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Last edited 08 Oct 2019
The requirements of the Building Regulations are set out in Part C. Approved Document C (AD C) of the Building Regulations 'Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture' provides guidance for more common building applications.
The requirements of Approved Document C are as follows:
The ground to be covered by the building shall be reasonably free form any material that could damage the building or affect its stability. This requires the clearing of vegetation, topsoil and any pre-existing foundations. This can include turf and roots, especially if they are close to the proposed building and also to below-ground drainage.
- Ingress of ground moisture into the building interior;
- Damage to the building, especially from water-borne contaminants attacking the foundations.
Contaminants are defined as those substances which may be harmful to people or buildings, including corrosive, explosive, flammable, radioactive or toxic substances.
Some contaminants such as radon, landfill gases and those from organic solvents and fuel can penetrate the building by a variety of means. In most cases the rate of penetration can be reduced by sumps and sub-floor ventilation, as well as other ventilation strategies.
Sites that previously had buildings on them should be checked for the presence of old foundations, services, buried tanks and other infrastructure that could pose a danger to persons using the building and the immediate area.
Numerous solid, liquid and gaseous contaminants can arise on sites, especially those with an industrial heritage. Even agricultural sites may have pesticide, fertiliser, fuel and oil contamination that could be injurious to health. Some sites are more likely to be affected than others. The AD C (Table 2) lists examples of such sites eg gas works, landfill sites, paper and printing works etc.
Ensuring the safe development of land with potential solid and liquid contaminants will require undertaking risk assessments, of which the general concepts and recommended stages are included in AD C. Where unacceptable risks are detected, they must be managed through the appropriate remedial measures that cover treatment, containment and removal.
- Ground moisture;
- Precipitation, including wind-driven spray;
- Interstitial and surface condensation, and
- Water spillage from sanitary fittings, fixed appliances and associated fittings.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Access to construction sites.
- Ground conditions.
- Injuries on construction sites.
- Lighting of construction sites.
- Notifiable project F10 form.
- Site appraisals.
- Site area.
- Site facilities.
- Site induction.
- Site layout plan.
- Site safety.
- Site storage.
- Site survey.
- Temporary site services.
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