Our new build construction experts have compiled the following guide, covering the key regulations and standards that new build properties must adhere to, including building codes, safety standards, and environmental regulations.
What are Building Regulations?
Building regulations are the set of legal guidelines and standards established by the regional or national authorities to ensure the safety, structural integrity, and health of buildings. These regulations are designed to govern the design, construction, alteration, and use of buildings.
The primary aim of building regulations is to protect residents and the general public from potential hazards, such as fire, collapse, and other safety risks, while also promoting energy efficiency and accessibility.
As of June 2022, a set of new building regulations went into effect in the United Kingdom.
What are the updates as of June 2022?
The June 2022 updates affected Part L and Part F. Two new Approved Documents were also introduced: Part O and Part S.
All new builds must now produce 30% less carbon dioxide emissions than the current standards, while all commercial buildings must produce 27% fewer carbon emissions.
There are also new standards to reduce energy use and carbon emissions during home improvement projects. However, the old rules may still apply depending on how far along the planning process you are.
The changes are detailed in the new Approved Documents L, F, O, and S.
- Part L: Conservation of fuel and power
- Part F: Ventilation
- Part O: Overheating
- Part S: Electric vehicle charging
Building Codes & Safety Regulations
Building codes are an integral part of building regulations, and they represent specific sets of rules, standards, and requirements that dictate how buildings and structures should be designed, constructed, and maintained.
The purpose of building codes is to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of building occupants and the general public. By adhering to building codes, builders and developers ensure that their projects meet minimum safety and quality standards. Key areas covered by building codes include:
Structural Standards: Building codes define the materials, design, and construction practices necessary to ensure that buildings are structurally sound and can withstand various loads and forces, such as wind, earthquakes, and snow.
Fire Safety: Building codes establish requirements for fire-resistant materials, fire exits, fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems, and other fire safety measures to minimise the risk of fire-related incidents.
Electrical Systems: Codes dictate proper installation practices for electrical wiring, outlets, switches, and other electrical components to prevent electrical hazards and ensure electrical system safety.
Plumbing and Sanitation: Building codes specify the standards for plumbing installations, including water supply, drainage systems, and sewage disposal, to maintain health and sanitation.
Energy Efficiency: Codes may include guidelines for insulation, HVAC systems, lighting, and other energy-efficient measures to reduce energy consumption and promote sustainability.
Accessibility: Building codes address features that make buildings accessible to individuals with disabilities, such as ramps, elevators, and wheelchair-friendly facilities.
Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality: Codes may set requirements for proper ventilation systems to ensure adequate fresh air circulation and maintain good indoor air quality.
Environmental regulations refer to the set of guidelines and standards aimed at minimising the environmental impact of construction and promoting sustainable building practices. These regulations are designed to address various environmental concerns and ensure that new buildings and developments are constructed in an environmentally responsible manner.
Sustainable Site Selection: Environmental regulations may encourage developers to choose building sites that have minimal impact on natural habitats, wetlands, or environmentally sensitive areas. This approach helps preserve valuable ecosystems and reduces the need for excessive land clearing.
Waste Management: Environmental regulations encourage proper waste management during construction, including recycling and responsible disposal of construction debris. Minimizing waste reduces the burden on landfills and contributes to a more sustainable building process.
Green Building Certifications: Some building regulations may incentivise or require compliance with green building certification programs like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). These certifications recognise buildings that meet specific environmental performance criteria.
Use of Eco-Friendly Materials: Environmental regulations may recommend or mandate the use of environmentally friendly construction materials with lower environmental impacts, such as recycled or locally sourced materials.
If you are planning a new build in Surrey, contact us today for a no-obligation quote and more information.