BUILDING REGULATION AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE written by Ojonimi Egbunu
BUILDING REGULATION AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE
Building Regulations, also known as building codes, building controls are a set of rules that state the standards for constructed objects like building and nonbuilding structures. Buildings must conform to the building regulations, to get planning permission usually from the local council.
Building controls are to guide the engineers and architects designing the building. It Serves as guidelines for safety inspectors. These codes have been used by governmental units for centuries to ensure that buildings remain safe and sanitary.
Building regulations address many most essential concerns of society. These include; public health and safety, and environmental protection. The codes also address cost efficiency and value of an investment. In a broad view, building codes establish the quality of a building, safety and energy performance of a building for years to come, because the initial design and construction decisions determine operational and maintenance costs for the entire life cycle of a building. Building equipment and other components can be replaced and upgraded, but most aspects of a building efficiency are “designed in” at the beginning and are very expensive and difficult to effect changes.
The Foundations and other parts of the building envelope are mainly in place for a minimum. Building codes and design and construction decisions will affect our everyday life. Some requirements, like structural and seismic standards, affect us in distinct ways. Others, such as lighting quality, acoustics and the air we breathe also have significant effects on our health and productivity.
There are different types of building codes, which are;
- NATIONAL BUILDING CODES: National building codes is Developed by government agencies or quasi-governmental standard organizations, enforced across the country by the federal government.
- MODEL BUILDING CODES: This is where the power of regulating construction and fire safety is vested in local or sub-national authorities.
- INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODES: This is where the power of regulating construction and fire safety is vested in international institutions to which local or national jurisdictions have signed up to adopt standard conventions.
BUILDING REGULATIONS PARTS
- Structure: This is the structural solidity of a building area of coverage include the design of foundations, walls, floors and roof components
- Fire Safety: The regulations concern the requirement for early warning of fire development, safe escape routes, prevention of fire spread both within and to other buildings, provision of good access and firefighting facilities for the Fire Services.
- Preparation of Site and Resistance to Contaminants and Moisture: This focuses on making sure your property remains free from condensation, damp penetration and contamination that may be in the ground, and watertight
- Toxic Substances: Guidance on the prevention of toxic substances permeating into the building when inserting insulation into cavity walls
- Resistance to the Passages of Sound: Requirement aimed at reducing sound transference between dwellings, flats, certain types of rooms, communal areas and dwellings
- Ventilation: This building regulations part provides for adequate levels of ventilation to buildings, prevention of condensation forming in roof voids.
- Hygiene: This is concerned with providing sanitary conveniences and adequate washing facilities, requirements associated with unvented hot water storage installations.
- Drainage and Waste Disposal: Deals with the disposal of sewerage, wastewater and stormwater drainage together with details for reliable waste storage (household refuse)
- The Combustion Appliances and Fuel Storage Systems: Covers safety requirements when installing either solid fuel, gas or oil heating appliances.
- Protection from Falling, Collision and Impact: This is concerned with staircase design, headroom, handrails, balustrade, guarding of landings balconies and other raised areas.
- Conservation of Fuel and Power: Provides minimum standards of energy efficiency to all parts of the building, also provides design criteria for space heating and hot water storage.
- Access to and Use of Buildings: The design of buildings, to enable all people to gain access, be able to use the facilities of the building, includes requirements to help people with sight, hearing and mobility impairments use structures.
- Glazing Safety concerning Impact, Opening and Cleaning: This is concerned with providing safety glass in critical locations.
- Electrical Safety: Applies to electrical installation work in dwellings, common parts to homes and associated gardens.
All buildings are required to conform to the building codes to avoid;
- Improper planning of our towns and cities
- the continual collapse of buildings, fire infernos
- Built environment abuses and other disasters
- Scarcity of referenced design standards for professionals
- Use of non-professionals
- Use of untested products and materials
- Inadequate regulations and sanctions against offenders
Building codes are essential to the building’s performance and its life span, the environment, health and safety of users.