- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 05 Jan 2017
Approved Document K
The first set of national building standards was introduced in 1965. Now known as the building regulations, they set out:
- What qualifies as 'building work' and so fall 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.
The 'approved documents' provide guidance for how the building regulations can be satisfied in common building situations. There is no obligation to adopt the solutions presented in the approved documents, the building regulations can be satisfied in other ways.
Approved Document K: protection from falling, collision and impact, was last published in 2013.
It sets standards for the design of stairways, ramps and ladders, together with requirements for balustrading, windows, and vehicle barriers to prevent falling. It also includes requirements for guarding against, and warning of, hazards from the use and position of doors and windows.
The content of the Approved Document includes:
- Section 1: Stairs and ladders – Contains guidance on steepness, construction, headroom, landings, handrails, guarding, and so on.
- Section 2: Ramps – Contains guidance on construction, obstruction, handrails, landings, guarding, and so on.
- Section 3: Protection from falling – Contains guidance on siting of pedestrian guarding, design, and guarding of areas used for maintenance.
- Section 4: Vehicle barriers and loading bays.
- Section 5: Protection against impact with glazing: Contains guidance on glazing in critical locations, safe breakage, robustness, glazing in small panes, permanent screen protection, and so on.
- Section 6: Protection from collision with open windows, etc. – Contains guidance on projecting parts, spaces used only for maintenance, and so on.
- Section 7: Manifestation of glazing – Contains guidance on critical locations, permanent methods to indicate glazing and alternative methods.
- Section 8: Safe opening and closing of windows, etc. – Contains guidance on location of controls, prevention of falls, and so on.
- Section 9: Safe access for cleaning windows, etc.
- Section 10: Protection against impact from and trapping by doors – Contains guidance on safety features and hazards on access routes.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
The Chartered Quality Institute explain the pathway to success for organisations implementing management systems.
An introductory article looking at where a duty of care can arise in the construction industry.
House of Lords committee encourages the use of off-site manufacturing in new report.
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can go some way to show the impact of new buildings on their surroundings.
The shortlist for the 2018 prize for the UK's best new building is revealed.
Amendment to Bill aims to provide councils with greater powers to increase tax premiums on empty homes.
As the latest summer blockbuster 'Skyscraper' is released, we look at some of the best uses of buildings in film.
Read our introductory article on how to layout a building.
New cross-party report calls for combustible cladding ban to be extended to all high-rise residential buildings.
Dr Nicholas Falk, director of the URBED Trust, explains why metro cities are the future of urbanisation.