Last edited 13 Jul 2016

Approved document d

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.

Part D of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations requires that, 'If insulating material is inserted into a cavity in a cavity wall, reasonable precautions shall be taken to prevent the subsequent permeation of any toxic fumes from that material into any part of the building occupied by people.'

A series of approved documents provide general guidance on how specific aspects of building design and construction can comply with the Building Regulations. Approved Document D - Toxic Substances, provides guidance for complying with Part D. This relates the use of urea formaldehyde (UF) foam.

Approved document D suggests that '…insulating materials which give off formaldehyde fumes (either when used or later in normal use) may be used to insulate the cavity in a cavity wall where there is a continuous barrier which will minimise as far as practicable the passage of fumes to the occupiable parts.'

It provides the following technical solution:

A cavity wall may be insulated with UF foam where:

  • the inner leaf of the wall is built of masonry (bricks or blocks); and
  • the suitability of the wall for foam filling is assessed before the work is carried out in accordance with BS 8208-1:1985 Guide to assessment of suitability of external cavity walls for filling with thermal insulants. Existing traditional cavity construction; and
  • the person carrying out the work holds (or operates under) a current Certificate of Registration of Assessed Capability for the work he is doing; and
  • the material is in accordance with the relevant recommendations of BS 5617:1985 Specifications for urea formaldehyde (UF) foam systems suitable for thermal insulation of cavity walls with masonry or concrete inner and outer leaves; and
  • the installation is in accordance with BS 5618:1985 Code of practice for thermal insulation of cavity walls (with masonry or concrete inner and outer leaves) by filling with urea formaldehyde (UF) foam systems.

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