Building Control

Building Control

Why The building act 1984 is important in construction

What is the building act?  

The building act 1984 is a UK regulation consolidating previous legislations concerning the construction process, and the design and specifications for building and their component parts.  

Why was the act introduced? 

It empowers the secretary of state to make regulations for the purpose of:  

Securing the health, safety, welfare and convenience of people in or about building. As well as, others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings.  

What is the purpose of the building act 1984? 

So, the building act sets out the legislative framework for the building control system.  

The building act empowers and obliges local authorities to enforce the regulations in their areas. These regulations include:  

  • A right of entry into buildings of prosecution  
  • Enforcement in relation to non-compliant building work 
  • Dangerous structures and demolitions.  
  • Setting the status of approved documents 

What happened if you don’t follow the regulations?  

First, the local authorities may prosecute them in court where an unlimited fine may be imposed. Also, prosecution is possible up to two years after the completion of the offending work.  

Here is an example of a man who went against all building regulations –  

Mohammed Ali Khan labelled a reckless homeowner, illegally knocked down his £800,000 3-bedroom, West London home. Then, Khan got a contractor to demolish the property without any permission from the local authorities.  

Furthermore, the councils building control services investigated after worried neighbours contacted the authorities over safety concerns.  

Finally, Khan was taken to court where he denied two charges of breaching the building act 1984. In addition, Khan was found guilty and ordered to pay a fine of £6,043.34. Despite the prosecution, there is still a ‘dangerous structure notice’ in place which will remain until the remaining front façade is removed or the house is re-built, the council said. 

 (Image: Hounslow Council)

Contact us

Building Control

All you need to know about building regulations

No matter your project, most construction work will require building regulations approval at some point. Here’s what you need to know about building regs in 2022.  

What are building regulations?  

Building regulations are a set of rules that are designed to ensure that new buildings, renovation work, extensions and conversions are carried out to ensure a safe, energy efficient, and healthy home environment. In addition, there are regulations relating to each specific area of construction. 

Your project will have to comply with these areas –  

You will need to appoint a building inspector; they will ensure that your projects meet the regulations.  

You may need building regulations approval for alteration projects. Here’s some examples:  

  • replace fuse boxes and connected electrics 
  • install a bathroom that will involve plumbing 
  • change electrics near a bath or shower 
  • put in a fixed air-conditioning system 
  • replace windows and doors 
  • replace roof coverings on pitched and flat roofs 
  • install or replace a heating system 
  • add extra radiators to a heating system 

The different types of building regulations applications –  

Building notice –  

A building notice is basically promising in advance that you will comply with the building regulations on site.  A building notice can only be used for domestic work and is only advisable for smaller works such as underpinning, internal alterations or re-roofing and does not require the submission of plans with the notice. 

Full plans –  

So, for most construction projects a Full Plans application is made to building control. With full Plans application, you will know from the start that the drawings have been checked and approved by the building inspector and that the plans fully comply with all of the Building Regulations. 

The application is made up of:  

  • A full description of the proposed works  
  • A set of technical drawings 
  • Structural engineer’s calculations  
  • A location or ‘block’ plan   

What happens if you fail to comply?  

If you fail to notify building control about your project, or the council finds out it isn’t up to standard, it has the power to order you to take it down or alter the work. Furthermore, serious cases can result in prosecution. If you are convicted, you could face a fine of up to £5,000 for each offence plus £50 for each day the work remains uncorrected. The local authority can also make you pay for the faulty work to be fixed. 

Also, if your project doesn’t comply it can become unsafe or cause major health issues, injury or death.  

Building Control

Building Control: Things You Should Know

Below is about building regulations and the things you should know. 

Why do we have Building control?  

The building control service is to ensure the health and safety in a built environment. They cover a lot such as stability of the building, insulation, ventilation, fire protection and fire escape. However, there are other precautions they take as well. Depending on the project you may be spared from some regulations however, you should always follow and comply with the building regulations. Building regulations will apply if you’re wanting to: 

  • Build a completely new property. 
  • Extend or change existing property. 
  • Provide services in a property.  

Building control regulations  

  • 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  

Part A: Structure  

Firstly, this regulation requires that the building is structurally safe and stable. Part A stipulates design standards for use on all buildings and gives simple design rules. 

Part B: Fire safety  

This covers all fire measures to keep the people in the building safe. In addition, the requirements cover escape, fire detection and warning systems. There are other requirements that need to be followed under fire safety.  

Part C: Site preparations and resistance to contaminants and moisture. 

Includes weather and water tightness of buildings, subsoil drainage, site preparation and measures to deal with contaminated land and all other site related hazardous and dangerous substances. 

Part D: Toxic substances 

Finally, the control of hazards from toxic chemicals used in insulation.  

What happens if you fail to comply with building regulations? 

If you fail to follow the building control regulations your local authority has the duty to take action. For example, by taking you to magistrate’s court. Your local authority can also make you demolish your work. Usually but not always the builder, installer or main contractor would have action against them. You can be prosecuted for up to two years after the completion of the project. 

Difference between building control and planning  

Building regulations sets safety standards for the construction of buildings. These requirements cover fire safety, health, fuel and power. Whereas, planning is seeking permission to do building works. The planning requirements are to make sure your plans do not affect you, your neighbours or the environment. Both have more requirements that need to be followed. These are separate processes. 

Picture: Getty

Contact us