New Building Regulations – October 2012

All Northern Ireland Building Control Applications, made from 31 October 2012 onwards, will be under the New Regulations.

Summaries of the changes for domestic projects are as follows:

  1. The latest regulations aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25% on the previous 2006 regulation figures. This would be achieved largely through the design of the building envelope and ventilation requirements. The aspiration is for all new build homes to be zero carbon by 2016.
  2. The status of the regulations has changed from a “Deemed to satisfy” approach to one of “Guidance based”, allowing for some flexibility.
  3. A dwelling must have a carbon monoxide alarm where a combustion appliance is installed.
  4. Sound insulation between homes must be to a required standard. This must be proven with a sound test or another method to demonstrate compliance.
  5. The use of a Building Notice has been restricted to alterations and extensions to existing dwellings only – to a maximum of 10m² or in the case of a roof space conversion – 3m².
  1. Designated Radon Areas have been revised.
  2. Appropriate testing and commissioning of ventilation systems must be carried out and evidence submitted to district council. Details of system along with servicing requirements must be submitted to building owner.
  3. A new regulation states that delivered hot water is not excessive and hot water supplied to a bath is limited to a temperature of 48 degrees Celsius.
  4. A Building Control Application is required for a porch over 5m² in area.
  5. Type approval has been introduced – where for example, the same house type has been used for a housing development in different council areas. Site specific matters such as foundations and fire safety issues do not have to be submitted.

The above information should only be treated as a guide and reference should be made to actual Building Control documents.