Building Regulations Pertaining to Garden Buildings

If you want to put up a garden building the Building Regulations will normally not apply if the floor area of the building is no more than 15m2 and contains no sleeping accommodation.

If the floor area is between 15m2 and 30m2, you will not normally be required to apply for building regulations approval providing that the building contains no sleeping accommodation and it is either at least 1m from any boundary or is constructed of substantially non combustible materials.

At Garden Spaces we have a large amount of experience of designing and erecting many buildings over 30m2 that do have to comply with building regulations. The main basic structure of all of our buildings are compliant with current building regulations and that tells you everything about the quality of the materials used and the thermal performance achieved.

Part L Building Regulations – Some Useful Background Information

Part L of schedule 1 of the Building Regulations covers the requirements with respect to Conservation of fuel and power.

Worldwide concerns regarding climate change and the impact which greenhouse gas emissions have on the environment have encouraged governments to at last take some positive action. The latest revisions to Parts L are designed to reduce the emission of damaging greenhouse gases. About half of the UK’s CO2 emissions is due to energy consumption in buildings.

The new building regulations make a significant impact by specifying improved energy efficiency levels and thus reducing greenhouse gases and CO2 emissions.

The UK Government is responsible for the national policy on building regulations. “Building regulations exist to ensure the health, safety and welfare of people in the building and the energy efficiency of the building”. Building regulations (not to be confused with planning permission) are concerned with how a structure is designed, built and insulated.

Following a lengthy review process with considerable industry involvement the government have finally published a consultation paper that sets out proposals for changes to Part L of the Building Regulations which deals with energy efficiency. The consultation paper sets out specific proposals for changes that, if accepted, will be introduced in late 2001. Further improvements will be implemented 18 months later. Proposals for possible future changes in 2005 and 2007 are also discussed in the document.

A significant general change from the existing regulations is a widening of the definition of a “material alteration” to bring more work on existing buildings within the definition of “building work” in the Regulations. This recognises the need to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings. Thus, in future, changes such as replacing glazing and upgrading of boilers will have to meet the same requirements as for new buildings. Furthermore, work such as substantial alterations to cladding, will have to meet the new air-tightness and insulation requirements.

For New Dwelling the Main Changes Include

Significantly improved U-values in the elemental method, which will require considerably higher levels of insulation. These will be introduced in two stages the first probably in late 2001 and the second 18 months later.

A requirement for higher standards of envelope insulation for dwellings with electric or poor efficiency gas and oil heating systems.

Adjustment of the target method to provide broadly similar overall performance to the new elemental method U-values but with greater flexibility.

The inclusion of a “Carbon Index” method in place of the SAP energy rating (but based on the SAP calculation) as an alternative method of demonstrating compliance.

The use of the more rigorous and potentially accurate (but cumbersome) “Combined’ U-value calculation method as set out in BS 6946:19972 for U-value calculations.

Certification of heating and hot water systems to show that they have been correctly installed and commissioned, and the provision of operating and maintenance instructions for users.

A requirement for increased standards of detail design and site workmanship to improve real building performance and to reduce the incidence of gaps in the insulation, thermal bridging and poor air-tightness.