Building Regulation Approval
In the UK the Building Regulations provide the standard that buildings should be built and altered to ensure that they are structurally sound, can be used safely, is energy efficient and can be accessed by the disabled. Most construction projects will need building regulation approval such as: new buildings, extensions, conversions and alterations. How we can help with Building Regulations.
Building regulations are defined in statutory instruments that seek to ensure that the policies set out in the relevant legislation are carried out and approved documents are supplied by the Government to give guidance on this is achieved. The guidance documents contain the minimum requirements for compliance are divided into different parts with these currently being:
To ensure that the minimum standards given in the guidance is achieved a Building Control Body must be engaged to complete a survey of the completed work at various stages including:
Ground and floors
Structural beams and openings
Once all the building is finished a final survey will be undertaken to ensure the work meets all the requirements of the Building Regulations and once the inspector is happy that has been achieved a completion certificate will be issued. It is important this certificate is obtained because it proves that the building work is safe and can be requested by mortgage lenders, insurance companies and searches that are used during property transactions etc.
Until the 1990s all Building Control was undertaken by local authorities (LABC) when changes allowed for the use of private Building Control (AIBC) and now there is the option to use either. Both types must be approved and offer the same service but there can be advantages and disadvantages for each. Often you will pay a little extra for a private option but usually this will mean you have a dedicated inspector and the application is often processed quicker whereas a local authority costs will be lower but sometimes more than one inspector will be involved.
There are a couple of methods to apply for building regulation approval prior to work commencing full plans and a building notice. The full plan and building notice options are available with local authorities and private building control, but only local authorities undertake approval for work already completed without consent ‘regularisation’ is possible only with local authorities.
Full Plan Applications – this requires plans and information to be submitted to building control that show the full details of the proposed work and the site location.
Building Notice – is only really suited to smaller projects and does not require plans to be submitted prior to work commencing. They cannot be used 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, 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 a private street.
Regularisation – this requires plans and information to be submitted to building control that show the full details of the unauthorised work and the building regulation requirements at the time it was completed.
How we can help with Building Regulations
We would always recommend using a Full Plan application for the building work you are undertaking because this method helps to iron out any problems in complying with the Building Regulations before the work commences. In the long run this would help to make the job run smoother, allow the budget to be controlled, project plans to be followed with timescales more accurate.
If planning permission is needed for your project, then building regulation approval will follow once the permission is granted. For other projects including permitted development the application for building regulation approval will be undertaken once the final design is agreed. For all building projects approval will need to be gained before the work starts.
To make a Full Plan application for building regulation approval information will need to be supplied to Building Control that give full details of the proposed work and how this complies with the building regulations.
Our role will be to submit this information with scaled annotated drawings being produced that show the existing building and the proposed work – Including floor plans, elevations and sections. A specification will detail the building regulations that are needed for the work and how the work will comply with these. Depending on the type of work to be undertaken additional information such as calculations for structure, thermal, water consumption, etc. may be required. Once building control have details of the project the plans will be checked and approved, or amendments requested. This approval is needed before work starts.
A detailed quotation is given for each project and will include our fee for the drawings and specification with any amendments requested by building control being included. For additional requirements we will obtain several quotes from the companies we use and/or from those that you recommend.