Building Regulations & The Full Architectural Service
All significant building work, including house extensions, loft conversions and some house renovation projects that are carried out in the UK must comply with the Building Regulations.
Planning Permission and Building Regulations approvals are not connected, and receiving Planning Permission for a project does not mean that it has Building Regulations approval.
Compliance with the Building Regulations can be assessed by either the Council Building Control Department or by an Approved Building Inspector.
The best route to achieving compliance with the regulations is usually to submit a Full Plans Building Regulations Application which will need to include detailed drawings and information. Unlike Planning Application drawings which are primarily produced to show the form, size and materials of an architectural design, Building Regulations drawings are produced to demonstrate the design’s compliance with the technical regulations set out in building legislation.
Drawings for full plans Building Regulations approvals are therefore required to be much more detailed and technical than Planning drawings but the building regulation submission does not provide the same level of detail as full production information e.g. the working drawings produced as part of a full architectural service.
Any project involves a multitude of details that need to be addressed, whether it is the building regulations or construction details.
Anything not defined exactly will be left to you or your contractor as works progress on site.
Full production information would generally resolve this and the majority of details would be resolved prior to works commencing on site.
This production information would include assembly drawings (detailed junctions etc.), component drawings, (fitted joinery, windows, doors, stairs etc.) Details/Schedules (ironmongery, sanitary fittings, windows, doors, lighting, ceiling finishes, etc.).
Therefore a building regulation submission is not a production package, although on some occasions some clients are happy to use the building regulation submission for tendering purposes.
The building regulations submission will demonstrate compliance with the building regulations and will provide general guidance on the performance expected of materials and building work in order to comply with the building regulations.
The building regulations are broken down into the following sections:
Part A (structural safety)
Part B (fire safety) - volume 1: dwelling houses
Part C (resistance to contaminants and moisture)
Part D (toxic substances)
Part E (resistance to sound)
Part F (ventilation)
Part G (sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency)
Part H (drainage and waste disposal)
Part J (heat-producing appliances)
Part K (protection from falling)
Part L (conservation of fuel and power)
Part M (access to and use of buildings)
Part N (glazing safety)
Part P (electrical safety)
The Building Control Officer (BCO) will visit the site at key stages in the construction for inspections to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations.
If the BCO has not been present to witness the constructions of, for instance, the foundations, he or she has the power to order anything constructed over them to be opened up so that the inspection can be carried out.
BGA Architects are very experienced in working with a network of Structural Engineers and other consultants, and we can offer recommendations and guidance to you and coordinate the whole process on your behalf.
BGA Architects would therefore discharge with other professional e.g. structural engineers (Part A) and energy assessors (Part L) compliance with the building regulations.
The approval may be in the form of a full or conditional, this is because in some circumstances details are unknown due to site conditions/restrictions, e.g. below ground drainage or the structural calculations for roof trusses which are to be purchased during the construction phase.
Please note that all other application/professional fees and services for the entire project will need to be paid by you. Whilst we will endeavour to inform you of the involvement of the design team (structural engineer etc.) at an early stage this is not always possible.