The 'Approved Documents'

The 'Approved Documents'

This is a current list of building regulations for England and Wales, full details can be found at www.planningportal.gov.uk/buildingregulations

  • A Structure

  • B Fire Safety

  • C Site Preparation and resistance to contaminationand moisture

  • D Toxic Substances

  • E Resistance to Passage of Sound

  • F Ventilation

  • G Hygiene

  • H Drainage and Waste disposal

  • J Combustion appliances and fuel storage

  • K Protection from falling, collision and impact

  • L1 Conservation of fuel and power

  • M Access and facilities for disabled people

  • N Glazing - Safety in relation to impact, opening and cleaning

  • P Electrical safety

Some of the main Building Regulations, or “Approved Documents” to use their official title are detailed below

Structural regulations - Document A
The regulations require minimum strengths of the structure to support itself, the floors and to take account of ground movements. Thus external and load bearing walls must be capable of supporting the loading and be built of proper foundations. The regulations are silent about timber frame. Timber sizes are refereed back to the Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA). Howarth Timber Engineering are able to provide a range of supply and supply and installation options for timber frame, truss rafters etc to standard or bespoke designs, all with a complete set of structural calculations so you can be sure all regulation requirements are met and often exceeded. All external and internal load bearing walls must be built off proper foundations. The internal leaf of masonary walls must have a minimum 2.8N strength. Load–Bearing blockwork to the lower story of a three storey house must be at least 7N. Areas greater than 70M2 must have lateral support walls in the form of internal partitions or cross walls. Walls must be restrained at intermediate floor level, wall plate level down the rake of the roof using metal straps crossing at least three rafters or joists with noggins beneath. Walls should have a damp-proof course at least 150mm above ground level linked to a continuous waterproof membrane in the floor. Stepped or horizontal dpc’s or cavity trays must be provided over all openings or abutments.

Vertical dpc or propriety cavity closers must be provided to all closing, returns and reveals. Intermediate first floors must be supported on load bearing walls. Timber joists bearing on external walls should be supported by proprietary joist hangers.

Fire Safety – Document B
The regulations stiplutate the positioning of smoke alarms, heat detectors, means of escape and containment of fire within the home. Walls between homes and garages must have 30 minutes fire resistance with fire stopping at roof or ceiling level. Doors from the house must be 30 minutes fire resistance and self closing with perimeter intumescant strips.

At Howarth Timber & Building Supplies we take Fire very seriously and ALL of our branches undergo regular training by the BWF. All are members of the BWF Approved firedoor centre scheme so you can be sure of knowledgeable information and a supply of products that will meet any of your requirements.

Sound – Part E
The regulations also cover acoustic insulation to limit the transference of sound through walls, floors and ceilings. Sound Energy is measured in decibels(dB) and there are two principle types–airborne or impact. A higher Db rated floor for airborne sound is better than a lower rated one; for impact sound ratings the reverse is applied (a 64dB FLOOR IS BETTER THAN A 65 Db FLOOR).

Internal walls must have a minimum sound resistance of 38Db. Intermediate floors must have a minimum sound resistance of 40 Db. Howarth Timber and Building Supplies Ltd have for years now been working with some of the UK’s leading suppliers of acoustic solutions, be this for detached dwellings, refurbishments or flat developments we will have a solution to meet your needs and advice to go with it. We also have a wide range of improved board lining systems that not only help to insulate but improve the sound performance of your dwelling and help to reduce heating bills. Click here to visit our acoustic section.

Sanitation, Hot Water Safety & Water Efficiency – Part G
These updated regulations cover the water systems and sanitaryware within your new home. Visit our bathroom section for more on our range of products.

In particular Part G requires that newly built residential properties uses a maximum of 125litres person per day of tap water. You will need to use restricted flow taps, showers, low flush toilets or harvest rainwater from your roof. (Link to Howarth products)

Formal calculations must be submitted to achieve building regulations approval for the completed property. Howarth’s Compliance service can provide these.

Conservation of Fuel & Power – Part L
Part L has become one of the most significant Approved Documents over recent years, and in particular, since the new stringent Part L come into force in October 2010 which requires a significant improvement in the energy efficiency of your new home.

Part L deals with how your property is heated and insulated, the fuels used and ultimately, the carbon emissions that result from the heating demand. A property that performs well under Part L will be more environmentally friendly, produce fewer carbon emissions and be cheaper to run.

Not only is it a requirement to meet the new emissions standards set-out by Part L, but an energy assessment; known as a SAP, demonstrating how this will be achieved must be produced to BCB prior to starting on site.

See Howarth’s Compliance service for further details.

  • Forests Forever
  • British Woodworking Federation
  • Secured by Design
  • Wood Window Alliance
  • Timber Trade Federation
  • Timber Decking & Cladding Association
  • Federation of Master Builders

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