Building Regulations set minimum performance
standards in the design and construction of buildings, to ensure
the health and safety of people in and around those buildings. They
also incorporate measures to conserve fuel & power and to
ensure the provision of facilities for disabled people.
It is recognised that some types of building and items of work
present no risk to the health & safety of people that use or
As a result the Regulations do not apply to certain works and these
are detailed in this guidance note.
Greenhouses and Agricultural Buildings
Generally these are exempt if they meet the
- Any greenhouse which is not used for retailing,
packaging or exhibiting.
- Any building used for agriculture, horticulture,
fish farming or principally for keeping animals provided that:
- No part is used as a dwelling
- The building is at least 1 ½ times its height
from any building containing sleeping accommodation.
- No point in the building is more than 30m from a
Small Detached Buildings, Sheds, Garages, etc
A detached building with a floor area of less
than 15m2 which does not contain sleeping accommodation will meet
the requirements for exemption.
In addition detached buildings which do not contain sleeping
accommodation will meet the requirements for exemption if:
- The floor area does not exceed 30m2, and
- The building is at least 1m from a boundary
- The building is substantially non
combustible (i.e. constructed of brickwork, concrete or steel)
Certain small single storey extensions are
exempt from Building Regulations when attached to a property at
ground level if the floor area does not exceed 30m2
- A carport open on at least two sides
- A covered yard open on at least two sides
- A covered way open on at least two sides
- A porch *
- A conservatory (in some cases)*
In the case of a porch or conservatory any
glazing must meet the requirements of the Regulations in terms of
A conservatory is considered to be an extension with at least ¾ of
its roof and ½ of its walls constructed of a translucent
In order to be exempt a conservatory must be
thermally separated from the original house by a combination
of walls, windows and doors, so that it can be closed off from the
house when not in use, and if they were to be later removed the
house would still be secure and weatherproof.
Conservatories that require an application
The most common situation where Building
Regulation consent is required is shown below.
With a layout such as this the "conservatory is not separated from
the house and is considered in the same way as any extension.
Quite clearly energy will be more rapidly lost from the building
with this arrangement.
Because the Government is committed to reducing energy consumption
and carbon emissions the Building now place limits on the amount
and type of glazing.
Where an application is required it will also be necessary to
consider other parts of the regulations including:
- Foundation design
- Fire spread
- Means of escape
- Preventing damp
- Drainage Ventilation
- Electrical Installation
In addition Building Regulation approval will
always be required where it is necessary to form a new opening, or
alter an existing opening to form access to the extension from the
If at any time you alter a building which was exempt from Building
Regulations in such a way that it no longer meets the requirements
for exemption then it will be necessary to make an
Even if the works which you may propose are considered to be exempt
from Building Regulations it is recommended that they are carried
out to a suitable standard by a competent person.
In some cases Planning Permission may be required for works which
are exempt from Building Regulations. You are advised to contact
the Planning Department to ascertain if Planning Permission is