Article: Approved documents
The first set of national building standards was introduced in 1965. The 'building regulations' established standards that had to be achieved in the construction of buildings. The 'approved documents' provide guidance for how the building regulations can be satisfied in common building situations. They are given legal status by the Building Act 1984.
There is no obligation to adopt the solutions presented in the approved documents. The building regulations can be satisfied in other ways.
 The approved documents
The approved documents are:
- Part A: Structural safety.
- Part B: Fire safety.
- Part C: Resistance to contaminants and moisture.
- Part D: Toxic Substances.
- Part E: Resistance to sound.
- Part F: Ventilation.
- Part G: Sanitation, Hot Water Safety and Water Efficiency.
- Part H: Drainage and waste disposal.
- Part J: Heat producing appliances.
- Part K: Protection from falling, collision and impact.
- Part L: Conservation of fuel and power.
- Part M: Access to and Use of Buildings.
- Part N: Glazing safety - to be revoked on 6 April 2013.
- Part P: Electrical Safety.
- Regulation 7: Materials and workmanship.
 Ongoing changes
A number of changes are being made to the approved documents in 2013. Some of the key changes and the dates for their introduction are presented below:
9 January 2013:
- Approved documents L1A, L1B, L2A and L2B were amended in relation to; energy performance certificates (see energy certificates), the analysis of high efficiency alternative systems for new buildings occupied by public authorities, and the major renovation of existing buildings occupied by public authorities.
6 April 2013:
- Approved document K will be amended to include provisions previously in approved document N and some overlapping provisions of approved document M.
- Approved document N will be withdrawn.
- Approved document P will be amended to change the work that is notifiable and to allow third party certification of some works.
- Approved document M will be amended to include guidance for alterations to non-domestic buildings, audience and spectator facilities, refreshment facilities, sleeping accommodation and switches, outlets and controls, educational establishments and access statements.
- Approved documents B1 and B2 will have a large number of detailed changes (see P2 of the approved documents for details) including guidance on smoke alarms, wall coverings, lighting diffusers and rooflights.
- Approved documents A, C, D, E, F, G, H, and J will be amended to reflect the changes to other approved documents.
1 July 2013:
- The approved document for regulation 7 will be amended to comply with the European Construction Products Regulations (this will also effect approved documents L1A, L1B, L2A and L2B).
9 July 2013:
- Approved Documents L1A, L1B, L2A and L2B will be amended in relation to the analysis of high efficiency alternative systems for new buildings (other than buildings occupied by public authorities) and the major renovation of existing buildings (other than buildings occupied by public authorities).