Last edited 22 Sep 2015

Scottish building standards

In Scotland, ministers are responsible for making building standards (equivalent to the building regulations in England) and the associated technical guidance documents. The Building (Scotland) Act 2003 grants this power. The 32 Scottish Local Authorities act as verifiers administering the building standards system, granting permissions (building warrants) and completion certificates. The Scottish Government Building Standards Division monitor the local authorities.

The main purpose of the standards is to ensure that buildings are safe, efficient and sustainable. They do not control the building process, but outline the essential standards that are to be met during building works or conversions.

The key functions of the building standard system is to:

  • Prepare the building standards and produce guidance on how to attain the standards.
  • Assist local authorities making decisions on compliance.
  • Allow relaxations of the standards in exceptional circumstances.
  • Maintain a register of approved certifiers.
  • Regulate the certification system.
  • Regulate the performance of verifiers.
  • Verify crown building work.

There are two technical handbooks which provide guidance on achieving the building standards:

Certification is an optional scheme for the implementation of building standards applicable to work that requires a building warrant. It can only be undertaken by a registered, approved certifier of design or construction holding the appropriate designations and employed by an appropriate body or business.

The Certification Handbook provides guidance on the implementation of this procedure.

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