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Guide to Building Regulations Part M

Making sure your new building and/or extension is used properly is a core part of the British Building Regulations part M – so be sure to check the details of these guidelines thoroughly before starting any type of construction project.

building regulation part MAs construction work begins on your new property or extension project, you want to be sure that the builders are sticking to all the legally-approved plans and blueprints – and that includes making sure everything complies with all aspects of part m of the building regulations. Under government planning rules these building regulations part m – strictly titled the Approved Document M of Schedule 1 of the British Building Regulations – relates to the Access to and Use of Buildings; that is, making sure the said building is constructed so that it can be properly accessed by all peoples and subsequently used according to its original needs. This primary requirement is listed as the Part M1 building reg of part m; so what are the other important rules you need to be aware of?

Part M Building Regulations UK

According to the government document, the remaining sections of the part m building regs determine that you or your chosen contractor (whoever is listed as in charge of overall construction of the said property) is also obliged…

M2 – To provide suitable independent access to a building (including disabled access).

M3 – To provide sanitary conveniences in extensions to the building other than the ordinary dwelling (although this doesn’t apply if reasonable provisions are being made elsewhere in the building so that those already in the extension have ease of access).

M4 – To provide sanitary conveniences in dwellings at the entrance storey or elsewhere in the principal building (the entrance meaning that principal means of entering the building to the nearest habitable – or most used – room).

So how can you make sure these building regulations of document m are properly adhered to in your initial planning phases? Well, you should make sure that the property…

  • Has level paving on entry, as well as all the appropriate ramps, steps and handrails installed for easy disabled access.
  • Includes adequate parking (including for disabled peoples) and the appropriate corresponding signage.
  • Has in-built accessible doors that comply with the appropriate height and width requirements, as well as alternative routes of entry for disabled access if the primary door is inaccessible (i.e. as with a revolving door).
  • Contains the appropriate toilet facilities on all floors.
  • Includes smoke detectors, fire alarms and appropriate safety signage and fire exit points.
  • Controls the spread of draughts and includes transitional lighting upon entry to reduce glare.
  • Includes slip-resistant flooring on entry and elsewhere in the building where the property is used for non-sporting activities.
  • Provides suitable emergency communications appliances in the event of a security or emergency event.

Remember, part m of building regulations in the UK doesn’t apply if you are merely altering an existing dwelling (even via an attached extension), or in parts of any building or extension that are used solely to enable the repair, maintenance and inspection of the property in question (such as a cleaning cupboard or cellar). If you want to read further about the building regs part m, or prefer to find out the exact details relating to your particular building, you can purchase and/or download the entire document for a small fee from the government’s planning portal website.

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