Last edited 05 Nov 2019

Habitable room

Approved document F, Ventilation, suggests that a ‘habitable room’ is:

‘…a room used for dwelling purposes but which is not solely a kitchen, utility room, bathroom, cellar or sanitary accommodation.’

Whereas an ‘occupiable room’ is:

‘…a room in a building other than a dwelling that is occupied by people, such as an office, workroom, classroom or hotel bedroom, but not a bathroom, sanitary accommodation, utility room or rooms or spaces used solely or principally for circulation, building services plant or storage purposes.


Approved document B, Fire Safety, Volume 2, Buildings other than dwellinghouses (2019 edition), defines a habitable room as:

'A room used, or intended to be used, for people to live in (including, for the
purposes of Approved Document B Volumes 1 and 2, a kitchen, but not a bathroom).'


Approved document M1, Access to and use of buildings: dwellings, defines a habitable room as:

'A room used, or intended to be used, for dwelling purposes, including a kitchen but not a bathroom or utility room.'


The English Housing Survey Housing Stock Report, 2014-15, prepared by the Department of Communities and Local Government, defines a habitable room as:

'A room in the dwelling that offers ‘living accommodation’. Includes bedrooms, kitchens if there is additional space to provide a dining area large enough to accommodate a table and chairs (typically an area of 2m² in addition to kitchen space). A fully converted room in the loft space is classified as a habitable room even if it can only be reached by a fixed ladder or unsafe staircase.'


The Scottish Building Standards refer to a 'principal habitable room' in relation to the provision of fire detection and fire alarm systems.

They define a principal habitable room as ‘…a frequently used room by the occupants of a dwelling for general daytime living purposes.’


The Home Quality Mark defines a habitable room as ‘…a room used for home purposes, but which is not solely a kitchen, utility room, bathroom, cellar or sanitary accommodation.’ Ref Home Quality Mark One, Technical Manual SD239, England, Scotland & Wales, published by BRE in 2018. http://www.homequalitymark.com/standard

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