The Building Regulations

The building regulations identify the rules by which buildings are designed and constructed in England and Wales (There are a different set of regulations for Scotland). These ‘rules’ are in fact part of the Building Act 1984 – government legislation that has since been subject to a number of additions and amendments, the last major one of which was in December 2010. However, the following amendments have been made to the regulations as follows:

  •  Approved Documents  K and P  from 6 April 2013
  • Approved Document 7 from 1 July 2013
  • Approved Documents A and C from 1 October 2013
  • Approved Document L (all parts) is scheduled for update in 2014

The Building Regulations were once presented in an A5 size manual as a set of prescriptive requirements with rigid and largely inflexible solutions. Whilst of course they remain ‘prescriptive’, they are now split into a set of ‘Approved Documents’ and form the Building Regulations Approved Documents 2000. These publications are split to cover various aspects and elements of building design and construction e.g. Fire Safety, Structure, Ventilation etc. and are open to accept a variety of solutions for compliance with a given regulation.

The Approved Documents now contain each Building Regulation in brief.  The remainder of the document is given over to describing, illustrating and outlining how each regulation may be complied with.

It is compliance with the Building Regulations that is important, not how it is achieved.

There are several books available that successfully manage to simplify the Building Regulations / Approved Documents into more everyday language, explaining how the standards may be met and complied with.

For those that are interested further the Building Regulations are hosted on the Planning Portal web site.  There is additional information concerning government policy, the appeals process and some limited information and links on ‘greener buildings’.

Approved Documents downloads –

The download links below will provide PDFs (portable document files) which you may keep electronically or print hard copies as you wish. The files are subject to limited Crown Copyright restrictions. (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

A guide to the current building regulations providing a general overview can be downloaded from the Planning Portal.

The following provides a full list of all the current Building Regulations Approved Documents, which can be downloaded from this site for free:

(* indicates date of last publication / re-printing).

You should be aware that all Approved Document publications remain Crown Copyright and are subject to limitations with regard to further publishing. They may be distributed freely within an organisation, or kept for private reference.

All downloads of Crown Copyright material are carried out under license granted to this web site.

Further information concerning Crown copyright may also be found on the Planning Portal.