Building regulations Introduction

The new Building Regulations Document M becomes effective from 1 May, 2004*. 

  • It covers access for everyone, including wheelchair users, ambulant disabled and people with luggage.
  • It applies to new buildings, extensions and material alterations** (refurbishments).
  • It applies to educational premises.
  • The Part M3 sanitary accommodation section introduces alterations to the unisex wheelchair WC; ambulant cubicles; enlarged cubicles and standard cubicles.
  • It takes into consideration the requirements of the DDA. The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 becomes effective from 1 October, 2004:
  • The act imposes duties on employers, trade organisations, service providers and landlords not to discriminate against disabled persons.
  • If a service is provided it should be available to all, e.g. toilets provided by a shop / pub should be accessible to able and less-able people alike.
  • A degree of “reasonableness” should be allowed. This is new untried legislation that will require test cases in law before exact requirements are clear.

Click here to download the full DDA Regulations document.

* Will not apply in relation to building work which has already started before 1 May 2004, provided that the building work began in accordance with: • a building notice and a commencement notice given to the local authority; or • full plans deposited with, and a commencement notice given to, the local authority; or • an initial notice or an amendment notice given to the local authority. ** A material alteration covers anything that could result in a building no longer complying with relevant building regulation requirements where previously it did.