Building regulations are created to ensure that all the policies set out in construction related legislations are followed by all builders. Building regulations approval is required for almost all construction projects in the UK. Most of these regulations are also applicable for all the changes and modifications that are to be made to any given structure. Metal buildings, concrete and wooden structures are all subject to these regulations.
Building regulations also specify some of the task that must be carried out by licensed professionals. This ensures that the quality and integrity of the construction project is maintained in the long run.
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If you are new to construction, here are the ten of the most important building regulations you should be aware of:
1. The first part of the regulations has to do with the structure. All buildings must be designed in a way that makes them structurally safe and robust, so that the surrounding buildings are not impaired. These regulations also include the design standards that have to be adopted for a safe construction of metal buildings with an evenly distributed weight. For example, S355 yield strength of steel is a requirement for all construction projects in the UK. The ground movement must also be considered for every project so that the changes would not impair the stability of the building.
2. Fire safety regulations are also extremely important. This means that the structural integrity would be maintained in the event of a fire. Fire exits, fire access (for fire-fighters) and prevention of fire spread, are all major aspects that need to be managed according to the regulations. One example of the fire code is that the lights on all the exit signs must always stay on without fail.
3. The land of the construction site must be properly prepared for the construction. The ground must be prepared to prevent moisture, humidity or vegetation as these elements can prove disastrous for the structure. One example of this regulation is creating a drainage system under the construction site to take away all the excess moisture or water from the construction site.
4. The UK building regulation also requires buildings to be soundproof to a certain extent. The sounds should not pass through the walls and disturb the residents. This means high quality materials and innovative designs must be used to create a soundproof structure. The soundproofing of airborne sounds is set at 45dB whereas impact soundproofing is set at 62dB.
5. Ventilation is another important aspect covered by the regulations. This means that the overall building should be properly ventilated to ensure a healthy passage of fresh air. The rooms with more moisture, bathrooms for instance, should have mechanical ventilation such as an exhaust fan. Windows are essential and there are strict requirements for areas such as basements. For a ventilation system to perform effectively, it must be installed 10 mm above the finished floor surface so that a 7600mm² permanent opening is available.
6. Sanitation, hygiene and water efficiency regulations are there to ensure that every construction project has bathrooms and showers with ability to heat water. 8 Litres/min water should be available in the shower and 170 Litres for the bath. The specifications vary for the different regions of the building.
7. Drainage and waste disposal regulations refer to having water tanks in areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. The creation of a settlement tank is another necessity that requires the waste liquid to be kept separate prior to disposal. Water removal system to prevent water stopping on the roofs and a special place to park the wheelie dustbin are also key regulations. The placement of the bin should not hinder the path and access from the building.
8. Risk of falling is also reduced by the collision and impact regulations, according to which all windows should be sufficiently glazed so as to prevent an individual from falling through. These regulations apply to all the windows and areas where risk of fall exists such as stairways, ramps and ladders.
9. Conservation of fuel and power regulations outlines the allowable area of windows, doors and all other openings for any structure. This increases the heating efficiency of the appliances and insulations to ensure that power is conserved and the structure is eco-friendly. All electric and power connections need to be tested by authorised personnel to ensure there are no risks related to fire code and energy wastage.
10. Lastly, there is an important regulation regarding the access to the building. This regulation is there to ensure that individuals with disabilities are catered through provision of special features such as a separate toilet reserved for people with special needs. This is part of the Equality Act 2010 and the legislation covered by Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
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