Use of Guidance

  1. The approved documents
    1. LIMITATION ON REQUIREMENTS
      1. MATERIALS AND WORKMANSHIP
        1. INTERACTION WITH OTHER LEGISLATION

          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. Other requirements 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.
          Technical specifications
          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.
          Environmental Protection
          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.

          • Diagram1- Means of escape form dwellinghouses Diagram1 - Means of escape form dwellinghouses
          • Diagram 2 - Alternative arrangements for final exits Diagram 2 - Alternative arrangements for final exits
          • Diagram 3 - Fire separation in houses with more than one floor over 4.5m above ground level Diagram 3 - Fire separation in houses with more than one floor over 4.5m above ground level
          • Diagram 4 - Ground or basement storey exit into an enclosed space Diagram 4 - Ground or basement storey exit into an enclosed space.
          • Diagram 5 - Gallery floors with no alternative exit
          • Diagram 6 - Alternative cavity barrier arrangements in roof space over protected stairway in a house with a floor more than 4.5m above ground level Diagram 6 - Alternative cavity barrier arrangements in roof space over protected stairway in a house with a floor more than 4.5m above ground level
          • Diagram 7 - Fire resistance of areas adjacent to external stairs Diagram 7 - Fire resistance of areas adjacent to external stairs
          • Diagram 8 - Lighting diffuser in relation to ceiling Diagram 8 - Lighting diffuser in relation to ceiling
          • Diagram 9 - Layout restrictions on Class 3 plastice rooflights, TP(b) rooflights and TP(b) lighting diffusers Diagram 9 - Layout restrictions on Class 3 plastice rooflights, TP(b) rooflights and TP(b) lighting diffusers
          • Diagram 10 - Separation between garage and dwellinghouse Diagram 10 - Separation between garage and dwellinghouse
          • Diagram 11 - Junction of compartment wall with roof Diagram 11 - Junction of compartment wall with roof
          • Diagram 12 - Interrupting concealed spaces (cavities) Diagram 12 - Interrupting concealed spaces (cavities)
          • Diagram 13 - Cavity walls excluded from provisions for cavity barriers Diagram 13 - Cavity walls excluded from provisions for cavity barriers
          • Diagram 14 - Pipes penetrating structure Diagram 14 - Pipes penetrating structure
          • Diagram 15 - Enclosure for drainage or water supply pipes Diagram 15 - Enclosure for drainage or water supply pipes
          • Diagram 16 - Fules penetrating compartment walls or floors Diagram 16 - Fules penetrating compartment walls or floors
          • Diagram 17 - Relevant boundary Diagram 17 - Relevant boundary
          • Diagram 18 - Notional boundary Diagram 18 - Notional boundary
          • Diagram 19 - Status of combustible surface material as unprotected area Diagram 19 - Status of combustible surface material as unprotected area
          • Diagram 20 - Unprotected areas which may be disregarded in assessing the separation distances from the boundry Diagram 20 - Unprotected areas which may be disregarded in assessing the separation distances from the boundry
          • Diagram 21 - The effect of a conopy on separation distance Diagram 21 - The effect of a conopy on separation distance
          • Diagram 22 - Permitted unprotected areas for Method 1 Diagram 22 - Permitted unprotected areas for Method 1
          • Diagram 23 - Limitations on spacing and size of plastic rooflights having a Class 3 (National class) or Class D-s3, d2 (European class) or TP(b) lower surface Diagram 23 - Limitations on spacing and size of plastic rooflights having a Class 3 (National class) or Class D-s3, d2 (European class) or TP(b) lower surface
          • Diagram 24 - Turning facilities Diagram 24 - Turning Facilities
          • Table 1 - Classification of linings Table 1 - Classification of linings
          • Table 3 - Maximum nominal internal diameter of pipes passing through a fire separating element Table 3 - Maximum nominal internal diameter of pipes passing through a fire separating element
          • Table 3 - Maximum nominal internal diameter of pipes passing through a fire separating element Table 3 - Maximum nominal internal diameter of pipes passing through a fire separating element
          • Table 4 - Permitted unprotected areas for Method 2 Table 4 - Permitted unprotected areas for Method 2
          • Table 5 - Limitations on rood coverings Table 5 - Limitations on rood coverings
          • Table 6- Class 3 (National class) or Class D-s3, d2 (eurpean class) plstic rooflights - limitations on use and boundary distance Table 6- Class 3 (National class) or Class D-s3, d2 (eurpean class) plstic rooflights - limitations on use and boundary distance
          • Table 7 - TP (a) and TP (b) plastic rooflights- limitations on use and boundary distance Table 7 - TP (a) and TP (b) plastic rooflights- limitations on use and boundary distance
          • Table A8 - Typical performance ratings of some generic materails and products Table A8 - Typical performance ratings of some generic materails and products
          • Table A1 - Specific provisions of test for fire resistance of elements of structure etc Table A1 - Specific provisions of test for fire resistance of elements of structure etc
          • Table A1 continued Table A1 continued
          • Table A2 - Minimum periods of fire resistance for dwellinghouses Table A2 - Minimum periods of fire resistance for dwellinghouses
          • Table A3 - Limitations on fire - protecting suspended ceilings (see Table A1, Note 4) Table A3 - Limitations on fire - protecting suspended ceilings (see Table A1, Note 4)
          • Table A4 - Limitations on the use of uninsulated glazed elements on escape routes Table A4 - Limitations on the use of uninsulated glazed elements on escape routes
          • Table A5 - Notional designations of roof coverings Table A5 - Notional designations of roof coverings
          • Table A6 - Use and definitions of non-combustible materials Table A6 - Use and definitions of non-combustible materials
          • Table A7 - Use and definitions of materails of limited combustibillty Table A7 - Use and definitions of materails of limited combustibillty
          • Table A8 - Typical performance ratings of some generic materails and products Table A8 - Typical performance ratings of some generic materails and products
          • Table B1 Provision for fire doors Table B1 Provision for fire doors
          • Table  C1 - Height of top storey in building Table C1 - Height of top storey in building
          • Table D1 - Classification of Purpose Groups Table D1 - Classification of Purpose Groups