Use of guidance

THE APPROVED DOCUMENTS

This document is one of a series that has been approved by the First 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.

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 parts of Schedule 1 and on Regulation 7.

LIMITATION ON REQUIREMENTS

In accordance with regulation 8, the requirements in Parts A to K and N 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 the buildings.

OTHER HEALTH AND SAFETY LEGISLATION

Health and safety regulations such as the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 may impose requirements on employers and those in control of buildings used as workplaces in relation to certain physical characteristics of the workplace. There are also requirements in health and safety law which affect building design. In particular, regulation 11 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 places duties on designers including the need to take account of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 which relate to the design of, and materials used in, any structure intended for use as a workplace.

Where such regulations apply there may be confusion as to whether the Building Regulations or health and safety requirements take precedence, as both will apply. Where an inspector for the purposes of the Health and Safety at Work etc.Act 1974 has identified a contravention of such health and safety regulations they may seek to serve an improvement notice to secure compliance. In such circumstances the inspector is prevented by virtue of Section 23(3) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 from requiring measures which are more onerous than necessary to comply with any requirements of the Building Regulations, unless the specific requirement of health and safety regulations are themselves more onerous.

OTHER FORMS OF HOUSE CONSTRUCTION

This Approved Document includes guidance on structural elements of residential buildings of traditional masonry construction. It is recognised, however, that there are other suitable forms of construction in use in the housing sector some of which (e.g. timber framed) have been in common use for a number of years and have demonstrated an adequate performance in compliance with the A1 requirement. Such alternative forms include prefabricated timber, light steel and precast concrete framed construction.

A number of guidance documents relating to these alternative forms are presently being developed by industry. The intention is to reference these in this Approved Document as soon as they become available and are approved by the Secretary of State.

BRITISH STANDARDS

The British Standards Institution notified the British Standards for structural design referenced in the 2004 edition of this Approved Document as withdrawn on 31 March 2010. British Standards for structural design based upon the Eurocodes were correspondingly implemented by the British Standards Institution on 1 April 2010 and it is these standards with their UK National Annexes which are now referenced in this Approved Document as practical guidance on meeting Part A requirements.

The British Standards Institution The Requirements

This Approved Document deals with the following Requirements which are contained in the Building Regulations 2010.

Loading

A1. (1) The building shall be constructed so that the combined dead, imposed and wind loads are sustained and transmitted by it to the ground:

  • (a) safely; and
  • (b) without causing such deflection or deformation of any part of the building, or such movement of the ground, as will impair the stability of any part of another building.
  • (2) In assessing whether a building complies with sub paragraph (1) regard shall be had to the imposed and wind loads to which it is likely to be subjected in the ordinary course of its use for the purpose for which it is intended.

Ground movement

A2. The building shall be constructed so that ground movement caused by:

  • (a) swelling, shrinkage or freezing of the subsoil; or
  • (b) land-slip or subsidence (other than subsidence arising from shrinkage, in so far as the risk can be reasonably foreseen), will not impair the stability of any part of the building.

  1. The Approved Documents

    The Approved Documents

    THE APPROVED DOCUMENTS

    This document is one of a series that has been approved by the First 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.

    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 parts of Schedule 1 and on Regulation 7.

    LIMITATION ON REQUIREMENTS

    In accordance with regulation 8, the requirements in Parts A to K and N 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 the buildings.

    OTHER HEALTH AND SAFETY LEGISLATION

    Health and safety regulations such as the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 may impose requirements on employers and those in control of buildings used as workplaces in relation to certain physical characteristics of the workplace. There are also requirements in health and safety law which affect building design. In particular, regulation 11 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 places duties on designers including the need to take account of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 which relate to the design of, and materials used in, any structure intended for use as a workplace.

    Where such regulations apply there may be confusion as to whether the Building Regulations or health and safety requirements take precedence, as both will apply. Where an inspector for the purposes of the Health and Safety at Work etc.Act 1974 has identified a contravention of such health and safety regulations they may seek to serve an improvement notice to secure compliance. In such circumstances the inspector is prevented by virtue of Section 23(3) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 from requiring measures which are more onerous than necessary to comply with any requirements of the Building Regulations, unless the specific requirement of health and safety regulations are themselves more onerous.

    OTHER FORMS OF HOUSE CONSTRUCTION

    This Approved Document includes guidance on structural elements of residential buildings of traditional masonry construction. It is recognised, however, that there are other suitable forms of construction in use in the housing sector some of which (e.g. timber framed) have been in common use for a number of years and have demonstrated an adequate performance in compliance with the A1 requirement. Such alternative forms include prefabricated timber, light steel and precast concrete framed construction.

    A number of guidance documents relating to these alternative forms are presently being developed by industry. The intention is to reference these in this Approved Document as soon as they become available and are approved by the Secretary of State.

    BRITISH STANDARDS

    The British Standards Institution notified the British Standards for structural design referenced in the 2004 edition of this Approved Document as withdrawn on 31 March 2010. British Standards for structural design based upon the Eurocodes were correspondingly implemented by the British Standards Institution on 1 April 2010 and it is these standards with their UK National Annexes which are now referenced in this Approved Document as practical guidance on meeting Part A requirements.

    The British Standards Institution The Requirements

    This Approved Document deals with the following Requirements which are contained in the Building Regulations 2010.

    Loading

    A1. (1) The building shall be constructed so that the combined dead, imposed and wind loads are sustained and transmitted by it to the ground:

    • (a) safely; and
    • (b) without causing such deflection or deformation of any part of the building, or such movement of the ground, as will impair the stability of any part of another building.
    • (2) In assessing whether a building complies with sub paragraph (1) regard shall be had to the imposed and wind loads to which it is likely to be subjected in the ordinary course of its use for the purpose for which it is intended.

    Ground movement

    A2. The building shall be constructed so that ground movement caused by:

    • (a) swelling, shrinkage or freezing of the subsoil; or
    • (b) land-slip or subsidence (other than subsidence arising from shrinkage, in so far as the risk can be reasonably foreseen), will not impair the stability of any part of the