What Are The Building Regulations?

Your Building Control Service

East Cambs Building Control Service has been in existence for over 35 years, being established in 1974 when the District of East Cambridgeshire was formed. Subsequently, the Service has undergone many changes particularly in the range of services it now provides to customers and colleagues. Since 1985, when competition was introduced into the field of Building Control, the Service has been refined to ensure that it is able to positively respond to the challenge from competitors. The Council supports the Service competing to ‘win’ and retain the Building Control work that has long-standing traditions in local authorities.

The staff of Building Control are committed to ensuring the continuity of quality local authority expertise in the field of Building Control.

We believe that our Service is second to none and welcome comments from customers. Our level of performance is regularly measured to ensure that we meet the national building control standards as well as our own internal standards. Additionally, we are prepared to consider adapting the standard service to particular needs or variations that customers or colleagues may require.

The Service is able to offer unequalled local building knowledge about the District that includes historic building information and unique details about likely soil conditions for foundations. This and other information is available, free of charge, prior to deposit of Applications or Notices as part of our commitment to a quality, responsive and efficient Building Control Service to our customers and colleagues.

Where Did The Building Regulations Originate From?

The Great Fire of London in 1666 was the single most significant event to shape today’s building legislation. The rapid growth of the fire through timber buildings highlighted the need to consider the possible spread of fire between properties when the rebuilding work was done. The first building construction legislation was the London Buildings Act 1667, which imposed minimum distances and other fire related restrictions. Two hundred years on, the Industrial Revolution resulted in poor living and working conditions in ever expanding, densely populated urban areas. Outbreaks of cholera and other serious diseases, through poor sanitation, damp conditions and lack of ventilation, forced the Government to take action. Building Control took on the greater role of Health and Safety through the first Public Health Act in 1875. This Act had two major revisions in 1936 and 1961, leading to the first set of national building standards, The Building Regulations 1965. 

On 11 November 1985, the Building Act 1984 came into force, which introduced Approved Documents with their non-prescriptive requirements. Today’s Building Regulations came into operation in October 2010. The Regulations are constantly reviewed to meet the growing demand for better, safer and more accessible buildings. Any changes necessary are brought into operation after consultation with all interested parties. 

The Building Regulations Now

The Building Regulations are minimum standards for design, construction and alterations to virtually every building. They are developed by the Government and approved by Parliament.

The Building Regulations also contain a list of requirements (referred to as Schedule 1) that are designed to ensure minimum standards for health, safety, welfare, convenience, energy efficiency, sustainability and to prevent misuse, abuse or contamination of water supplies.

These regulations set national standards for building work, whether it be on a major new development or an extension or alterations to your home. They cover all aspects of construction, including foundations, damp-proofing, the overall stability of the building, insulation, ventilation, heating, fire protection and means of escape in case of fire. They also ensure that adequate facilities for people with disabilities are provided in certain types of building. In addition security and data infrastructure have been added to the regulations in the past 12 months.