Harwood’s building control glossary

December 12, 2022


Harwood’s building control glossary

National building standards were first introduced in 1965 and are now known as the Building Regulations. Having the correct regulations in place ensures the safety of people in and around a building, and as a leading Approved Inspector we have the expertise to assist you in navigating them.

Without the right building regulations, the success of your project will suffer, and if there are terms or acronyms you’re not familiar with, it might put you at a disadvantage.

So, whether you’re new to building control, are looking to procure these services for the first time or just want a refresher of some of the key terms, we’ve put together a (not exhaustive!) glossary of terms that could be useful to know when considering your next project.

ACAI (The Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors): ACAI is regarded as the voice of private sector building control and works closely with bodies such as Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE), Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and Local Authority Building Control (LABC) in the Building Control Alliance (BCA). Harwood is proud to be a member of the ACAI.

Approved Documents: Governmental guidance on ways to meet the building regulations.

Approved Inspectors (AI): Competent, qualified and experienced building control professionals who can help achieve compliance on most construction projects as an alternative to obtaining building regulations from a local authority.

Part A (Approved Document):  Contains guidance on the structural stability and safety of buildings, from foundations to walls and roofs.

Part B (Approved Document): The building regulation in England covering fire safety matters in and around buildings.

Building control: All building work must be checked by building control services to ensure that it is compliant with the building regulations. This is a legal requirement and essential for the health and safety of the building inhabitants.

Building regulations: Requirements that are applicable in and around buildings, designed to ensure people’s safety, health, and welfare, as well as set standards for accessibility, water use, energy use and security.

Building Safety Act: The Government’s main response to the recommendations coming out of The Hackitt Report following the fire at Grenfell Tower in 2017. The primary objective being to implement the Government’s ambition for long-lasting reform of the building safety system.

Part C (Approved Document): Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture – details for the conditions of the ground on which a building is to be built.

CABE: Chartered Association of Building Engineers, an internationally recognised professional body. CABE shares knowledge and raises standards, working to create a better and safer built environment.

CICAIR (Construction Industry Council Approved Inspectors Register):  A subsidiary of the Construction Industry Council (CIC) providing applicants with a route to registration as an Approved Inspector. CICAIR are the only body authorised to assess and approve Approved Inspectors in England and Wales.

Part D (Approved Document): The prevention of toxic substances in buildings, particularly in relation to cavity fill insulation.

EPC (Energy Performance Certificate): In 2013, The Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) took effect, requiring EPCs to be produced that set out the energy efficiency ratings of buildings.

Part F (Approved Document):  The building regulation in England for the ventilation requirements to maintain indoor air quality. In June 2022, new regulations came into force for Part F – get in touch to find out more about the changes.

The Future Homes Standard: A set of proposals that review all aspects of residential building design. Read more here.

Final Certificate: We will issue this when a project is complete, and we are satisfied that the works comply with Building Regulations.

Part G (Approved Document):  Sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency. Part G ensures a reduction in water use, sets standards for water quality and promotes the safety of hot water systems, as well as ensuring ample sanitary conveniences are provided within buildings.

Part H (Approved Document):  Drainage and waste disposal. This part includes details on foul water drainage, pipe sizes and protection of pipes, wastewater systems and rainwater drainage.

Initial Notice: If an Approved Inspector is used, before any controlled building work can start on site, they must inform the local authority about the work. This is called giving an ‘initial notice’. This notice states that a particular Approved Inspector is the BCB for the specified works, at the specified location.

Part J (Approved Document):  How combustion appliances and fuel storage systems can be designed to ensure an adequate air supply and safe discharge of combustion products.

Part K (Approved Document):  Standards for the safety of stairways, ramps and ladders and protection from falling, collision and impact.

Part L (Approved Document):  Part L contains requirements relating to the conservation of fuel and power. In June 2022, new regulations came into place – get in touch to find out more about the changes.

Part M (Approved Document):  This part relates to the access and use of buildings. Read more about the often overlooked areas of Part M when refurbing an office.

New homes: New build homes and buildings in England have to produce around 30% less CO2 to help move the country towards net zero. Efficiencies must be in place to lower energy usage, reduce overheating and improvements made to ventilation.

Part O (Approved Document):  First published in December 2021 as part of the government’s plans to deliver net zero, Part O took effect on 15th June 2022 and sets out the requirements of mitigating overheating.

Planning permission: Deals with the principle of development, the use of land and buildings and their appearance.

Part P (Approved Document):  This part, Electrical Safety, requires that: ‘reasonable provision shall be made in the design and installation of electrical installations in order to protect persons operatingmaintaining or altering the installations from fire or injury.’

Party Wall Act: The Party Wall Act in 1996 was introduced as a way of resolving disputes between neighbours and is crucial to consider when undertaking work that will affect a shared wall, such as an extension or underpinning.

Part Q (Approved Document):  Part Q details the security requirements that windows and doors must meet in new buildings.

Part R (Approved Document):  New buildings and renovations should include the provision of in-built physical infrastructure for high-speed electronic communications networks.

Site inspection: Inspections are critical before work begins. At Harwood, we require 48 hours’ notice before the first inspection, after that we will normally arrange an inspection within 24 hours of a request being made.

Ventilation: See Part F (Approved Document).

This is just a small selection of the myriad of industry terms and acronyms you might come across when considering your next project.

At Harwood, we take pride in our open, friendly approach, and don’t want to bamboozle clients with technical jargon. If you’ve got questions, get in touch! Call us on 01227 931 777 or email to find out more about how we work.