Building regulations in UK are national standards which lay importance on the fact that health, welfare, convenience and safety of people must be ensured in and around all types of structures. These regulatory measures recommend minimal standards in a variety of aspects, some of which are given below:
- Structural stability
- Damp proofing
- Fire safety
- Sound insulation
- Ramps, stairs and guards
- Energy conservation
- Access to the building
- Purpose for which the structure is used
- Water efficiency
- Electrical safety
- Appliances that produce heat
The above mentioned regulations apply generally to new as well as existing structures, and also modified or extended buildings, irrespective of whether they are industrial, commercial or residential.
When a structure is to be constructed, the owner or group who is proposing to erect the building must submit building control regulation drawings to the local authority of Building Control Service. These drawing or plans must show all details pertinent to the proposed structure. The local authority should inspect the plans meticulously in order to make sure that they comply with the regulations. They may also consult other suitable authorities such as sewage and fire during the inspection process and issue a decision within a time period of five weeks from the date of submission.
If the drawings are in compliance with the standards, the owner of the project is provided a notice stating that they have been approved. However, the authority reserves the right to make amendments if they find any kind of non-compliance. In that case, they should issue a conditional approval specifying the modifications that are to be made.
The local authority can apply conditions only if they have been requested or consented to by the owner of the project. It is mandatory to make a consent or request in writing. In case the drawing plans are rejected entirely, the notice must state reasons for the rejection. A full approval notice stays valid for a period of three years starting from the day the plans have been deposited. At the termination of the term, the authority is to send a notice declaring invalidation of the approval that was issued, if the constructed work has not started.
Once the building work commences, the local authority carries out inspections and explains notification procedures that have to be followed at different phases. After the project has been completed successfully, the authority is to issue a completion certificate, signifying the structure that exists in compliance with all standards and regulations.