What are Building Regulations?
According to DirectGov: “The Building Regulations set standards for the design and construction of buildings, primarily to ensure the safety and health for people in or around those buildings, but also for energy conservation and access to and about buildings.”
Some buildings are exempt from Building Regulations, these include: Buildings used for the storage of explosives, or on a nuclear site, greenhouses and agricultural buildings, temporary buildings (as defined in the planning regulations), buildings on construction sites, mines and quarries, buildings with a floor area less than 30m2, nuclear fallout shelters and ”a detached building into which people do not normally go”
It can sometimes be argued that simple storage buildings fall into the category of ”a detached building into which people do not normally go”, however you should always confirm with the Building Inspector that they agree with this categorisation before proceeding. Buildings classified under any of these exempt categories are unlikely to be suitable for a different use in the future.
Most buildings are required to be designed and built in accordance with the Building Regulations and the Building Inspector will need to be assured that the building complies. Normally, this means that you will need to provide structural calculations from a qualified engineer and we provide these as an inclusive part of our service. The inspector will also require proof that the building’s foundations are properly designed and adequate for their purpose – again, an engineer’s calculations will probably be required and we normally advise that a local engineer familiar with ground conditions in the area be used for this.
Exactly which regulations apply will depend on the use of the building. For instance, in the case of a heated building, energy loss calculations and even an air-test may be required.
Building inspectors may have discretion in how they apply the regulations – some regard them as general guidance only; others insist on them being applied scrupulously. You do not need to go to your local Building Control department for approval, another local authority’s department can provide the service, or you can use an independent ”approved inspector”.