Introduction and Requirement
This document has been published by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government under article 7 of the Building Regulations 1997. It provides guidance in relation to Part A of the Second Schedule to the Regulations. The document should be read in conjunction with the Building Regulations 1997-2012, and other documents published under these Regulations.
In general, Building Regulations apply to the construction of new buildings and to extensions and material alterations to buildings. In addition, certain parts of the Regulations apply to existing buildings where a material change of use takes place. Otherwise, Building Regulations do not apply to buildings constructed prior to 1 June, 1992.
This document applies to works, or buildings in which material changes of use takes place, where the works or the change of use commence or take place, as the case may be, on or after 1 July 2013. Technical Guidance Document A - Structure, dated 1997 also ceases to have effect from that date. However, the latter document may continue to be used in the case of works, or buildings in which a material change of use takes place where the works or the change of use commence or takes place, as the case may be, before 30 June 2013.
The materials, methods of construction, standards and other specifications (including technical specifications) which are referred to in this document are those which are likely to be suitable for the purposes of the Regulations. Where works are carried out in accordance with the guidance in this Document, this will, prima facie, indicate compliance with Part A of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations. However, the adoption of an approach other than that outlined in the guidance is not precluded provided that the relevant requirements of the Regulations are complied with. Those involved in the design and construction of a building may be required by the relevant building control authority to provide such evidence as is necessary to establish that the requirements of the Building Regulations are being complied with.
In the case of material alterations or changes of use of existing buildings, the adoption without modification of the guidance in this document may not, in all circumstances, be appropriate. In particular, the adherence to guidance, intended for application to new work may be unduly restrictive or impracticable. Buildings of architectural or historical interest are especially likely to give rise to such circumstances. In these situations, alternative approaches based on the principles contained in the document may be more relevant and should be considered.
Building Regulations are made for specific purposes, e.g. to provide, in relation to buildings, for the health, safety and welfare of persons, the conservation of energy and access for people with disabilities.
Technical specifications (including harmonised European Standards, European Technical Approvals, National Standards and Agrément Certificates) are relevant to the extent that they relate to these considerations. Any reference to a technical specification is a reference to so much of the specification as is relevant in the context in which it arises. Technical specifications may also address other aspects not covered by the Regulations.
A reference to a technical specification is to the latest edition (including any amendments, supplements or addenda) current at the date of publication of this Technical Guidance Document. However, if this version of the technical specification is subsequently revised or updated by the issuing body, the new version may be used as a source of guidance provided that it continues to address the relevant requirements of the Regulations.
A list of other standards and publications that deal with matters relating to this Part of the Building Regulations is included at the end of this document. These standards and publications may be used as a source of further information but do not form part of the guidance.
Materials and Workmanship
Under Part D of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations, building work to which the Regulations apply must be carried out with proper materials and in a workmanlike manner. Guidance in relation to compliance with Part D is contained in Technical Guidance Document D.
In this document, a reference to a section, sub-section, part, paragraph or diagram is, unless otherwise stated, a reference to a section, sub-section, part, paragraph or diagram, as the case may be, of this document. A reference to another Technical Guidance Document is a reference to the latest edition of a document published by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government under article 7 of the Building Regulations 1997. Diagrams are used in this document to illustrate particular aspects of construction - they may not show all the details of construction.
Part A of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations, as amended, provides as follows:
(1). A building shall be designed and constructed, with due regard to the theory and practice of structural engineering, so as to ensure that the combined actions that are liable to act on it are sustained and transmitted to the ground
a. safely, and
b. without causing such deflection or deformation of any part of the building, or such movement of the ground, as will impair the stability of any part of another building.
(2). In assessing whether a building complies with sub-paragraph (1), regard shall be had to the variable actions to which it is likely to be subjected in the ordinary course of its use for the purpose for which it is intended.
A2 Ground movement
A building shall be designed and constructed, with due regard to the theory and practice of structural engineering, so as to ensure that movements of the subsoil caused by subsidence, swelling, shrinkage or freezing will not impair the stability of any part of the building.
A3 Disproportionate Collapse
(1). A building shall be designed and constructed, with due regard Collapse. to the theory and practice of structural engineering, so as to ensure that in the event of an accident the structure will not be damaged to an extent disproportionate to the cause of the damage.
(2). For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1), where a building is rendered structurally discontinuous by a vertical joint, the building on each side of the joint may be treated as a separate building whether or not such joint passes through the substructure.
In this Part, “actions” means a set of forces (loads) applied to the structure (direct actions) or a set of imposed deformations or accelerations (indirect actions).
“variable actions” means actions for which the variation in magnitude with time is neither negligible nor monotonic such as imposed loads on building floors, wind actions or snow loads.