Approved Documents


Building Regulations

The Building Regulations 2010 are set out within the Building Act 1984 and apply in England and Wales. They promote minimum acceptable standards in relation to public health and safety. They cover a wide range of elements from structural stability through to fire safety, relate to all groups of buildings from domestic applications to commercial projects.


There are 17 Approved Document Sections of the Building Regulations, which are available to view in the Planning Portal.


We are unable to recommend builders, but suggest that customers always ask for references and ensure that all necessary permissions are held before conforming employment. It is the owner’s responsibility to make sure that the requirements of the Building Regulations have been complied with. The inspections which building control undertake should not be confused with full site supervision. For further advice on site management services you should contact your architect or builder. The approval notice and completion certificate which the council issue is not a guarantee or warranty. The council are not responsible for any economic loss due to defects or failure to meet the minimum requirements of the Building Regulations. 


Changes to approved documents

Approved Document F - Means of ventilation (1st October 2010)

Revisions have been made to the previous Approved Document F. Revisions have been made to maintain indoor air quality and avoid adverse health effects that could otherwise have occurred due to more airtight buildings arising from the changes to Approved Document L.


Approved Document G - Sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency (6th April 2010)

Revisions to Part G (Sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency) of the Building Regulations and a new Approved Document G have been published. Part G sets out new and amended requirements and technical guidance related to the safety and use of water in buildings. The new and amended requirements and new Approved Document came into force on the 6 April 2010. 


Approved Document J - Combustion Appliances and fuel storage systems (1st October 2010)

Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems have requirements been revised to ensure that combustion appliances can continue to function safely in more airtight homes. A new requirement has been introduced for the provision of Carbon Monoxide alarms when installing all solid fuel appliances. 


Approved Document L - Conservation of fuel and power (1st October 2010)

Major changes have been made to Part L (conservation of fuel and power) of the building regulations, and to a lesser extent Parts F (Ventilation). Some of the changes in respect Part L relating to domestic applications are outlined below.

Transitional Provisions

If works have been commenced by 1st October 2010 then the 2006 building regulations will apply.

  1. If works have not commenced but a full plans application has been approved and any conditions discharged then the 2006 regulations will apply.  However, the works must commence by 1st October 2011.
  2. In respect of a building notice, the application must have been submitted prior to 1st October 2010 and a contract entered into prior to this date.  If the works commence before 1 October 2010 then the 2006 regulations will apply.
  3. Applications submitted after 1st October 2010 or not in accordance with the above exemptions will need to show compliance with the new regulations.
Work to Existing Dwellings Approved Document L1B

The general principles remain the same in that you may still use an elemental approach to satisfy the requirements of Part L. However, a number of the U values have now been increased.

U Values

Pitched roof - insulation at ceiling level
Pitched roof - insulation at rafter level
Sloping ceilings
Pitched roof with integral insulation
Flat roof
Doors (more than 50% glazed)
Other doors
Windows and roof lights

Compliance may also be demonstrated using the following approaches;

  1. Area weighted U value.  This is similar to the old style target U value method and allows trade-offs between elements providing certain minimum standards are achieved.
  2. SAP 2009 calculation.  This may be used to confirm that the CO2 emissions rate from the dwelling with its proposed extension is no greater than for the dwelling plus a notional extension of the same size and constructed to the elemental standard.
Replacement windows

Please see the Competent Person Scheme page  to check your obligations.

Retained thermal elements

Where a thermal element is to be incorporated into a building envelope or is subject to a material change of use, then Part L applies. Where the existing U value is worse than the threshold U value it should be upgraded to the improved value.

Part L
Threshold value
Improved value
Cavity wall*
Other wall type
Pitched roof - ceiling level insulation
Pitched roof - rafter level insulation
Flat roof or roof with integral insulation

* Only applies where wall is suitable for cavity wall insulation.  If unsuitable ’other wall type’ should be used.

New dwellings

Major changes have been made in respect of new dwellings.  There is now only one method for demonstrating compliance which includes the following;

  1. The annual CO2 emission rate of the proposed dwelling, as calculated using SAP 2009, must not exceed the target set by reference to a notional building.  This information should be submitted with the building regulations application.
  2. The performance of the building fabric and the heating, hot water and fixed lighting systems should be no worse than the design limits set out in approved document L1A.
  3. The dwelling has appropriate passive control measures to limit solar gains
  4. The performance of the dwelling, as built, is consistent with the DER (dwelling emission rate) for the proposed dwelling (as per no.1).  A second calculation may be required to reflect the ’as built’ construction and including the results of the air permeability test (see approved document F).
  5. The necessary provisions for the energy efficient operation of the building are put in place, (occupiers provided with satisfactory operating instructions for hot water and heating, etc...).

For new dwellings it may be prudent to contact your energy efficiency consultant who will be able to provide a more detailed synopsis.

If you require any further clarification then please do not hesitate to contact this office and ask to speak to a building control surveyor.  If you require further information on how to achieve the new U values then you may like to contact material manufacturers such as Celotex, Rockwool, Knauf, Topblock and Thermalite who usually have a great deal of useful information on their websites.