In addition to the Legislation and Guidance changes, the Government has issued a statement that enables Local Authorities to take enforcement action of existing buildings, potentially somewhat ironic, but a very serious matter in that the Local Council Building Control are now empowered to enforce correction of inappropriate cladding and insulant medium that they themselves have approved on some Private and the Local Authority Buildings.
We provide full details about the changes and application of the regulations below.
APPLICATION OF THE REGULATIONS
All the changes made to the Building Regulations and the Approved Documents apply only to buildings and building work in England.
Coming into force date
The Amendment Regulations come into force on 21 December 2018.
Ban of combustible materials in the external wall of buildings
New regulation 7(2) of the Building Regulations 2010 applies to any building with a storey at least 18m above ground level and which contains:
- one or more dwellings; or
- an institution; or
- a room for residential purposes (excluding any room in a hostel, hotel or a boarding house).
This includes residential blocks of flats, student accommodations, care homes, sheltered housing, hospitals and dormitories in boarding schools with a storey above 18 m in height.
It is very important to appreciate that Regulation 7(2) requires that all materials which become part of an external wall or specified attachment achieve European Class A2-s1, d0 or Class A1 except for components exempted in Regulation 7(3).
The definitions of external wall and specified attachments are included in Regulation 2. These definitions include any parts of the external wall and balconies, solar panels and sun shadings.
The Amendment Regulations come into force on 21 December 2018. However the Amendment Regulations will not apply where a building notice or an initial notice has been given to, or full plans deposited with, a local authority before 21 December 2018 and either the building work to which it relates:
- (a) has started before that day; or
- (b) is started within the period of two months beginning on that day.
Please note that “building notice”, “initial notice” and “full plans” have the meanings given in Regulation 2 of the Building Regulations 2010.
Commencement of work
In the Department’s opinion the 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
- vibrofloatation (stone columns) piling, boring for piles or pile driving; drainage work specific to the building(s) concerned.
We consider that the following sorts of work would not be likely to constitute the commencement of work:
- removal of vegetation
- demolition of any previous buildings on the site; removal of top soil
- removal or treatment of contaminated soil; 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.
It should be noted the specifics of the transitional arrangements around combustible materials is only to the sleeping risk criteria set out and not to other buildings above 18m.
Material Change of Use
Please note that Regulations 5 and 6 provide that, where the use of a building is changed such that the building becomes a building described in Regulation 7(4), the construction of the external wall, and specified attachments, must be investigated and, where necessary, work must be carried out to ensure they only contain materials achieving European Class A2-s1, d0 or European Class A1 other than those exempted by Regulation 7(3).
Approved Document B
There is no change to Part B of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010.
Approved Document B has an amendment document only currently (to update the existing AD-B) and to provide guidance with regards to the requirements of Regulations 7(2) and 6(3). Additional minor changes have been made to Approved Document B Volume 2 to update some of the references as a consequence of the updated guidance.
Note that Approved Document B Volume 1 Part B4 has not been amended because the guidance provided in this volume is limited to dwellinghouse less than 18m in height as highlighted in paragraph 0.1 of the volume.
The revised Part B amendments
The significant changes are :
From the draft it has been decided to keep low rise dwellings in one approved document and the higher rise apartments, etc with commercial buildings rather than combine all dwelling types.
The proposed secondary escape in apartments over 11m, proposed in the draft has not yet been incorporated
It is very important to read the amendments carefully as they can be misinterpreted, however the principle is underpinned by the regulatory announcement specifically to the high rise categories in Regulation 7 (2) – the remainder still have controls of compliance in line with those that currently applied I.e restrictions on insulants and fillers etc unless they are tested to bs 8414-1 or 2 test.
Approved Document 7
Approved Document 7 has been updated to clarify that this document provides information with regards to Regulation 7(1) but not Regulation 7(2); 7(3); 7(4) of the Building Regulations 2010 (as amended
AMENDMENTS TO REGULATION 7 OF THE BUILDING REGULATIONS 2010 – MATERIALS AND WORKMANSHIP
Regulation 7 requires that materials used in building work are appropriate for the circumstances in which they are used. Amended regulation 7(2) sets requirements in respect of external walls and specified attachments.
Amended regulation 7(2) applies to any building with a storey at least 18m above ground level and which contains one or more dwellings; an institution; or a room for residential purposes (excluding any room in a hostel, hotel or a boarding house). This includes student accommodation, care homes, sheltered housing, hospitals and dormitories in boarding schools.
The requirement in amended regulation 7(2) is limited to materials achieving European Class A2-s1, d0 or Class A1 when classified in accordance with BS EN 13501- 1:2007+A1:2009. Materials achieving limited combustibility cannot be deemed to meet the requirement using an alternative classification method.
Amended regulation 7(3) provides an exemption for certain components found in external walls and specified attachments.
The revised Part B amendments
The Revised Approved Document 7