The question of whether it is necessary to comply with Building Regulations when fitting out or refurbishing an office is very common.
Other common questions are:
- Do you need building regs for taking down an office wall?
- Do you need to get building regulations approval for building a room in the corner of an office?
- What is the difference between planning approval and building regulations approval?
DO YOU NEED BUILDING REGS FOR AN OFFICE FIT OUT OR REFURBISHMENT?
If you are considering an office refurbishment it is very likely that you will need to obtain building regulations approval. Indeed if you are making any alterations to commercial premises you should assume that building regs need to complied with.
It is a good idea to check with Building Control before starting any office refurbishment. You should 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 any of the following elements then you almost certainly will require building regulations consent.
- erecting new partitions or walls
- creating new rooms
- altering the fire escape routes
- making any structural changes
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 for the new use.
Who can help?
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. An overview of building regulations is also available on the Government website. You could also use an Approved Inspector who are often easier to deal with than the local authority officer.
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.
Our experienced Office Fitout and Refurbishment team are also able to advise on building regs questions.
Risks of proceeding without Building Regulation 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. For example, death caused by fire where it is found that the building occupier has been negligent in not complying with fire regulations.