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March 13, 2019
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Building Regulations – A Closer Look

In our introductory document we call this the ‘Technical Stage’

You may be thinking, ‘do I need building regulation drawings’?

For most projects, in short, yes you do. Why? Because, the design should be checked by an approved inspector before works start to make sure you and your builder are compliant.

An independent building inspector will take approximately 2 weeks to complete the plan check following registration of the application.

What is included:

  • Technical Plans, showing the location of any:
    • Beams
    • Padstones
    • Piers
    • Columns
    • Foundations
  • Technical Sections
  • Building Regulation Specification
    • drawing upon relevant building regulation which is appropriate for the project.
  • Liaising with Inspector until Plan Check Approval

What is excluded:

  • Dimensions and lengths of members for fabrication or manufacture.
  • Party wall matters or agreeing position of party walls or boundaries.
  • Design of bespoke items such as staircase.
  • Design of precast concrete, roof trusses, glass structures or items of specialist manufacture.
  • Detailing of piled or reinforced foundations. An assumed bearing pressure will be used and will need to be confirmed when construction starts on site.
  • Temporary works design. These allow the permanent works to be installed is normally carried out by the contractor. 

Existing Buildings and Structures

Extending and altering existing buildings and structures have their individual challenges. The most noteworthy of these challenges is ascertaining the existing structural elements and building fabric. Working with older structures often require assumptions to be made for the implementation of new structures.

During the construction, any assumptions made at the design stage need to be to verify that the design is valid. In an ideal project, the structure would be exposed before any design work begins.

This approach is dependent upon occupation and timescales. In most instances, full exposure of the structure is not feasible.

Types of survey:

Tier 1 (standard) – An inspection of elements of structure which are available and a check on span of floors, roof and beams that are exposed. This type of survey enables a design based on the information obtained from similar buildings or structure types, historical data and available structure.

This type of assessment will require any assumptions made to be confirmed by the contractor once the structure is exposed.

There is the possibility of unexpected elements such as flues will be discovered. It is a good idea to allow for cost variations due to any unforeseen elements.

Tier 2 (optional)– Partial removal to expose the structure. This needs to be carried out at critical locations to establish which walls are load bearing, locate columns, beams and check floor spans. This type of investigation reduces the number of unknown factors which affect the design but there is still the possibility of unexpected elements being uncovered during the construction phase.

Tier 3 (optional)– Complete removal of finishes to expose existing structure. This type of investigation reduces the unknowns and therefore provides the greatest cost certainty during construction.

And, there you have it, an in-depth look into building regulation drawings.