installation, inspection and testing of electrical fittings, and information should be available to anyone using or altering these installations in order to prevent fire and injury.

For further information on UK building regulations, or for specialist support on an architectural project, contact the expert development consultants at Unit One Architects.