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Monitoring and improving building regulations

Building regulations contain the technical requirements to protect the public interest.

We publish technical handbooks which explain how to achieve the requirements set out in the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004. We regularly consult with industry to review our guidance.

On 1 July 2017 we published the following updates to the Technical Handbooks. The changes include:

  • a new building type 23A in schedule 3 to regulation 5 and in regulation 9 in Section 0, General
  • minor updates and corrections

The two versions of the 2017 Technical Handbooks – domestic and non-domestic – are available both in pdf and HTML formats.

Only the latest versions have been transitioned. Gov.scot currently hosts all previous technical handbooks.

In addition to the Technical Handbooks, we have also produced:

We also run an ongoing programme of research related to the development of our technical and procedural guidance.

Consultation

Amendments to the building regulations and to the building standards system are made to ensure the aims of the system continue to be met and that the system meets the needs of the people of Scotland. Public consultation is integral to this development process to ensure that a balanced view is taken of the issues involved. Gov.scot currently hosts all previous consultations on amendments to the building regulations and to the building standards system.

Building Standards Forms

A selection of model forms are provided that may be adapted by the verifier to suit their individual circumstances and requirements. These forms may also be used by applicants or their duly authorised agents.

Where an applicant or agent has registered an account through the e-Development website, these can be completed on-line.

Should you require any assistance in completing a form, please contact your local authority building standards department.

Ministerial relaxations

For any particular building or description of building, a person may apply to Scottish Ministers for a direction to either relax or dispense with a provision of the building regulations relating to building standards using the model form.

Where Scottish Ministers consider it unreasonable that the provision should apply, they can issue a direction. This can also be revoked or varied by a further direction. Although there is no requirement to consult before issuing a direction for a particular building, we will normally consult the fire authority on anything related to fire. We will normally consult the verifier if the application relates to an existing warrant application, particularly where a warrant has been granted.

The Building Standards procedural handbook contains further information, and applications should be made on the model form for relaxation of building regulations.

Ministerial views

The Scottish Courts are responsible for interpreting regulations, but Scottish Ministers have the power to give a view on the extent to which a proposed building or construction complies with the regulations.

If the owner or the verifier considers there is doubt about the extent to which a building or design meets the building standards, they can request a Ministerial view. Each case is treated anonymously in order to preserve the privacy of the applicant. We publish a list of Ministerial views that have been issued since 2005.

You may wish to contact the local authority referred to in any specific view to obtain the project context for the view.