- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
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Last edited 07 Apr 2021
Alterations to existing buildings
In its broadest sense, alteration can be defined as: ‘Work intended to change the function or appearance of a place.’ Ref Conservation Principles, Policies and Guidance, For the sustainable management of the historic environment, Published by Historic England in 2008.
- Total or partial change of use.
- Partial demolition.
- Linking or separating spaces.
- Making or closing openings.
- Retrofitting a new a component or feature.
- Refurbishing an existing a component or feature.
- Renovating an existing component or feature.
- Repairing an existing component or feature.
Examples of permitted developments include; certain enlargements or alterations to houses, construction of some sheds and fuel storage containers, certain porches, doors and windows, and so on. The best way to determine whether a development is permitted or not is to ask the local planning authority.
- What qualifies as ‘building work’ and so falls under the control of the regulations.
- What types of buildings are exempt (such as temporary buildings).
- The notification procedures that must be followed when starting, carrying out, and completing building work.
- Requirements for specific aspects of building design and construction, such as; structure, drainage, fire safety, conservation of fuel and power, access for people with disabilities and so on.
On larger projects, the The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM regulations) may also apply. The CDM regulations are intended to ensure that health and safety issues are properly considered during a project’s development so that the risk of harm to those who have to build, use and maintain structures is reduced.
NB The 2018 International Residential Code (IRC), published by the International Code Council (ICC) defines alteration as: ‘Any construction, retrofit or renovation to an existing structure other than repair or addition that requires a permit. Also, a change in a building, electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system that involves an extension, addition or change to the arrangement, type or purpose of the original installation that requires a permit.’
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building regulations.
- Change of use class.
- Do the building regulations apply to existing buildings?
- Henry Boot Construction Ltd v Alstom Combined Cycles.
- International Existing Building Code (IEBC).
- Material change of use.
- Planning digital signage in new buildings.
- Planning permission.
- Permitted development.
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