Last edited 21 Jun 2016

Building regulations exemption for temporary buildings

Some temporary buildings under certain circumstances may be exempt from parts of the buildings regulations.

Schedule 2 of the building regulations ‘Exempt Buildings and Work’ defines a temporary building as, Class 4, ‘A building that is not intended to remain where it is erected for more than 28 days’.

However, this definition is deceptively simple, and the application of and exemption from different parts of the building regulations are very complicated, and expressed in a way that is not very helpful.

Regulation 9 explains that:

Subject to paragraphs 2 and 3 (see below) and regulation 21(1) (energy efficiency requirements), the regulations do not apply to:

  • the erection of any building or extension of a kind described in Schedule 2 (exempt buildings, Class 4 of which are temporary buildings); or
  • the carrying out of any work to or in connection with such a building or extension, if after the carrying out of that work it is still a building or extension of a kind described in that Schedule.

Paragraph 2 states that the requirements of paragraphs G1 and G3(2) and (3) of Schedule 1 (relating to sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency) apply:

  • To any greenhouse which receives a cold or hot water supply from a source shared with or located inside a dwelling; and
  • Small detached building falling within class 6 in Schedule 2 (small detached buildings); and
  • Any extension of a building falling within class 7 in Schedule 2 (extensions),

which in either case receives a cold or hot water supply from a source shared with or located inside any building other than a building or extension of a kind described in Schedule 2.

Paragraph 3 states that the requirements of Part P of Schedule 1 (electrical safety) apply to:

  • Any greenhouse;
  • Any small detached building falling within class 6 in Schedule 2 (small detached buildings); and
  • Any extension of a building falling within class 7 in Schedule 2 (extensions),

which in any case receives its electricity from a source shared with or located inside a dwelling.

Paragraph 21(1) states that energy efficiency requirements apply to:

  • The erection of any building of a kind falling within this paragraph;
  • The extension of any such building, other than an extension to which paragraph (4) applies; and
  • The carrying out of any work to or in connection with any such building or extension.

A building falls within paragraph 21 (1) if it:

  • Is a roofed construction having walls;
  • Uses energy to condition the indoor climate; and
  • Does not fall within one or more of the categories in paragraph (3) (listed below):
  1. Listed buildings, building in a conservation area and scheduled monuments where compliance with the energy efficiency requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance;
  2. Buildings which are used primarily or solely as places of worship;
  3. Temporary buildings with a planned time of use of two years or less, industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand;
  4. Stand-alone buildings other than dwellings with a total useful floor area of less than 50m2.

The planning portal provides a useful summary of this information, however, it may be wise to consult the building control body to establish precise application of, and exemption from the building regulations for temporary buildings.

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