02 | Building Regulations

Part M (2010) of the Building Regulation – Access and Uses

Part M (2010) of the Building Regulations requires that adequate provision be made for people to access and use a building, its facilities and its environs. Technical Guidance Part M provides guidance that will, prima facie, indicate compliance with Part M.
To satisfy the requirements of Part M, all buildings should be designed and constructed so that:

(a) people can safely and independently approach, gain access and use a building, its facilities and its environs, and
(b) elements of the building do not constitute an undue hazard for people, especially for people with vision, hearing or mobility impairments.

Technical Guidance Document M 2010 is divided into three sections. The following sections apply to dwellings:

Section 1 sets out the minimum level of provision for the common areas of apartment buildings and their environs, and applies to new and existing buildings.
Section 2 provides additional guidance on the common areas of existing apartment blocks and their environs where it is not practicable to achieve the provisions set out in Section 1, and should be read in conjunction with Section 1.
Section 3 applies to dwellings and their environs. This includes individual dwelling houses and individual apartments. It does not apply to the common areas of apartment blocks. The guidance in Section 3 also applies to the common areas of duplex buildings.

M4 of Part M (2010) states that “The Requirements of Part M do not apply to works in connection with extensions to and the material alterations of existing dwellings, provided that such works do not create a new dwelling.”

Whereas compliance with the Building Regulations (including Part M) is mandatory for new buildings, certain parts of the Regulations also apply to existing buildings where a material change of use takes place. Otherwise, Building Regulations do not apply to buildings constructed prior to 1 June, 1992. If in doubt as to whether the Building Regulations apply you should obtain advice from an architect or from the building control section of your local authority.

All new dwellings must be designed to comply with the Building Regulations as they apply, including Part M, Access and Use.