Building Regulations

Exemptions from building regulations

The building regulations are made up of procedural and technical provisions. Some works are exempt from the whole of the regulations, others are only exempt from certain aspects.

Even if exempt from the regulations, work may still require planning permission.

In respect of technical requirements, the exemptions are judged by two approaches:

  1. Parts A to K and M to Q are judged against seven classes set out in Schedule 2 of the Building Regulations. (see table below)
  2. Part L is judged against criteria set set out in Regulation 21 of the building regulations. (see overview below)

Classes 1 to 7

Class of work is exempt from need to comply with these parts A-K, M, N and Q L P
Class 1 (Buildings controlled under other legislation) Exempt Part L may apply Exempt
Class 2 (Buildings not frequented by people) Exempt Part L may apply Exempt
Class 3 (Greenhouses) Exempt Part L may apply Not exempt
Class 3 (Agricultural buildings) Exempt Part L may apply Exempt
Class 4 (Temporary buildings) Exempt Part L may apply Exempt
Class 5 (Ancillary buildings) Exempt Part L may apply Exempt
Class 6 (Small detached buildings) Exempt Part L may apply Not exempt
Class 7 (Extensions) Exempt Exempt Not exempt

Part L Exemptions

This overview has been provided as a quick reference; you should refer to Regulation 9 for the definitive source of information and, if you are in any doubt, seek appropriate advice before commencing works.

Regulation 21 of the Building Regulations 2010, sets out the exemption criteria with regard to the Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) requirements.

Broadly, the Part L requirements apply to buildings, or extensions of such buildings (except those of Class 7 type (see above)), or the carrying out of any work to or in connection of any such building or extension where the building:

  • is a roofed construction having walls; and
  • uses energy to condition the indoor climate

However, the Part L requirements do not apply to buildings which fall into the following categories:

  • Certain buildings which are listed, in conservation areas or are included in the schedule of monuments - where compliance with the energy efficiency requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance.
  • Buildings which are used primarily or solely as places of worship
  • Temporary buildings with a planned time of use of 2 years or less, with low energy demand
  • Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand
  • Stand-alone buildings other than dwellings with a total useful floor area of less than 50m²

The meanings of some of the terms used above are explained in the  building regulations, therefore you should refer to the regulations or seek advice before commencing work.