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.

* 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.