Last edited 16 Sep 2020

Public building definition

The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) consultation document, Display Energy Certificates: current regime and how it could be streamlined and improved, published in 2015, points out that EU countries define ‘public buildings’ in a number of different ways:

The document proposes that in the UK, a narrow definition should be adopted:

It defines ‘frequently visited by the public’ as; 'daily attendance during days of operation by people for purposes unrelated to their residence, employment, education or training.'

This means for example that a school used only as a school, is not a public building because it is not daily attended by people who are neither staff nor pupils. However, a school that is also used daily for community functions is a public building.

Public authority’ is defined in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) as any body which, any other person who, or the holder of any office which:

See Public authority for more information.

The Building Regulations define public buildings as:

a building consisting of or containing— (a) a theatre, public library, hall or other place of public resort;

(b) a school or other educational establishment not exempted from the operation of building regulations by virtue of section 4(1)(a) of the Act(7); or

(c) a place of public worship;

but a building is not to be treated as a place of public resort because it is, or it contains, a shop, storehouse or warehouse, or is a dwelling to which members of the public are occasionally admitted.

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