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The Building Regulations 1991

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PART IGeneral

Citation and commencement

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Building Regulations 1991 and shall come into force on 1st June 1992.


2.—(1) In these Regulations unless the context otherwise requires–

the Act” means the Building Act 1984;

“building” means any permanent or temporary building but not any other kind of structure or erection, and a reference to a building includes a reference to part of a building;

“building notice” means a notice given in accordance with regulations 11(1)and 12;

“building work” has the meaning given in regulation 3(1);

Construction Products Directive” means the Council Directive 89/106/EEC on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the member States relating to construction products(1);

“controlled service or fitting” means a service or fitting in relation to which Part G, H or J of Schedule 1 imposes a requirement;

“dwelling” includes a dwelling-house and a flat;

“dwelling-house” does not include a flat or a building containing a flat;

“European technical approval” means a favourable technical assessment of the fitness for use of a construction product for an intended use, issued for the purposes of the Construction Products Directive by a body authorised by a member State to issue European technical approvals for those purposes and notified by that member State to the European Commission;

“flat” means separate and self-contained premises constructed or adapted for use for residential purposes and forming part of a building from some other part of which it is divided horizontally;

“floor area” means the aggregate area of every floor in a building or extension, calculated by reference to the finished internal faces of the walls enclosing the area, or if at any point there is no such wall, by reference to the outermost edge of the floor;

“full plans” means plans deposited with a local authority for the purposes of section 16 of the Act in accordance with regulations 11(1)(b) and 13;

“harmonized standard” means a standard established as mentioned in the Construction Products Directive by the European standards organisation on the basis of a mandate given by the Commission of the European Economic Community and published by the Commission in the Official Journal of the European Communities;

“height” means the height of the building measured from the mean level of the ground adjoining the outside of the external walls of the building to the level of half the vertical height of the roof of the building, or to the top of the walls or of the parapet, if any, whichever is the higher;

“institution” means an institution (whether described as a hospital, home, school or other similar establishment) which is used as living accommodation for, or for the treatment, care or maintenance of persons–


suffering from disabilities due to illness or old age or other physical or mental incapacity, or


under the age of five years,

where such persons sleep on the premises;

“material alteration” has the meaning given in regulation 3(2);

“material change of use” has the meaning given in regulation 5;

“shop” includes premises–


used for the sale to members of the public of food or drink for consumption on or off the premises,


used for retail sales by auction to members of the public,


used by members of the public as a barber or hairdresser, or for the hiring of any item, and


where members of the public may take goods for repair or other treatment.

(2) In these Regulations “public building” means a building consisting of or containing–

(a)a theatre, public library, hall or other place of public resort;

(b)a school or other educational establishment not exempted from the operation of building regulations by virtue of section 4(1)(a) of the Act; or

(c)a place of public worship;

but a building is not to be treated as a place of public resort because it is, or it contains, a shop, storehouse or warehouse, or is a dwelling to which members of the public are occasionally admitted.

(3) Any reference in these Regulations to a numbered regulation, Part or Schedule is a reference to the regulation, Part or Schedule so numbered in these Regulations.


OJ No. L40, 11.2.89, p12.

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