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Regulations and Standards

Building Regulations Approved Documents 2013: summary of changes

by Michael Smith
NBS Information Specialist

In the Approved Documents (AD) for building in England, there are only three new editions; however, the others all include substantial revisions and corrections. ADs K, P and AD7 are new editions, while ADs A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, L and M have been revised. The documents all now have a new look and changed writing style, including single column layout.

Summary of changes

ADs K, P and AD7 are new publications and will be discussed later. Of these three, ADs K and P will come into force on 6 April 2013, while AD 7 is due to come into force on 1 July 2013.

Of particular notice in the revisions and corrections are: AD K (Protection from falling collision and impact), which has been updated to amalgamate AD N (Glazing) as well as some overlapping guidance from AD M (Access to and use of buildings). Amendments to ADs A, C, D, E, F, H and J are consequential to the introduction of a new approved document to support Regulation 7. The changes to AD L are made to take account of a recast of the Energy performance of buildings directive (2010/31/EU), which came into force on 9 January 2013 for all public buildings and 9 July 2013 for all other buildings.

In relation to these documents, a substantial corrigenda publication from HMG, Amendments to the Approved Documents, sets out amendments, revisions and corrections to ADs A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, L and M, which will come into force at various dates during 2013.

Energy performance of buildings

The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 came into force on the 9 January 2013. This amends Regulation 10 of the Building Regulations and make it compulsory for Local Authorities to give a 'completion certificate' where they are satisfied, after taking all reasonable steps, that completed building work complies with the relevant provisions listed in the regulations [regulation 17(2A)].

Construction products regulation

A further change takes place on 1 July 2013 when the Construction Products Regulation (305/2011/EU-CPR) comes into force; guidance to Regulation 7 is aligned with this regulation.

No 'consequential improvements'

The Approved Documents consultation of 2011/2012 sought views on whether to require 'consequential improvements' to the energy efficiency of a dwelling when other defined building work was undertaken, such as extensions or increases in habitable space, or the replacement of a boiler or a percentage of the home's windows. These proposals were coined a 'conservatory tax', although most conservatories would not have been affected by them.

After careful consideration of the responses to the consultation, quantitative research work by the Energy Saving Trust and qualitative analysis by AECOM, the Communities department (DCLG) decided not to introduce consequential improvements to the Approved Documents in 2013.

The Energy Saving Trust research found that consequential improvements, even with Green Deal finance in place, would put off 38% of households from going ahead with planned building/development work to their property.

The AECOM focus groups found that the majority of the installers registered with Gas Safe Register were very negative towards the idea of their having to inform homeowners of the consequential improvement requirements. There was concern that it could increase dishonesty in the market and that any potential increased costs would make it harder to win work. Finally, the focus group were concerned about non-compliance, with homeowners facing prosecution and 5,000 fines, leading to widespread problems with enforcement.

All these concerns point to the danger that introducing consequential improvements would discourage people from undertaking home improvements; therefore, DCLG will not be going ahead with regulatory proposals for consequential development at this point in time.

However, in spite of this, there still remains significant scope to promote take up of the voluntary Green Deal.

Dates of coming into force

The changes to the Approved Documents, except for changes to AD7, take effect on 6 April 2013, for use in England. Changes to AD7 will enter into force on 1 July 2013.

The previous editions of the ADs will continue to apply to work started before 6 April, to work subject to a building notice, full plans application or initial notice submitted before 6 April.

Main changes in the 2013 editions

For all of the Approved Documents, whether new or revised, a new style and a single column format has been utilised throughout.

Changes to the Approved Documents: AD7 K, and P, which are new editions, include:

AD 7 (Regulation 7)
Supports Regulation 7 (Materials and workmanship) and comes into force on 1 July 2013.

The document has been updated to reflect the full implementation of the CPR (305/2011/EU) covering construction products, from 1 July 2013. This Regulation requires that products covered by a harmonised European product standard or conforming to a European Technical Assessment should normally have CE marking. Other changes to Regulation 7 include:

  • Reference to the environmental impact of building work has been deleted
  • Guidance on resistance to moisture and substances in the subsoil has been deleted; this is now included in Approved Document C
  • Examples of materials susceptible to changes in their properties have been deleted. (In the case of intumescent coatings, durability testing is now an established element of testing of such products)
  • There are no new technical requirements.

Approved Document K
Part K (Protection from falling, collision and impact) comes into force on 6 April 2013.

  • The document has been updated to amalgamate Part N (Glazing), alongside some overlapping guidance that featured previously in Part M (Access to and use of buildings)
  • Guidelines relating to internal stairs and ramps has been transferred from Part M
  • References have been updated to standards as a requisite of harmonisation of standards related to 'safe breaking' and the testing methods, and also in relation to the resistance of loads for barriers
  • Tables and diagrams have been amended and simplified
  • While a new-style format is used, there are no new technical requirements
  • Key terms have been updated and an index has been introduced.

Approved Document P
Part P (Electrical safety – Dwellings) comes into force on 6 April 2013. The main changes are to the legal requirements, with minor additions to the technical guidance:

  • The range of electrical installation work that is notifiable has been reduced
  • An installer who is not a registered competent person may use a registered third party to certify notifiable electrical installation work as an alternative to using building control
  • Part P now refers to BS7671:2008 incorporating Amendment No. 1:2011.

Details of the 2013 changes to the other Approved Documents, some of which are consequential to the introduction of Regulation 7, are detailed below. There have been amendments made to Approved Documents A, B1, B2, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, L1A, L1B, L2A, L2B and M.

Approved Documents A, B1, B2, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, L1A, L1B, L2A, L2B and M
The changes to Approved Document 7 also require corresponding changes to the guidance on materials and workmanship, independent certification schemes and technical specifications in the Approved Documents.

The following sections should be replaced by the italicised text below:

'Materials and workmanship
Any building work which is subject to the requirements imposed by Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations shall be carried out in accordance with regulation 7. Guidance on meeting these requirements on materials and workmanship is contained in Approved Document 7.

Building Regulations are made for specific purposes, primarily the health and safety, welfare and convenience of people and for energy conservation. Standards and other technical specifications may provide relevant guidance to the extent that they relate to these considerations. However, they may also address other aspects of performance or matters which, although they relate to health and safety etc., are not covered by the Building Regulations.

When an Approved Document makes reference to a named standard, the relevant version of the standard to which it refers is the one listed at the end of the publication. However, if this version has been revised or updated by the issuing standards body, the new version may be used as a source of guidance provided it continues to address the relevant requirements of the Regulations'

These changes are effective from 6 April 2013 for Approved Documents A, B1, B2, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, L1A, L1B, L2A, L2B and M. There are also some other, further changes to Parts B, M and L.

However, at the present time government has only republished documents AD7, K, P, B1, B2 and M. Amendments to the remaining documents can be accessed from the HMG guide Amendments to the Approved Documents. It is expected that the others will follow, in due course.

Approved Document B
As well as the changes brought about by Regulation 7, there are also some other slight amendments to Volume 1 on pages 6, 15 and 73. Other slight amendments to Volume 2 appear on pages 7, 8, 18, 64 (Table 10), 66 (Table 11 and Diagram 27A), 117 (Performance of materials, products and structures) and 149.

Approved Document M
As well as the changes brought about by Regulation 7, there are also some other slight amendments to pages 1 (Use of guidance), 5, 6, 7 (Disability discrimination act), 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 34, 35, 36, 41, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 68, 70, 73, 74, 75, 81, 82 and 83.

Approved Document L
For Approved Document L the changes are made to take account of a recast of the EPB directive (2010/31/EU), which came into force on 9 January 2013, and covers amended guidance for Energy Performance Certificates. Regulation 25B, 'Nearly zero-energy requirements for new buildings', will not come into force until 2019 at the earliest. Guidance on this is expected to be issued nearer to that time. Changes to Part L in 2013 include:

Part L1A

  • Insertion of Regulation 25A - Consideration of high-efficiency alternative systems for new buildings
  • Amendment of Regulation 29 - Energy Performance Certificates
  • Insertion of Regulation 29A - Recommendation reports
  • Insertion, after section 4.17, of a section entitled 'Consideration of high-efficiency alternative systems'.

Other slight amendments and corrections to this document occur on pages 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 19 and 21.

Part L1B

  • Amendment of Regulation 23 - Requirements relating to thermal elements
  • Amendment of Regulation 29 - Building Regulations Energy Performance Certificates
  • Insertion of Regulation 29A - Recommendation reports
  • Deletion and replacement of Paragraph 5.8 (page 17 and 18).

Other slight amendments and corrections to this document occur on pages 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 17, 18 and 21.

Part L2A

  • Insertion of Regulation 25A - Consideration of high-efficiency alternative systems for new buildings
  • Amendment of Regulation 29 - Energy Performance Certificates
  • Insertion of Regulation 29A - Recommendation reports
  • Insertion, after section 4.17, of a section entitled 'Consideration of high-efficiency alternative systems'.

Other slight amendments and corrections to this document occur on pages 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 21.

Part L2B

  • Amendment of Regulation 23 - Requirements relating to thermal elements
  • Amendment of Regulation 29 - Building Regulations Energy Performance Certificates
  • Insertion of Regulation 29A - Recommendation reports
  • Deletion and replacement of Paragraph 5.8 (page 17 and 18).

Other slight amendments and corrections to this document occur on pages 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 21 and 22.

Also, buildings of statutory undertakers (exempted under section 4(1) of the Building Act 1984) and Crown buildings need to comply with the requirements of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (recast) unless exempt. Where not exempt, these buildings need to comply with the following regulations under the
Building Regulations 2010:

  • 23(1)(a) (in respect of major renovations of existing buildings)
  • 25A (high-efficiency alternative systems for new buildings)
  • 25B (nearly zero-energy requirements for new buildings)
  • 26 (CO2 emission rates for new buildings)
  • 29 (apart from 29(10)) (energy performance certificates)
  • 29A (recommendation reports for buildings on construction).

The guidance document Amendments to the Approved Documents gives full details all of the changes to be made to the documents that are amended for 2013.

Further information

Approved Document 7 Materials and workmanship (2013 edition)

Approved Document K Protection from falling, collision and impact (2013 edition)

Approved Document P Electrical safety - dwellings (2013 edition)

Approved Document B Fire safety - Volume 1 Dwellinghouses (with 2013 amendments)

Approved Document B Fire safety - Volume 2 Buildings other than dwellinghouses (with 2013 amendments)

Approved Document M Access to and use of buildings (with 2013 amendments)

Amendments to the Approved Documents (2013 editions)
Several of the ADs have not yet been republished at this time; however, this guide gives full details of all changes and revisions to the documents for 2013.

Exploratory Research into Building Regulations in relation to the Green Deal

Changes to Part L of the building regulations: proposals for consequential improvements in existing homes - report of focus groups

March 2013

 

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