The approved documents
This document is one of a series that has been approved and issued by the Secretary of State for the purpose of providing practical guidance with respect to the requirements of Schedule 1 to and Regulation 7 of the Building Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/2214) for England and Wales.
At the back of this document is a list of all the documents that have been approved and issued by the Secretary of State for this purpose.
The Approved Documents are intended to provide guidance for some of the more common building situations. However, there may well be alternative ways of achieving compliance with the requirements.
Thus there is no obligation to adopt any particular solution contained in an Approved Document if you prefer to meet the relevant requirement in some other way.
The guidance contained in an Approved Document relates only to the particular requirements of the Regulations which that document addresses. The building work will also have to comply with the Requirements of any other relevant paragraphs in Schedule 1 to the Regulations.
There are Approved Documents which give guidance on each of the other requirements in Schedule 1 and on Regulation 7.
LIMITATION ON REQUIREMENTS
In accordance with Regulation 8, the requirements in Parts A to D, F to K, N and P (except for paragraphs H2 and J7) of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations do not require anything to be done except for the purpose of securing reasonable standards of health and safety for persons in or about buildings (and any others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings). This is one of the categories of purpose for which Building Regulations may be made.
Paragraphs H2 and J7 are excluded from Regulation 8 because they deal directly with prevention of the contamination of water. Parts E and M (which deal, respectively, with resistance to the passage of sound, and access to and use of buildings) are excluded from Regulation 8 because they address the welfare and convenience of building users. Part L is excluded from Regulation 8 because it addresses the conservation of fuel and power. All these matters are amongst the purposes, other than health and safety, that may be addressed by Building Regulations.
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 the Approved Document to support regulation 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.
Independent certification schemes
There are many UK product certification schemes. Such schemes certify compliance with the requirements of a recognised document which is appropriate to the purpose for which the material is to be used. Materials which are not so certified may still conform to a relevant standard.
Many certification bodies which approve such schemes are accredited by United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).
Since the fire performance of a product, component or structure is dependent upon satisfactory site installation and maintenance, independent schemes of certification and accreditation of installers and maintenance firms of such will provide confidence in the appropriate standard of workmanship being provided.
Building Control Bodies may accept the certification of products, components, materials or structures under such schemes as evidence of compliance with the relevant standard. Similarly, Building Control Bodies may accept the certification of the installation or maintenance of products, components, materials or structures under such schemes as evidence of compliance with the relevant standard. Nonetheless, a Building Control Body will wish to establish, in advance of the work, that any such scheme is adequate for the purposes of the Building Regulations.
Building Regulations are made for specific purposes, such as health and safety, energy conservation and the welfare and convenience of people. Standards and technical approvals are relevant guidance to the extent that they relate
to these considerations. However, they may also address other aspects of performance such as serviceability, or aspects which, although they relate to health and safety, are not covered by the Regulations.
When an Approved Document makes reference to a named standard, the relevant version of the standard is the one listed at the end of the publication. However, if this version of the standard 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.
The appropriate use of a product which complies with a European Technical Approval as defined in the Construction Products Directive will meet the relevant requirements.
The Department intends to issue periodic amendments to its Approved Documents to reflect emerging harmonised European Standards. Where a national standard is to be replaced by a European harmonised standard, there will be a co-existence period during which either standard may be referred to. At the end of the co-existence period the national standard will be withdrawn.
INTERACTION WITH OTHER LEGISLATION
Houses in multiple occupation
This guidance may also be applicable to the design and construction of dwellings which are considered to be ‘houses in multiple occupation’ (HMOs), as defined in the Housing Act 2004, providing there are no more than six residents in any self-contained dwelling. The licensing of HMOs is typically overseen by the Local
Authority who may require additional precautions over and above this guidance. Technical guidance on the assessment of hazards from fire and preventive measures for HMOs is contained in the Housing Health and Safety Rating System Operating Guidance issued in February 2006 (ISBN: 978 185112 846 4).
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 contain some requirements which affect building design. The main requirements are now covered by the Building Regulations but for further information see: Workplace health, safety and welfare, The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations
1992, Approved Code of Practice and Guidance; The Health and Safety Commission, L24; published by HMSO 1992; ISBN: 0 11886 333 9.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 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. Where the requirements of the Building Regulations that are covered by this Part do not apply to dwellings, the provisions may still be required in the situations described above in order to satisfy the Workplace Regulations.
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2006
The purpose of this Approved Document is to provide guidance on the fire safety requirements for the completed building. It does not address the risk of fire during the construction work which is covered by the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2006 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. HSE has issued the following guidance on fire safety in construction: Construction Information Sheet No 51 Construction fire safety; and HSG 168 Fire safety in construction work (ISBN: 0 71761 332 1).
When the construction work is being carried out on a building which, apart from the construction site part of the building, is occupied, the Fire and Rescue Authority is responsible for the enforcement of the 2006 Regulations in respect of fire. Where the building is unoccupied, the Health and Safety Executive is responsible for enforcement on the construction site.
Requirements under Part B of the Building Regulations and the guidance in this Approved Document are made for the purpose of ensuring the health and safety of people in and around buildings.
The Environment Agency publishes guidance on the design and construction of buildings for the purpose of protecting the environment. This includes Pollution Prevention Guidelines (PPG18) on Managing Fire Water and Major Spillages, which seeks to minimise the effects of water run-off from firefighting. It is aimed at medium to large (and small, high-risk) commercial and industrial sites and sets out requirements for the construction of containment areas for contaminated water and such other measures.
It should be noted that compliance with the Building Regulations does not depend upon compliance with other such guidance.