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Building Regulations changes updateJanuary 2013

Shortly after December's announcement about domestic consequential improvements, the government made a further announcement, on changes to Building Regulations in England. These changes are summarised in this article - full detail can be found at the government planning portal website.

The changes so far announced are not major. The Approved Document supporting Regulation 7 has been rewritten on account of the new Construction Products Regulations which come into effect on 1st July, and this has also resulted in some minor changes to the wording of the other Approved Documents. Approved Document P has been revised as part of the government's deregulatory effort, and this change comes into effect on 6th April. Effectively, homeowners will be able to carry out minor electrical work in kitchens without informing building control or using a registered electrician. Another deregulatory change coming into effect on 6th April is that the guidance previously found in Approved Documents K and N has been combined into an all-new Approved Document K - Protection from falling, collision and impact. Approved Document M has been amended as a consequence of this, in addition to providing revised guidance on access statements.

With regards to fire safety, there are changes to Approved Document B (both volume 1 covering dwellings, and volume 2 covering other buildings) coming into effect on 6th April. These relate to wall coverings, thermoplastic lighting diffusers and some updated standards. Also, various local fire safety Regulations have been repealed, including Section 20 of the London Building Act. Part L has seen some changes, mostly as a result of implementation of the recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Changes to the rules for Energy Performance Certificates have already come into effect - on 9th January, and changes relating to the analysis of high efficiency alternative systems for new buildings will come into effect on 9th July. Nothing has been announced so far about the lowering of CO2 targets for new buildings, which is expected as part of the government's drive towards zero carbon homes in2016 and non-dwellings in 2019. Watch out for further announcements!

BSRIA provides a range of Building Regulations compliance testing services including Airtightness, Sound Insulation and Ventilation, as well as consultancy services to ensure Regulations as passed first time.

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