Regulations for the design and construction of buildings are made under The Building Act 1984, which also sets out the Local Authority Building Control system and Approved Inspectors system for control of building work.
The Approved Documents set out methods by which the requirements of the Building Regulations can be considered met. There is a presumption of compliance when following the guidance, but alternative solutions - if they can be demonstrated to meet the requirement - are acceptable.
Since the end of 2011, the Building Act 1984 has granted Welsh ministers the power to make Building Regulations for Wales. Before that the two countries shared the same regulations, but amendments in England from 2012 onwards have not applied in Wales, and vice versa. The same lettering system for Parts and Approved Documents is still used, however.
The Building Regulations and Building Standards system comes under the umbrella of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003. The Domestic and Non-Domestic Technical Handbooks give guidance on how to achieve the requirements of the regulations, with numbered sections covering different areas of building design and construction.
The Department of Finance develops and implements Building Regulations, which are supported by Technical Booklets. The booklets are named for the corresponding Parts of the Building Regulations to which they apply, and the lettering system is completely different to England and Wales.
Visit our news and advice pages for industry developments, take a look at our product range, or browse our technical articles.