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Building to 2013 Regs by 2015

This approach has always caused friction, as those who are keen to jump in at the deep end and build to new standards want the whole industry to follow suite from the off.

At the English Part L 2013 launch at BRE headquarters this month, it was confirmed that the transitional arrangements as we move away from Part L 2010 will follow the same path as previous changes.

This means that Part L 2013 will go live on April 6th 2014. Any new developments which are registered with Building Control from this date onwards must be constructed to the new regs.

If your site is registered before this date, you will be given a grace period of twelve months to start work. If you get the project underway, you can build to Part L 2010, otherwise the new set of regulations will be enforced.

Once you’ve started on site, that version of Part L will apply. If you have to resubmit for any reason (such as a redesign) and this effects the Building Control Application, you’d be expected to upgrade the site to meet the current set of regulations.

The definition of ‘starting on site’ is quite generous. It would only take one foundation trench on a 100 plot site to ensure your development can be built to the older regulations. The following works are considered as commencement:

-       Excavation for strip or trench foundations or for pad footings

-       Digging out and preparation of ground for raft foundations

-       Vibrofloatation (stone columns) piling, boring for piles or pile driving

-       Drainage work specific to the building (s) concerned

And just to be clear, commencement does not cover:

-       Removal of vegetation, top soil, or treatment of contaminated land

-       Demolition of previous buildings on site

-       Dynamic compaction

-       General site servicing works (temporary roads for example)

Head of Technical Policy at DCLG, Anthony Bird (who was standing in at the Part L launch in place of ousted Minister Don Foster) said this twelve month grace period is not a Part L specific rule, and is in-keeping with the same arrangements used across all Building Regulations.

So, if you’re keen on putting off Part L 2013 for as long as possible, it makes sense to register your new sites with Building Control before next April.

Jon Ponting

Author: Jon Ponting

This article was published by Jon Ponting on 16.10.2013.