Not all the Building Regulations are being rewritten. This is the essential guide to the rest of the rules that govern the way we build
Part C: Site Preparation and resistance to moisture
This document covers site preparation and drainage. It also deals with ground contaminants, for example radon gas or methane from landfill sites. A review is being considered but no date has been set. The Approved Document:
  • Details how a site should be prepared and drained
  • Defines contaminants as any substance in the ground that is or could become toxic, corrosive, explosive, flammable or radioactive and a danger to public health
  • Lists sites likely to contain contaminants and gives advice on possible action to make the site safe
  • Lists areas where high concentrations of radon gas occur and suggests how buildings can be designed to protect against the gas
  • Defines when further site investigation is required for developments near landfill sites
  • Provides guidance for when subsoil drainage is required. However, the document does not cover the flooding of sites – it assumes that suitable precautions have been taken
  • Provides guidance for different floor constructions to protect against moisture in the ground
  • Provides guidance for the protection of walls against moisture from the ground and includes damp-proof course details
  • Covers the weather resistance of external cavity walls, cladding and the weather resistance of roofs.
Part D: Toxic substances
This is a very short document. It advises on precautions that need to be taken to prevent toxic fumes from urea-formaldehyde foam cavity-wall filling affecting the health of building occupants.

Part G: Hygiene
This concerns the provision of WCs and bathrooms as well as unvented hot water systems. Again, a review is being considered but no date has been set. The Approved Document:

  • Provides information on the provision of toilets. For houses, flats and maisonettes, at least one WC is required; for other types of buildings, the document makes reference to the Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations, the Food Hygiene (General) Regulations and Part M
  • Offers information on the provision of washbasins
  • Details how the waste should discharge from sanitary appliances
  • Lists the sanitary appliances bathrooms in dwellings should contain
  • Details the protection required for unvented hot water systems.
Part K: Protection from falling, collision and impact
This section covers the design of stairs, ramps and guardrails and protection from collision with open windows, skylights and ventilators and protection from impact from doors. The Approved Document provides guidance on:
  • Design of stairways, including private and institutional and assembly stairs
  • Alternative stairs on loft conversions
  • The design of ramps
  • The provision of landings on stairways and ramps
  • The provision of handrails and guards
  • Headroom and width recommendations for stairs
  • Protection from falling in areas including stairways, ramps, balconies, roofs and lightwells
  • The design of vehicle barriers and loading bays to protect people
  • The design of windows and use of protection to prevent people walking into open windows
  • The safe design of doors.
Part N: Glazing – Safety in relation to impact, opening and cleaning
This covers the safety of glazing, access for cleaning windows and measures to reduce the risk of people colliding with glazing. The Approved Document:
  • Defines the glazed areas that need protection
  • Lists a number of glazing types that meet the requirements
  • Describes ways of making large areas of glazing more apparent
  • Recommends the location of window and rooflight controls
  • Provides guidance on access for cleaning windows and rooflights.
Regulation 7: Materials and workmanship
This is a general document that deals with the standards of materials and workmanship for building work. The Approved Document includes:
  • Guidance on the choice and use of materials for resistance to moisture and soil contaminants mostly by reference to British Standards
  • A section on short-lived materials and another on materials subject to changes in their properties
  • A section on adequacy of workmanship concerned with public health and safety, the conservation of fuel and power and access for disabled people.
It does not cover value for money. The document suggests ways that an adequate standard of workmanship can be established and includes references to British Standard Code of Practice BS 8000: Workmanship on Building Sites and BS EN ISO 9000: Quality Management and Quality Assurance Methods.