Policy

Providing effective building regulations so that new and altered buildings are safe, accessible and efficient

Issue

Building regulations contain the rules for building work in new and altered buildings to make them safe and accessible and limit waste and environmental damage. People carrying out building work must usually arrange for their work to be checked by an independent third party to make sure that their work meets the required standards. In some cases the installer can certify themselves that their work complies.

Building practices, technology and construction techniques are constantly evolving. We need to make sure that building regulations are fair, efficient, up to date and effective.

Actions

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has enacted a package of deregulatory changes to the building regulations in 2012 to make sure they continue to be up to date and effective.

DCLG also carries out many ongoing actions to provide effective building regulations. These include:

Background

The first set of national building standards were introduced in the Building Regulations 1965. These were a set of prescriptive standards that had to be followed. The Building Act 1984 brought fundamental changes to the building regulations regime. It introduced:

  • functional performance standards, set in terms of what was adequate, reasonable or appropriate, supported by statutory guidance in the Approved Documents
  • competition into the building control sector through the addition of private sector approved inspectors

These changes were introduced to:

  • make the standards more flexible
  • support innovation
  • make the system more efficient and effective

Over time, there have been further changes to the legislation and the supporting guidance. These have sought to:

  • improve the overall quality of buildings
  • improve the effectiveness of the building regulations system
  • reduce any unnecessary burdens on those who use the system

Who we’ve consulted

The department published on 18 December 2012 a combined summary of responses (PDF 1.11MB) to the building regulations consultation package issued on 31 January 2012. The consultation contained a range of proposals to improve the building regulations regime in England.

Alongside this DCLG process, the Cabinet Office’s Red Tape Challenge has also looked at the potential to reduce the amount of regulation in this area. Following this challenge, DCLG launched a review of the building regulations framework and voluntary housing standards in October 2012. The review aimed to achieve further deregulation where this would reduce unnecessary cost and complexity in the house-building process.

A written ministerial statement with a supporting note was published on 13 March 2014 setting out the outcome of the housing standards review. The statement was accompanied by a press notice, the summary of responses to the review consultation and the government’s response to a report by the Environmental Audit Committee on the code for sustainable homes and housing standards review.

Legislation

Building Regulations 2010 and Building (Approved Inspectors etc.) Regulations 2010

The Building Regulations 2000 and the Building (Approved Inspectors etc.) Regulations 2000, and all amendments to both, were revoked from 1 October 2010, and are no longer in effect.

The Building Regulations 2010 and the Building (Approved Inspectors etc.) Regulations 2010 consolidated the Building Regulations 2000 and the Building (Approved Inspectors etc.) Regulations 2000, and incorporated all of the amendments made since 2000. The regulations were also renumbered and reordered to make them easier to use and with a more logical structure.

Further amendments that should be read in conjunction with Building Regulations 2010 and the Building (Approved Inspectors etc) Regulations 2010 are:

The department has published the following circulars which help to explain the above regulations:

  • circular 01/2014 explains the amendments made by the Building &c (Amendment) Regulations 2014
  • circular 01/2013 explains the amendments made by the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2013
  • circular 02/2012 explains the amendments made by the Building Regulations etc (Amendment) Regulations 2012 and the Building (Repeal of Provisions of Local Acts) Regulations 2012
  • circular 02/2011 explains the amendments made by the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2011
  • circular 07/2010 explains the 2010 regulations

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