How did Building Control and the Building Regulations become Law? – 12th Century – London becomes first city to be granted Royal Charter entitling it to its own mayor and some form of self-government. This included byelaw's put in place for constructing of new buildings in the city originally to set standards for fire and safety precautions. As London grew these set standards of good building practice and town planning.
London Building Act 1667 – After the great fire of London destroyed 80% of the city Charles II proclaimed that any new buildings within the city would be of brick or stone and the streets wide enough so that fire could not spread from one side to the other. Christopher Wren was amongst others who was commissioned to draft regulations which became the London Building Act 1667 – these also accounted for structural load bearing walls, foundations, timber in party walls, beam bearings, joist centers, roof coverings and rainwater guttering and down pipes. From time to time new requirements were added to the London Building act and similar acts were introduced around Britain.
The Public Health Act 1875 – Was the first piece of countrywide legislation dealing with many aspects of building. Due to the outbreak of disease during the industrial revolution the government was forced to take action against bad sanitation, drainage & ventilation in new building requirements. The Building Regulations 1965 – actually came into place in February 1966, this was the first form of modern legislation that covered the main part of England & Wales apart from Inner London Boroughs where the London Building Acts continued to prevail.
Building Act 1984 – consolidated building regulations under one piece of legislation leading to the introduction of, Building Regulations 1985 – introduced in November 1985 and were accompanied by supportive Approved Documents. If the guidance in the approved document was followed this would generally be evidence to show that you have worked in conjunction with the regulations. This is the form of regulations used today.
July 1987 – Inner London finally works alongside the regulations making them a uniformed regulation across England & Wales. The Building Regulations 2007 as amended – These are used in the same format as 1985 with approved documents in place as guidance for those wishing to carry out building works. This is the current legislation in place.
What are the Building Regulations? The Building Regulations ensure the health, safety, welfare and convenience of people in and about buildings, whether they live or work in them. The Building Act 1984 They set minimum recommendations for the installation of fire safety measures, damp-proofing, sound insulation, stairs ramps and guards, ventilation, drainage, energy conservation, access to and use of buildings, glazing, heat producing appliances, electrical safety and structural integrity.
The Building Regulations are part of The Building Act 1984 and the current edition is The Building Regulations 2007 (as amended) – which means they have been updated to suite today's society. It is the responsibility of the local council to enforce the regulations in their area under The Building Act 1984, which is issued for people in England and Wales to follow. Projects that are required to comply with the regulations generally are new, extended and altered buildings, i.e. domestic, commercial and industrial buildings.