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Department for Communities and Local Government has announced changes to the Building Regulations in England

Following the consultation carried out in 2012, the Department for Communities and Local Government has announced changes to the Building Regulations in England.

With immediate effect

  • Provisions within Local Acts in England, which are more onerous than would be required under the Building Regulations for Warehouses (over 7000m3), car parks and tall buildings (over 30m), were repealed on 9th January 2013. The provisions relating to fire and rescue service access have been retained. If you have a project which is currently being designed or under construction which has been subject to any of the provisions being repealed you may wish to consult with your design team to examine any implications that this new legislation may have. Any design changes brought about as part of this process should be submitted to NHBC Building Control in line with your normal processes.
  • For new buildings which will be occupied by public authorities, a new analysis must be provided to show that designers have considered the use of high efficiency systems to provide heating and power for those buildings. This comes into force for all buildings in July 2013. To find out more, please follow this link.

Changes from April 2013

To relieve the burden on the construction industry, the government has introduced further changes to the building control system:

  • Removal of the Warranty Link Rule.
    From April 2013 builders are no longer required to have a warranty in place if they wish to use an Approved Inspector when building new homes for sale or rent. From April builders will be free to engage whichever Building Control body they wish regardless of the type of building, without any further restrictions.
  • Changes to Completion and Final Certificates.
    Public sector building control will be required to issue completion certificates where they are satisfied that work complies with the building regulations. This aligns the public sector requirement with that for Approved Inspectors. Also the wording on both Completion Certificates and Final Certificates is to be amended to clarify that the certificate is evidence, but not conclusive evidence, that the requirements of the building regulations have been complied with.
  • New Approved Documents
    Alongside the regulatory changes we have three new Approved Documents and a whole host of minor changes to the existing documents although as with the legislative changes these do not place additional burdens on housebuilders

Removal of statuary notifications. From April builders will no longer be required to notify the Local Authority (where it is the building control body) that they have reached a particular stage of the work. From April all BCB's will be required to operate similar systems by risk assessing inspection regimes according to the building type and informing the customer at what stages they want to carry out inspections.

Changes from 9th July 2013

  • Renovation of thermal elements. The government has clarified the conditions around the renovation of thermal elements and the specific thresholds over which action will be required if carrying out repairs or maintenance on existing buildings. If more than 50% of a particular element or 25% of the building envelope is affected by the repairs then the whole of that element or envelope must be upgraded to meet the thermal requirements set out in the regulations

These changes affect England only, if you are carrying out work in Wales you will need to comply with the previous building regulations.

News Date: 17/01/13