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What are Building Regulations?

Building Regulations are national standards which apply to all types of buildings, from major new developments to extensions to your home. They cover all aspects of construction, and also ensure that adequate access and facilities for people with disabilities are provided to buildings.

A guide has been produced by the Department of Communities and Local Government, which provides an overview of the Building Regulations system:

Building Regulations - Explanatory Leaflet (download 1219k)

Building Regulations consist of Parts A-P. A brief description of each of these is provided below, and a link is provided to the Approved Document for each of these applications on the Planning Portal website.

Part A - Structure (opens new window)

This part requires buildings to be designed, constructed and altered so that they are structurally safe, and that they do not impact the structural stability of other buildings. It provides design standards that should be adopted for use on all buildings.

Part B - Fire Safety (opens new window)

This covers all the fire precautionary measures that are necessary to provide safety from fire. Requirements and guidance cover means of escape in case of fire, fire detection and warning systems, fire resistance of structural elements and control of flammable materials, amongst others.

Part C Site Preparation and Resistance to Moisture (opens new window)  

This part refers to many subjects, including the weather and water tightness of buildings, subsoil drainage, site preparation and measures to deal with contaminated land.

Part D Toxic Substances (opens new window)

This controls against the use of certain toxic materials used in buildings.

Part E Resistance to the Passage of Sound (opens new window) Requirements for sound insulation between buildings are contained in this part in respect of all new dwellings and the conversion of buildings. Other acoustic standards are also covered, including sound reduction between rooms for residential purposes and acoustic conditions for common areas in flats and schools.

Part F Ventilation (opens new window) Standards for ventilation and air quality requirements for all buildings are included in this part, as well as requirements for preventing condensation occurring in roofs etc.

Part G Hygiene (opens new window) Part G lays down standards for the provision of sanitary and washing facilities, bathrooms and hot water provision.

Part H Drainage and Waste Disposal (opens new window) Part H requires that adequate drainage systems be provided and also deals with pollution prevention, sewage infrastructure issues and maintenance and adoption regimes for sewers.

Part J Combustion Appliances and Fuel Storage Systems (opens new window) These regulations cover the construction, installation and use of boilers, chimneys, flues, hearths and fuel storage installations.

Part K Protection from Falling, Collision and Impact (opens new window) Part K sets standards for the safety of stairways, ramps and ladders, together with requirements for balustrading, windows and vehicle barriers to prevent falling. It also includes requirements for the guarding and warning of hazards from the use and position of doors and windows.

Part L – Conservation of Fuel and Power

Part L1 is specific to dwellings:

Part L2 deals with buildings other than dwellings:

Part M Access and Facilities for Disabled People (opens new window) 

Part M requires the provision of ease of access to and circulation within all buildings, together with requirements for facilities for disabled people.

Part N Glazing Safety in relation to Impact, Opening and Cleaning (opens new window)

Requirements for the use of safety glazing to avoid impact hazard and for suitable awareness and definition of glazed areas are included in Part N. Also included are safety requirements relating to the use, operation and cleaning of windows.

Part P Electrical Safety (opens new window)

New rules for electrical safety.

ID: 10998 Revised: 4/10/2013