Building Regulations: Approved Documents L and F (consultation version) Applies to: England

Consultation version – October 2019

This draft guidance accompanies the October 2019 consultation on the Future Homes Standard, Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations. The Government is seeking views on the standards for new dwellings, and the structure of the draft guidance. The standards for work to existing dwellings are not a subject of this consultation.

The approved documents

What is an approved document?

The Secretary of State has approved a series of documents that give practical guidance about how to meet the requirements of the Building Regulations 2010 for England. These approved documents give guidance on each of the technical parts of the regulations and on regulation 7. The approved documents provide guidance for common building situations.

It is the responsibility of those carrying out building work to meet the requirements of the Building Regulations 2010.

Although it is ultimately for the courts to determine whether those requirements have been met, the approved documents provide practical guidance on potential ways to achieve compliance with the requirements of the regulations in England. Although approved documents cover common building situations, compliance with the guidance set out in the approved documents does not provide a guarantee of compliance with the requirements of the regulations because the approved documents cannot cater for all circumstances, variations and innovations. Those with responsibility for meeting the requirements of the regulations will need to consider for themselves whether following the guidance in the approved documents is likely to meet those requirements in the particular circumstances of their case.

Note that there may be other ways to comply with the requirements than the method described in an approved document. If you prefer to meet a relevant requirement in some other way than described in an approved document, you should seek to agree this with the relevant building control body at an early stage.

Where the guidance in the approved document has been followed, a court or inspector will tend to find that there is no breach of the regulations. However, where the guidance in the approved document has not been followed, this may be relied upon as tending to establish breach of the regulations and, in such circumstances, the person carrying out building works should demonstrate that the requirements of the regulations have been complied with by some other acceptable means or method.

In addition to guidance, some approved documents include provisions that must be followed exactly, as required by regulations or where methods of test or calculation have been prescribed by the Secretary of State.

Each approved document relates only to the particular requirements of the Building Regulations 2010 that the document addresses. However, building work must also comply with all other applicable requirements of the Building Regulations 2010 and all other applicable legislation.

How to use this approved document

This document uses the following conventions.

a. Text against a green background is an extract from the Building Regulations 2010 or the Building (Approved Inspectors etc.) Regulations 2010 (both as amended). These extracts set out the legal requirements of the regulations.

b. Key terms, printed in green, are defined in Appendix A.

c. References are made to appropriate standards or other documents, which can provide further useful guidance. When this approved document refers to a named standard or other reference document, the standard or reference has been clearly identified in this document. Standards are highlighted in bold throughout. The full name and version of the document referred to is listed in Appendix D (standards) or Appendix C (other documents). However, if the issuing body has revised or updated the listed version of the standard or document, you may use the new version as guidance if it continues to address the relevant requirements of the Building Regulations.

d. Standards and technical approvals also address aspects of performance or matters that are not covered by the Building Regulations and may recommend higher standards than required by the Building Regulations. Nothing in this approved document precludes you from adopting higher standards.

e. In this consultation version of the Approved Document technical differences to the Approved Document 2013 edition incorporating 2016 amendments are generally highlighted in yellow, although editorial changes have been made to the whole document which may have changed the meaning of some guidance

User requirements

The approved documents provide technical guidance. Users of the approved documents should have adequate knowledge and skills to understand and apply the guidance correctly to the building work being undertaken.

The Building Regulations

The following is a high level summary of the Building Regulations relevant to most types of building work. Where there is any doubt you should consult the full text of the regulations, available at

Building work

Regulation 3 of the Building Regulations defines ‘building work’. Building work includes:

a. the erection or extension of a building

b. the provision or extension of a controlled service or fitting

c. the material alteration of a building or a controlled service or fitting.

Regulation 4 states that building work should be carried out in such a way that, when work is complete:

a. For new buildings or work on a building that complied with the applicable requirements of the Building Regulations: the building complies with the applicable requirements of the Building Regulations.

b. For work on an existing building that did not comply with the applicable requirements of the Building Regulations:

(i) the work itself must comply with the applicable requirements of the Building Regulations and

(ii) the building must be no more unsatisfactory in relation to the requirements than before the work was carried out.

Material change of use

Regulation 5 defines a ‘material change of use’ in which a building or part of a building that was previously used for one purpose will be used for another.

The Building Regulations set out requirements that must be met before a building can be used for a new purpose. To meet the requirements, the building may need to be upgraded in some way.

Materials and workmanship

In accordance with regulation 7, building work must be carried out in a workmanlike manner using adequate and proper materials. Guidance on regulation 7(1) is given in Approved Document 7, and guidance on regulation 7(2) is provided in Approved Document B.

Independent third party certification and accreditation

Independent schemes of certification and accreditation of installers can provide confidence that the required level of performance for a system, product, component or structure can be achieved. Building control bodies may accept certification under such schemes as evidence of compliance with a relevant standard. However, a building control body should establish before the start of the building work that a scheme is adequate for the purposes of the Building Regulations.

Energy efficiency requirements

Part 6 of the Building Regulations imposes additional specific requirements for energy efficiency. If a building is extended or renovated, the energy efficiency of the existing building or part of it may need to be upgraded.

Notification of work

Most building work and material changes of use must be notified to a building control body unless one of the following applies.

a. It is work that will be self-certified by a registered competent person or certified by a registered third party.

b. It is work exempted from the need to notify by regulation 12(6A) of, or Schedule 4 to, the Building Regulations.

Responsibility for compliance

People who are responsible for building work (e.g. agent, designer, builder or installer) must ensure that the work complies with all applicable requirements of the Building Regulations. The building owner may also be responsible for ensuring that work complies with the Building Regulations. If building work does not comply with the Building Regulations, the building owner may be served with an enforcement notice.



available at

Post time: Oct-30-2019