Are the Building Regulations fit for the purpose of upgrading traditional, historic and listed buildings using modern applications in Wales?’
By Anthony Gwynn
This dissertation investigates the key aspects of concerns that the Building Regulations and supporting Approved Documents produced by the Welsh Government are fit for purpose when carrying out building works to traditional, historic and listed buildings. This research was carried out by the report author who has 28 years’ experience in building control as a team leader and chartered building surveyor working for a Local Authority in England on the Welsh Boarder. With special partnership arrangements, Local Authorities based in England can carry out building control functions in Wales and vis-versa. This requires dealing with two separate systems of building control which are almost identical.
This report begins by describing the background to vapour permeable (breathable) construction and problems associated with upgrading traditional buildings using the Approved Document to the Building Regulations and recognises significant gaps in this legislation. It considers the drivers of change for making improvements to the Welsh building stock. It also considers case studies which draw out the consequences of applying modern methods of construction to traditional buildings. A literature review then follows to gain a better understanding of how scholars view the Building Regulations and Approved Documents. A questionnaire survey then assesses how the construction industry view the Approved Documents to the Building Regulations, followed by suggested solutions to the problems.
The report concludes with key findings and finds that the Building Regulations and supporting Approved Documents produced by the Welsh Government are not fit for purpose when carrying out building works to traditional, historic building and listed buildings. Finally, there are recommendations on how the problems could be resolved without placing these buildings or their occupants at risk.