Building Control

Our vision is for a building control system which ensures buildings are safe, healthy, accessible and sustainable for current and future generations


Building Regulations - What are they and why do we need them?

The Building Regulations are a national set of regulations made under the powers of the Building Act 1984. They provide guidance through Approved Documents, which provide a minimum level of acceptable building practice and design.

The Regulations are arranged in a series of Approved Documents, each covering the following:

  • A Structure
  • B Fire safety
  • C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture
  • D Toxic substances
  • E Resistance to the passage of sound
  • F Ventilation
  • G Sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency
  • H Drainage and waste disposal
  • J Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems
  • K Protection from falling, collision and impact
  • L Conservation of fuel and power
  • M Access to and use of buildings
  • N Glazing - safety in relation to impact, opening and cleaning
  • P Electrical safety

Building Regulations are necessary so that the minimum standards of design and construction for new buildings, alterations and extensions are met in order to:

  • safeguard the health and safety of persons in and around the buildings
  • to conserve energy through insulation and control usage
  • to provide access and facilities for disabled persons

The building control service WILL:

  • provide a checking service to help achieve compliance with building standards
  • support and advise customers on how to end up with the result they want, but will not be a
  • substitute for professional design and construction advice
  • help with aspects of quality (workmanship and materials) where these affect compliance with building standards, but not where they do not affect compliance
  • ensure that all building standards which are set in the interests of the wider public good have been complied with at completion.

The building control service WILL NOT:

  • be responsible for compliance - that is the duty of the person carrying out the work. If work is found not to comply with building standards the person responsible could be prosecuted and the owner of the building may be required to put the work right
  • manage every stage of the construction process on-site - that is a matter for the contracts and arrangements between the client and builder
  • address issues such as the finish and aesthetics of the final project where these are not relevant to compliance with building standards - these are a matter for designers, developers, builders and, to some extent, new home warranty providers
  • deal with contractual problems between client and builder - this is a matter of contract law.

The roles and responsibilities of those involved in the building control system:

Competent person scheme operators (schemes whose members have been granted the right to self-certify that their work complies fully with the relevant requirements of the Building Regulations)

  • make sure members are competent to carry out the work they do and comply with building standards in every job.

For more information please the section on Competent Persons Scheme

Construction industry (architects, engineers, designers, surveyors, builders, construction companies, developers, representative bodies, etc) - designs and builds to meet the required standard, clear understanding of the building control system and its role (eg to notify the building control service at agreed stages).

Building owner (householder, landowner, property owner) - ultimately responsible for compliance of any building work undertaken, familiar with the aims of the building control system (to meet the needs of current and future users of the building, not just their own expectations).