What is commonly known as the Building Regulations is a succession of regulatory instruments issued in accordance with the powers of the Building Act 1984. The core objectives of the Act are to secure the health, safety, welfare and convenience of people in and about buildings. The regulations apply to most new buildings and many alterations of existing buildings in England and Wales, whether domestic, commercial or industrial.
The building regulations govern the design and construction of buildings, services, fittings and equipment provided in a building and different specific matters within the Act. The Act addresses issues relating to the type of works or building that are covered, the expected national standards for carrying out such work, the supervising roles of local authorities and approved inspectors and how the provisions of the Act are enforceable.
Subsequent versions of the regulations have introduced provisions for the conservation of fuel and power and the securing of the protection and enhancement of the environment, for example with the recent introduction of Energy Performance Certificates as a prerequisite for the sale of any property.
The Building Regulations are set out in a series of Approved Documents relating to a range of technical areas, such as the structure of the building, fire protection, various safety issues, accessibility and so on. The major area of concern for sustainable development is energy use, covered by Approved Document Part L, the conservation of fuel and power.
Page last updated: 12 May 2010