Definition of Building Regulations:
Building Regulations always apply to or refer to any building work carried out in England and Wales. These are standards set for design and construction of buildings. The reason they are in existence is simply to ensure health and safety for those people in or about those buildings and that they are protected. These regulations include requirements ensuring that fuel and power is conserved and that facilities are provided for people, which also includes those with disabilities; to access and move around inside buildings. Those who do not comply to building regulations will have to take responsibility for the consequences of their negligent actions.
Would Building Regulations Approval Act Similarly To Planning Permission:
The two are separate matters; building regulations approval is not the same as obtaining planning permission for your work. On the contrary receiving planning permission for any works that you may necessitate would not be classified as the same as taking action to certify that it would comply with the building regulations.
Would I Need Building Regulations Approval:
In reference to Regulation 3 of the Building Regulations it defines clearly that if you are considering carrying out any ‘Building Work’ then it is affirmative that you must comply with the Building Regulations. This would imply that you would need to retrieve an approval of the work from a Building Control Body. To give you a clearer idea on the modes of projects that would amount to Building Work:
The erection of a building
An alteration project that involves work which temporarily or permanently affect the ongoing compliance of the building, service or fitting with requirements related to the structure, fire, or access to and use of buildings
When installing replacement windows using a builder or window company that is not FENSA registered (- The installation or extension of a service or fitting which is controlled under the regulations)
The insertion of insulation into a cavity wall
The underpinning of the foundations of a building
When you want to change the building’s fundamental use
Should your work only consist of installation of specific types of services or fittings such as: certain types of drain, fuel burning appliances, replacement windows, WC’s and showers – and that you employ an installer that is registered with a relevant scheme designated in the Building Regulations (that person should be classified as a competent person), then it is possible for that installer to self certify the work. Inadvertently, it will not be necessary for you to involve a Building Control Service. However, bear in mind that this concession would be strictly limited to precise type of installation described and it would not cover any other type of building work.
All works should meet relevant technical requirements to the Building Regulations and should not make other fabric, services and fittings less compliant than they were before, or, in any way hazardous.