The Approved Documents

Building Regulations

The Building Regulations are approved by Parliament and deal with the minimum standards of design and building work for the construction of domestic, commercial and industrial buildings. The Building Regulations contain a list of requirements to:

  • ensure the health and safety of people in and around buildings
  • provide for energy conservation
  • provide access and facilities for people with disabilities

There are 16 parts to these requirements and they are expressed in broad, functional terms in order to give designers, builders and home owners maximum flexibility in preparing their plans.

Each part is supported by an Approved Document, which reproduces the requirement contained in the Building Regulations (text in green box). The remainder of the document contains practical and technical guidance, with examples, on how the regulations can be met in some of the more common building situations.

We appreciate there may be alternative ways of complying with the requirements to those shown. You are therefore under no obligation to adopt any particular solution shown in an Approved Document if you prefer to meet the requirements in some other way. If an alternative method is used, sufficient evidence will be required to show that the alternative approach is at least equivalent to that shown in the Approved Documents.

Changes to Approved Documents F and L

As of 15 June 2022, the above guidance will change due to the Building Regulations etc. (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2021 and the following two approved documents will then come in to force: ·

  • Approved Document L, Conservation of fuel and power, Volume 1: Dwellings ·

  • Approved Document L, Conservation of fuel and power, Volume 2: Buildings other than dwellings

This update to the building regulations in relation to the conservation of fuel and power highlights a significant uplift to existing energy efficiency requirements. These changes to improve energy efficiency across the board give a strong starting point towards the proposed Future Homes Standard, due to be introduced by government in 2025.

As of 15 June 2022, the above guidance will change due to the Building Regulations etc. (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2021and the following two approved documents will be in force: ·

  • Approved Document F: (2022) Conservation Volume 1 applies to dwellings ·

  • Approved Document F: (2022) Conservation Volume 2 applies to buildings other than dwellings

New Approved Document O and S

  • Approved Document O: Overheating

The new Part O comes into effect on 15 June 2022 and applies to new dwellings, institution or any other building containing one or more rooms for residential purposes (other than a room in a hotel) The purpose of this regulation is to reduce indoor overheating by: ·

  1. Limiting unwanted solar gains in summer ·
  2. Providing an adequate means of removing excess heat from an indoor environment
  • Approved Document S: Infrastructure for charging electric vehicles

The new Part S comes into effect on 15 June 2022 and applies to new residential and non-residential buildings; buildings undergoing a material change of use to dwellings; residential and non-residential buildings undergoing major renovation; and mixed-use buildings that are either new or undergoing major renovation. The Approved Document provides technical guidance regarding the installation and charge point requirements in Part S to the Building Regulations

Transitional Arrangements: When to apply the changes

  • The new building regulations will come into force for applications made on or after 15 June 2022.
  • The new requirements will not apply to applications made prior to 15 June 2022 providing substantial building work has begun before 15 June 2023 on all aspects of the application. This gives 1 year's grace to allow commencement.
  • (Note: jobs need substantial start i.e., foundations dug and poured.)
  • Applications covering multiple buildings – only those individual buildings for which work is commenced in accordance with the above can take advantage of the transitional provisions.

Further information can be found in our Building Control Bulletin below

Approved Document Bulletin

Document - Approved%20Document%20L%202022%20Bulletin%20003%20.pdf

Download relevant Approved Documents by selecting a link below:

If you need any further information, please contact the Building Control team and we will be pleased to assist you:

  • Telephone: 01789 260626
  • Email:

Contact: The Building Control team

Last updated on 18/05/2022