Building regulations

Building regulations explained

Building regulations protect the health, safety, welfare and convenience of people in and about buildings.

They recommend basic standards in:

  • structural stability
  • fire safety
  • damp-proofing
  • sound insulation
  • stairs ramps and guards
  • ventilation
  • drainage
  • energy conservation
  • access to and use of buildings
  • glazing
  • heat producing appliances
  • electrical safety

The regulations generally apply to new, extended and altered buildings whether they are residential, commercial or industrial.

Documents to help you comply

You can get practical help on how to comply with the building regulations from a series of national 'approved documents'. There is an approved document for each section of the building regulations.

Each document contains:

  • guidance on the performance expected of materials and building work for each requirement
  • examples and solutions on how to achieve compliance for some common building situations

You can download approved documents from the Planning Portal: building control, along with other useful guides. These include: