Do you need to comply with building regulations for office fit outs or refurbishments?
The question of whether it is necessary to comply with Building Regulations for Office Refurbishment or Fit Out Projects is very common. If you are considering an office refurbishment or making alterations to commercial premises it is very likely that you will need to obtain building regulations approval. It is recommended that you check with Building Control before commencing any office refurbishment and obtain the necessary approvals to avoid making a very costly mistake.
Building Regulations for Office Refurbishment Projects
Under Building Regulations, you normally require approval of building regulations for office refurbishment projects. If the office refurbishment project includes erecting new partitions or walls, creating new rooms, altering the fire escape routes, or making any structural changes then you almost certainly will require building regulations consent. Major building works - for example, new construction, significant extensions or structural alterations, will definitely require building regulation approval. Changing the use of premises can also require building control approval: for example, to ensure that the building meets relevant fire safety requirements.
You can get informal advice from your local authority on whether building regulation approval is required for your office refurbishment proposal. If building regulation consent is required then an application will need to be submitted. There will be a fee chargeable based on the value of the office refurbishment works being carried out. The Building Control Officer can approve, reject or impose conditions on the project. In addition, the building works will be regularly visited by a Building Control Officer to ensure that they are properly carried out.
What are the risks of proceeding without Building Control approval?
As with planning permission, going ahead without building approval can be very risky. You could face an order to demolish alterations or reinstate walls. The biggest risk, however, would be possible jail sentences and/or severe fines in the event of death or injury caused by fire where it is found that the building occupier has been negligent in not ensuring compliance with fire regulations.
How can Spectrum help with Building Control issues?
Spectrum Workplace offer a free consultation at which building regulation issues can be discussed and clarified. We can also obtain advice from the building control officer regarding any proposed office refurbishment design. If required we can also submit and obtain the necessary building regulation approvals on your behalf.
You could also download a free Office Fit Out Checklist that helps companies in planning effectively for office refurbishments or fit outs.