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The Approved Documents

Approved documents The Approved Documents that run from Part A to Part P reproduce the legal requirements and give practical and technical guidance on how to meet them. Full details of the Approved Documents and further guidance can be found on the Planning Portal website. The following gives a brief summary of the contents of each document.

Part A - Structural Safety

  • ensures that the weight of the building from the walls, furniture and people in the building will be transmitted to the ground, so as not to cause instability to the building or other buildings.
  • requires buildings to be built in a way ensuring no collapse will occur disproportionate to it's cause.
  • to ensure that ground movement such as freezing of subsoil will not impair the stability of the building

Part B - Fire Safety

  • requires safe means of escape from the building
  • requires the stability of a building to be maintained in a fire, both internally and externally
  • internally - the linings on the walls and ceilings have to resist the spread of flames and give off reasonable levels of heat , if on fire.
  • requires that the internal stability will be maintained during fire and fire spread will be prohibited
  • ensures that fire and and smoke will be prohibited from spreading to concealed spaces in a building structure.
  • externally - the external walls and roof should resist spread of fire to wall and roofs of other buildings
  • the building must be easily accessible for fire fighters and their equipment

Part C - Site Preparation and Damp Proofing

  • nothing should be growing on the ground to be covered by the building
  • precautions must be taken to stop gases and dangerous substances from previous land use from entering the building and endangering the health and safety of the occupants
  • subsoil drainage, if needed, should be in place to stop the passage of ground moisture to the interior of the building and to prevent damage to the fabric of the building
  • the walls, floors and roof of the building shall prevent moisture passing to the inside of the building

Part D - Toxic Substances

  • Insulating materials inserted into cavity walls can give off fumes. Prevention must be taken to stop these fumes reaching the occupants of the building

Part E - Soundproofing

  • floors and walls between domestic buildings should have a certain resistance to the passage of sound
  • sound insulation requirements also apply to floors and certain walls within individual dwellings and new schools

Part F - Ventilation

  • the building must have adequate ventilation and provision to prevent condensation occurring in the roof structure

Part G - Hygiene

  • There should be adequate sanitation facilities i.e. toilets
  • a house must have either a bath or shower with the ability to heat hot water.
  • Unvented hot water systems must be installed by a suitably trained and registered person

Part H - Drainage and Waste Disposal

  • An adequate system to carry water used in cooking, washing, toilet, bath or shower to a sewer, cesspool or settlement tank must be in place
  • A cesspool or settlement tank must be impermeable to liquids and have adequate ventilation. It must also have means of access for emptying, not harm the health of any person and not contaminate water or water supply
  • An adequate system to carry rainwater away from the roof of a building must be provide e.g. guttering carrying water to a soakaway
  • There must be a place to put a wheelie bin or dustbin. The place must not harm anyone's health

Part J - Heating Appliances

  • All heating appliances must have an adequate air supply for combustion and for efficient working of a fluepipe or chimney.
  • Appliances shall discharge the products of combustion to the outside.
  • The appliance, fireplace and chimney shall reduce the risk of the building catching fire.

Part K - Stairs, Ramps and Guards

  • Stairs, ramps and ladders shall provide safety for people, when moving between different levels of a building.
  • Stairs, ramps, floors and balconies shall be adequately guarded.
  • Safety shall be provided for people using vehicle ramps and loading bays.

Part L - Conservation of Fuel and Power

  • Provision must be made for the conservation of fuel and power in a building.
  • The fabric of the building must limit heat loss.
  • Controls must be provided to operate the heating of the building and heating of water.
  • Provisions for limiting heat loss from hot water tanks and hot water pipes must be provided.
  • Lighting systems in buildings should use no more energy than needed and have adequate controls.

Part M - Access and Facilities for People with Disabilities

In Part M, "people with disabilities" means people who have an impairment which limits their ability to walk or which requires them to use a wheelchair for mobility or have impaired hearing or sight.

  • Reasonable provision shall be made for people with disabilities at entrances to and within new dwellings and buildings.
  • An existing building should have reasonable provision  for people with disabilities to gain access and use the building.
  • If toilets are provided, reasonable provision shall be made available for people  with disabilities.
  • If a building has seating such as audience or spectator seating, reasonable provision should be made for people with disabilities.

Part N - Glazing Materials and Protection

  • Glazing that people come into contact with whilst in a building, should, if broken, break in a way unlikely to cause injury, resist impact without breaking or be shielded or protected from impact.
  • Buildings, other than dwellings that have transparent glazing which people come into contact with while moving around a building, must have features to make it apparent. Windows that can be opened must be operated safely and provision made for safe accessible cleaning.

Part P - Electrical Safety

Part P states that fixed electrical installations in dwellings shall be suitably designed, installed, inspected and tested so as to provide reasonable protection against their being the source of fire or a cause of injury to persons.

Part P applies to electrical installations in dwellings and associated land such as sheds, greenhouses and fixed lighting to gardens and pond pumps. It also extends to alterations and extensions to existing electrical installations, including full or partial rewires, and extends beyond dwellings to common access parts and shared amenities in blocks of flats.

(Taken from LAWs Project)

Updated: 18 Nov 2014
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