Types of work covered by this Approved Document
Building work, as deﬁned in regulation 3 of the Building Regulations 2010, includes the erection and extension of a building, the provision or extension of a controlled service or ﬁtting, and the material alteration of a building or a controlled service or ﬁtting. In addition, Building Regulations may apply in cases where the purposes for which or the manner or circumstances in which a building or part of a building is used change in a way that constitutes a material change of use.
Under regulation 4 of the Building Regulations 2010, building work should be carried out in such a way that, on completion of work,
i. the building complies with the applicable Parts of Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations,
ii. in the case of an extension or material alteration of a building, or the provision, extension or material alteration of a controlled service or ﬁtting, where it did not comply with any such requirement, it is no more unsatisfactory in relation to that requirement than before the work was carried out.
Work described in Part G concerns the provision or extension of controlled services or ﬁttings. Work associated with installations covered in these sections may be subject to other relevant Parts of the Building Regulations.
Material change of use
A material change of use occurs in speciﬁed circumstances in which a building or part of a building that was previously used for one purpose will be used in future for another. Where there is a material change of use the Building Regulations set requirements that must be met before the building can be used for its new purpose.
Regulation 5 of the Building Regulations speciﬁes the following circumstances as material changes of use:
- a building is used as a dwelling where previously it was not
- a building contains a ﬂat where previously it did not
- a building is used as an hotel or boarding house where previously it was not
- a building is used as an institution where previously it was not
- a building is used as a public building where previously it was not
- a building no longer comes within the exemptions in Schedule 2 to the Building Regulations where previously it did
- a building which contains at least one dwelling contains a greater or lesser number of dwellings than it did previously
- a building contains a room for residential purposes where previously it did not
- a building which contains at least one room for residential purposes contains a greater or lesser number of such rooms than it did previously
- a building is used as a shop where previously it was not
Parts G1, G3(1) to (3) and G4 to G6 will apply to all the material changes of use mentioned above. This means that whenever such changes occur the building must be brought up to the standards required by Parts G1 and G3 to G6.
Parts G2, G3(4) and regulation 36 will apply only to material changes of use where a building is used as a dwelling where previously it was not and where a building contains a ﬂat where previously it did not.
The types of building work covered by this Approved Document may include work on historic buildings. Historic buildings include:
a. listed buildings
b. buildings situated in designated conservation areas
c. buildings which are of architectural or historic interest and which are referred to as a material consideration in a local authority’s development plan
d. buildings of architectural and historical interest within national parks, areas of outstanding or natural beauty and world heritage sites.
Special considerations may apply if the building on which the work is to be carried out has special historic or architectural value, and compliance with the sanitation or hot water safety requirements would unacceptably alter the character or appearance of the building or parts of it.
When undertaking work on or in connection with buildings with special historic or architectural value, the aim should be to improve sanitation and hot water safety where and to the extent that it is possible provided that the work does not prejudice the character of the host building or increase the risk of long-term deterioration to the building’s fabric or ﬁttings.
In arriving at a balance between historic building conservation and sanitation or hot water safety requirements, it would be appropriate to take into account the advice of the local authority’s conservation ofﬁcer before work begins. Guidance is also available in the English Heritage publication Building Regulations and Historic Buildings, 2002 (revised 2004), which is available at www.english-heritage.org.uk.
Note: Any building in the schedule of monuments maintained under section 1 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 is exempt from all Building Regulations requirements including those in Part G.
Notiﬁcation of work
In almost all cases of new building work it will be necessary to notify a BCB in advance of any work starting. There are two exceptions to this: where work is carried out under a self- certiﬁcation scheme listed in Schedule 3, and where work is listed in Schedule 4 to the Building Regulations as being not notiﬁable.
Competent person self-certiﬁcation schemes under Schedule 3
Under regulation 12(6) of the Building Regulations it is not necessary to notify a BCB in advance of work which is covered by this Approved Document if that work is of a type set out in column 1 of Schedule 3 to the Regulations and is carried out by a person registered with a relevant self-certiﬁcation (competent persons) scheme as set out in column 2 of that Schedule. In order to join such a scheme a person must demonstrate competence to carry out the type of work the scheme covers, and also the ability to comply with all relevant requirements in the Building Regulations. Details of current schemes including those relating to sanitation, hot water safety and water efﬁciency can be found at www.gov.uk. These schemes may change from time to time, or schemes may change name, or new schemes may be authorised; so the current list on the website should always be consulted. Full details of the schemes can be found on the individual scheme websites.
Where work is carried out by a person registered with a competent person scheme, regulation 20 of the Building Regulations and regulation 20(1) of the Building (Approved Inspectors etc.) Regulations 2010 require that the occupier of the building be given, within 30 days of the completion of the work, a certiﬁcate conﬁrming that the work complies with all applicable Building Regulation requirements. There is also a requirement that the BCB be given a notice that this has been done, or a copy of the certiﬁcate, again within 30 days of the completion of the work. These certiﬁcates and notices are usually made available through the scheme operator.
BCBs are authorised to accept these certiﬁcates as evidence of compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations. However, local authority inspection and enforcement powers remain unaffected, although they are normally used only in response to a complaint that work does not comply.
Work which is not notiﬁable under Schedule 4
Schedule 4 to the Building Regulations sets out types of work where there is no requirement to notify a BCB that work is to be carried out. These types of work are mainly of a minor nature where there is no signiﬁcant risk to health, safety, water efﬁciency or energy efﬁciency. Health, safety, water efﬁciency and energy efﬁciency requirements continue to apply to these types of work; only the need to notify a BCB has been removed.
Where only non-notiﬁable work as set out in Schedule 4 is carried out, there is no requirement for a certiﬁcate conﬁrming that the work complies with Building Regulation requirements to be given to the occupier or the BCB.
The types of non-notiﬁable work in Schedule 4 relevant to the sanitation, hot water safety and water efﬁciency provisions of the Regulations are:
i. in an existing hot water system, the replacement of any part which is not a combustion appliance, or the addition of an output device or control device. The work will however remain notiﬁable where commissioning is possible, and will affect the reasonable use of fuel and This is most likely to be where water heaters are being provided
ii. the installation of a stand-alone, self-contained ﬁxed hot water appliance. This is restricted to a single appliance and any associated controls and must not be connected to, or form part of, any other ﬁxed building service. However, if any of the following apply, the work will remain notiﬁable building work:
- the service is a combustion appliance
- any electrical work associated with the installation is notiﬁable
- commissioning is possible and would affect the service’s energy efﬁciency, such as that of water heaters
iii. the replacement of a sanitary convenience with one that uses no more water than the one it replaces, a washbasin, sink, bidet, ﬁxed bath, or a shower but only where the work does not include any work to:
- underground drainage
- the hot or cold water system or above- ground drainage which could prejudice the health and safety of any person on completion of work
iv. replacing any part or adding an output or control device to an existing cold water supply
v. providing a hot water storage system that has a storage vessel with a capacity not exceeding 15 litres provided that any electrical work associated with the installation is also not notiﬁable.
Schedule 4 also sets out what types of electrical installation work in dwellings is non-notiﬁable. Full information on this is given in Approved Document P.
Schedule 2 to the Building Regulations sets out a number of classes of buildings which are exempt from all Building Regulations requirements. However, the exemption has been removed in respect of some requirements of Part G where hot or cold water supply systems are shared with other buildings. This is to help ensure that the whole hot or cold water system is safe. In particular:
i. the requirements of Parts G 1, G3(2) and G3(3) will apply to any greenhouse which receives a hot or cold water supply from a source shared with or located inside a dwelling
ii. the requirements of Parts G1, G3(2) and G3(3) will apply to any small detached building falling within Class 6 of Schedule 2 and any extension falling within Class 7 of Schedule 2 (which includes conservatories under 30 m2 in area) which receives a hot or cold water supply shared with or located inside any building that is subject to the Regulations.
Please note that the Regulations do not require the provision of hot or cold water systems to such exempt buildings, but if such systems are provided they must meet the minimum hygiene and safety requirements in those Parts.
All other Classes of buildings within Schedule 2 retain their exemption from compliance with Part G.
Materials and workmanship
Any building work which is subject to the requirements imposed by Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations shall be carried out in accordance with regulation 7. Guidance on meeting these requirements on materials and workmanship is contained in Approved Document 7.
Building Regulations are made for specific purposes, primarily the health and safety, welfare and convenience of people and for energy conservation. Standards and other technical specifications may provide relevant guidance to the extent that they relate to these considerations. However, they may also address other aspects of performance or matters which, although they relate to health and safety etc., are not covered by the Building Regulations.
When an Approved Document makes reference to a named standard, the relevant version of the standard to which it refers is the one listed at the end of the publication. However, if this version has been revised or updated by the issuing standards body, the new version may be used as a source of guidance provided it continues to address the relevant requirements of the Regulations.
Supplementary guidance and Interaction with other legislation
The Department for Communities and Local Government occasionally issues additional material to aid interpretation of the guidance in Approved Documents. This material may be conveyed in ofﬁcial letters to chief executives of local authorities and Approved Inspectors and/or posted on the websites accessed through: www.gov.uk.
Interaction with other legislation
This Approved Document makes reference to other legislation, including those listed below, that may also need to be considered.
Note: All statutory instruments can be accessed at www.legislation.gov.uk.
The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/3184 as amended), and in Wales the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001/3911 as amended) are made under the Water Industry Act 1991 and apply to the supply of water by a statutory water undertaker or a licensed water supplier. They make provision for the wholesomeness of water supplied for such domestic purposes as consist in or include cooking, drinking, food preparation or washing; or to premises in which food is produced.
The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/1148 as amended) are made under the Water Industry Act 1991 and apply to any water ﬁtting installed or used, or to be installed or used, in premises to which water is or is to be supplied by a water undertaker. They make provision for preventing contamination, waste, misuse, undue consumption and erroneous measurement of water supplied by a statutory water undertaker or licensed water supplier.
The Private Water Supplies Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/3101) in England and The Private Water Supplies (Wales) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/66) in Wales are made under the Water Industry Act 1991 and section 2(2) of the European Communications Act 1972 and are concerned with the quality of water supplied from private supplies for drinking, washing or cooking or for food preparation purposes.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/3004 as amended) are made under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and apply to any workplace or part of a workplace. They apply to the common parts of ﬂats and similar buildings if people such as cleaners, wardens and caretakers are employed to work in these common parts. They make provision for, amongst other matters, space requirements, cleaning and provision of sanitary conveniences.
Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/14 as amended) and the Food Hygiene (Wales) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/31 W5 as amended) are made under European Communities Act 1972 and apply to measures relating to food (including drink) including the primary production of food. The provision of washbasins and sinks is relevant to Approved Document G.
Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations (SI 1998/2451) extend to all dangers arising from the transmission, distribution, supply or use of gas conveyed from a gas storage vessel. The installation of gas heated water systems is relevant to Approved Document G.