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Building regulations for structures to be revised

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is proposing to amend Approved Document A – Structure (AD –A)  which lists codes, standards and other references for structural design and provides practical guidance on some of the more common building situations.

Following the devolution of Building Regulations to Scotland, Wales and Northern  Ireland the amended AD A will only be applicable to structures constructed in England. Scotland and Northern Ireland have similar guidance documents for structures built within their regions.

The House of Commons Delegated Legislation committee recently consented to transfer the powers over Building Regulations to the Welsh Assembly Government. However, the Welsh Assembly Government will not gain control of Building Regulations until December 2011. Furthermore, no changes are allowed for two years except for energy efficiency regulations.

The changes to Approved Document A (England) are likely to focus on updating the references in the Approved Document that relate to structural design standards and changes to the guidance in AD A where this is different to that given in the new national standards. It is anticipated that the proposed amendment will be issued for public consultation in early 2012, will be published in autumn of 2012 and will come in to force in April 2013.

“Once the details of the proposed amendment to AD-A are known and the dates of the Public Consultation have been agreed, further information will be given by the BCSA on the changes, their implications and how and where to respond to the consultation,” said Dr David Moore, BCSA Director of Engineering.

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