The Approved Documents

What is an approved document?

The Secretary of State has approved a series of documents that give practical guidance about how to meet the requirements of the Building Regulations 2010 for England. Approved documents give guidance on each of the technical parts of the regulations and on regulation 7 (see the back of this document).

Approved documents set out what, in ordinary circumstances, may be accepted as reasonable provision for compliance with the relevant requirements of the Building Regulations to which they refer. If you follow the guidance in an approved document, there will be a presumption of compliance with the requirements covered by the guidance. However, compliance is not guaranteed; for example, ‘normal’ guidance may not apply if the particular case is unusual in some way.

Note that there may be other ways to comply with the requirements – there is no obligation to adopt any particular solution contained in an approved document. If you prefer to meet a relevant requirement in some other way than described in an approved document, you should discuss this with the relevant building control body.

In addition to guidance, some approved documents include provisions that must be followed exactly, as required by regulations or where methods of test or calculation have been prescribed by the Secretary of State.

Each approved document relates only to the particular requirements of the Building Regulations that the document addresses. However, building work must also comply with any other applicable requirements of the Building Regulations.

How to use this approved document

This document uses the following conventions.

  1. Text against a green background is an extract from the Building Regulations 2010 or the Building (Approved Inspectors ) Regulations 2010 (both as amended). These extracts set out the legal requirements of the regulations.

  2. Key terms, printed in green, are defined in Appendix A.

  3. When this approved document refers to a named standard or other document, the relevant version are listed in Appendix D (documents referred to) and Appendix E (standards referred to) However, if the issuing body has revised or updated the listed version of the standard, you may use the new version as guidance if it continues to address the relevant requirements of the Building Regulations.

  4. Additional commentary in italic text appears after some numbered This commentary is intended to assist understanding of the immediately preceding paragraph or sub-paragraph, or to direct readers to sources of additional information, but is not part of the technical guidance itself.

NOTE: Standards and technical approvals may also address aspects of performance or matters that are not covered by the Building Regulations, or they may recommend higher standards than required by the Building Regulations.

Where you can get further help

If you do not understand the technical guidance or other information in this approved document or the additional detailed technical references to which it directs you, you can seek further help through a number of routes, some of which are listed below:

a. The Government website:

b. If you are the person undertaking the building work: either from your local authority building control service or from an approved inspector.

c. If you are registered with a competent person scheme: from the scheme operator.

d. If your query is highly technical: from a specialist or an industry technical body for the relevant subject.

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