Monday, 8 June 2015

Building Control Requirements For Tiled Conservatories

Some conservatories come under the remit of Building Control, but more specifically all tiled Conservatories come under their jurisdiction. Here we look at the key issues affecting all installation companies and Tiled Conservatory roofs.

What is Building Control and what is its purpose?
Building Control was established in the UK to maintain the standards set out in the Building Regulations. These Building Regulations cover all aspects of building work from sewers to heating, and from structure to insulation. These Standards are inspected by surveyors to ensure that all new building work reaches the minimum standard.

In order meet the building targets in the UK and to reduce strain on Local Authorities the government made provision for “approved inspectors”. These are companies/people that are registered to inspect building work, in the same manner and working to the same standards as the local authority.

The benefit of approved inspectors is their ability to partner with the private sector, and maintain the same guidance across their entire organisation.

Garden Room roof

How does Building Control interact with the conservatory and tiled GardenRoom market?
Conservatories were treated as temporary structures and they don’t generally come under the remit of either Planning or Building Regulation, when they are categorised under permitted development.

Put simply, if a conservatory is a single storey structure, less than 30m2, thermally separated from the house, not connected to household heating system and designed with the appropriate glass to British Standards, then it doesn’t come under Building Regulations. However, some conservatories will still come under the remit of Building control and certainly all solid roofs will, as they are treated as permanent structures in the same vein as a traditional extension. Therefore for these installations an application for certification will have to be served and the process followed in full. 

What is the process for installation companies when Solid Roofs come under Building Regulations?
Installation companies can serve a Building Notice on their local authority building control service just 48 hours before the commencement of works. A Building Control Surveyor will then inspect at key stages of the installation process to ensure that all materials and workmanship meets the required standards of Building Control and the latest Building Regulations. Alternatively, the whole project can be placed under the control of an Approved Inspector, such as JHAI Limited, the preferred partner of Prefix Systems.

The stages of inspection will usually be agreed in advance and might include:
      Commencement of work: This stage is usually used to agree which future stages of work should be inspected. There may be something unusual, or a matter which you are not sure about, which can be discussed before the work gets too far.
      Intermediate stages: Different types of projects will require different inspections which might include foundations, the floor, damp proofing to walls and floors, the roof structure, any drainage, structural beams and openings, fire proofing and thermal insulation.
      Completion: The main purpose of this stage is to make sure the work meets the various Building Regulations before it is occupied and put into use. When the surveyor is happy with the work they will issue you with a completion certificate, free of charge. This is an important document used by solicitors/personal search agents when you come to sell the property and by mortgage lenders and property insurers.

Replacement tiled conservatory roof

What exactly is Type Approval?
There are a number of registration schemes where they seek to streamline the inspection process for manufacturers, installers, developers, building control surveyors and the end users of buildings. Companies can register details with an approval /inspection authority, and get the products or processes certified in line with building regulations. The system certificate proves compliance for products and systems with the Building Regulations, building standards and warranty standards across England and Wales.

LABC registered systems should be accepted by all local authorities, but there is no guarantee that every building inspector will agree with each detail, it is important for home owners to note that even if the roof system has an LABC type approval certificate the project will still need to be submitted to building control for approval. This is why Prefix Systems have first chosen the route of an approved inspector, who can guarantee that all their inspectors will work to the same approval certificate, and can guarantee product compliance across all of England and Wales.

JHAI Certificate
In partnership with Prefix Systems, JHAI offer Building Regulations approval the way that it should be: fast, helpful and intelligent. They carry out building control on all domestic and commercial projects and offer the same high level of service whether you're a self-builder planning your dream home, a major builder needing quick decisions on a national roll-out or tiled GardenRoom installer and cover all of England and Wales.

JHAI Limited is a Corporate Approved Inspector licensed by the Construction Industry Council (CIC) to give certified Building Regulations approval, operating as an alternative to Local Authority Building Control. For Prefix this means we can take the whole building control process away from customers to allow them to focus on installation processes.

Our tiled Garden Room roof is both structurally and thermally compliant with current building regulations. The local authority may request supporting calculations, which Prefix Systems are happy to provide.


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