Building Regulations

Building regulations are statutory instruments that seek to ensure that the policies set out in the relevant legislation are carried out. Building regulations approval is required for most building work in the UK. Building regulations that apply across England and Wales are set out in the Building Act 1984 while those that apply across Scotland are set out in the Building (Scotland) Act 2003.

The UK Government is responsible for the relevant legislation and administration in England, the Welsh Government is the responsible body in Wales, the Scottish Government is responsible for the issue in Scotland, and the Northern Ireland Executive has responsibility within its jurisdiction.


The Ministry of Housing & Local Government (MHCLG) has updated its ‘Manual to the Building Regulations’ (updated August 2021).  Also updated and available to download is the fully searchable PDF of the Approved Documents. This now incorporates the 2020 editions of Approved Document B1 and Approved Document B2. Both these items can be viewed and downloaded from the link opposite.

In Scotland, the Scottish Government Building Standards Division has published updated versions of their two Building Standards Technical Handbooks (domestic and non-domestic) which took effect from 1st October 2019.

The changes introduced into the 2019 editions are as follows:

Section 2 – Fire
Appendix A – Defined terms
Appendix B – List of standards and other publications

Section 2 – Fire
Section 3 – Environment
Appendix A – Defined terms
Appendix B – List of standards and other publications

The main changes cover:

  • Revisions throughout Section 2 (Fire) covering fire performance of external cladding systems in high-rise domestic buildings and certain higher risk non-domestic buildings; provisions for means of escape; evacuation alerts and signage in high-rise domestic buildings.
  • Under standard 3.12 (Sanitary facilities) introduction of the provision for Changing Places Toilets in larger new non-domestic buildings, extensions and conversion.

For a more detailed breakdown of the clauses changed/introduced into the 2019 editions please click here

Guidance to the changes can be downloaded from the publications link opposite.

Welsh Building Regulations

Amendments have been made to the Welsh Building Regulations and to the Building (Approved Inspectors Etc.) Regulations under Statutory Instrument 2016/611 (W.168) which came into force on 17 June 2016. These cover:

  • Clarification of the application of the approved calculation methodology for the energy performance of buildings.
  • The revocation of authorisation for one competent person self-certification scheme: the removal of persons registered with BSI Assurance UK Limited.
  • Amendments to approved documents L1A, L1B, L2A and L2B: There are changes to some 45 clauses as listed in Annexes A and B of the Circular No. WGC 005/2016 dated 14 June 2016 which are available in the publications section opposite.