Part B in Wales - sprinklers in new homes

18 November 2015

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From 1 January 2016 in Wales, Part B (Fire Safety) - New Building Regulation 37A(1)(c) means that sprinklers will be required to all new houses and flats, including those formed by a material change of use.

Transitional Provisions - Wales

The requirement for sprinklers to houses and flats will not apply to building work which is the subject of an initial notice, amendment notice, building notice or full plans submission which was served before 1 January 2016, provided that the work is commenced on site on or before 1 January 2017. (See definition of 'commencement of work' below)

Commencement of Work - Wales

The Welsh Government has confirmed that in their opinion commencement of work would usually be marked by work such as:

  • excavation for strip or trench foundations or for pad footings;
  • digging out and preparation of ground for raft foundations;
  • vibroflotation (stone columns) piling, boring for piles or pile driving.

In their opinion, the following sorts of work would not be likely to constitute the commencement of work:

  • removal of vegetation, top soil or removal/treatment of contaminated soil
  • demolition of any previous buildings on the site
  • excavation of trial holes
  • dynamic compaction
  • general site servicing works (e.g. roadways)

In some cases applications will be in respect of a number of buildings on a site, for example a number of houses. In such cases it is the commencement of work on the first of the buildings within the application which determines whether all the building work can take advantage of the transitional provisions, not each individual building.

Please note that “drainage work specific to the building(s) concerned” is not regarded as a suitable method of demonstrating a commencement for the purposes of Regulation 37(1)(c).

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