The significant procedural change in the Building Regulations is the introduction of optional requirements in Schedule 1, which require higher levels of provision. Optional requirements may be imposed as conditions of planning consent, but the planning authority must have evidence which justifies that imposition...
To ensure the Building Control Body is aware of the imposition of any optional requirements, the building notice or full plans submission must include a statement as to whether they apply.
The major revisions to the procedural requirements are in Parts G, M and Q of Schedule 1.
Requirement G2 and Regulation 36, which limit the consumption of wholesome water in dwellings, have been amended:
- There is now an optional requirement for a lower level of wholesome waterconsumption of 110 L/person/day, which may be imposed instead of the default of125 L/person/day
- Compliance with G2 may now be demonstrated using a fittings approach: providedall water fittings meet specified consumption rates there is no need to use the waterconsumption calculator. A full calculation will still be required if one or more waterfittings exceed the specified consumption rate
- The water usage calculator has been revised and is now included as Appendix A of Approved Document G
Part M has been revised to introduce three categories of provision for accessibility in dwellings
Category 1 applies in all cases; Categories 2 and 3 are optional requirements, which only apply if imposed as a condition of planning consent.
- Category 1 - Visitable dwellings: enables most people, including wheelchair usersto enter the dwelling and access rooms and sanitary facilities on the entrance floor
- Category 2 - Accessible and adaptable dwellings: enables most people to accessthe dwelling, which has features making it potentially suitable for a wide range ofoccupants, including those with reduced mobility
- Category 3 - Wheelchair user dwellings: suitable for wheelchair users, either atcompletion or at a subsequent point
In order to accommodate the additional guidance for Categories 2 and 3, Approved Document M has been divided into two volumes: volume 1, dwellings and volume 2, buildings other than dwellings. There are no new requirements for buildings other than dwellings.
A new Part Q - Security - requires new dwellings to resist unauthorized access by opportunistic burglars. Accessible doors and window must be physically robust and fitted with secure hardware. Approved Document Q lists the relevant security standards.
There are minor changes in other parts of Schedule 1:
- E4 - acoustic conditions in schools: reference is now made to the latest edition ofBuilding Bulletin 93
- F1 - ventilation: the new guidance document from the Building Control Alliancepresents recommendations for dwellings that, on testing, are significantly moreairtight than predicted
- H6 - solid waste storage: the design of bin storage should address its impact onvisual amenity
The revised regulations come into effect on 1 October 2015. Building work which has been notified to the BCB before then continues under the existing regulations, however, that exemption will only apply for Part Q if work begins before 1 October 2016.
For more information or an explanation of any of the changes, please do not hesitate to contact our Building Control department at firstname.lastname@example.org