With an emphasis on energy efficiency, safety and building standards, the Department of Finance NI, have released a series of proposed changes to Building Regulations. Some of these are now in effect, whilst others will become law by June 2022.

FMB NI will look to provide updates on the most relevant changes for members in the months ahead.

Changes to fire safety regulations

Since the Grenfell fire there has been much debate about compliance with the Building Regulations requirement for external walls on buildings to resist the spread of fire. The objective of this policy change is to provide certainty about materials to be used in external wall systems of certain buildings.

The amendments introduce a new fire safety requirement that in effect ‘bans’ the use of combustible materials in the external walls and specified attachments of certain high-rise buildings. More specific guidance can be found on the Department’s website.

Changes to changing places and toilet requirements

We are aware some FMB members will do public sector work for clients which require specific toilet needs. The proposed Changing Places Consortium (CPTs) meet the needs of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as people with other physical disabilities.

These toilets provide specific equipment including a height adjustable adult-sized changing table, a tracking hoist system, adequate space for a disabled person. The amendments will introduce criteria for the provision of Changing Places Toilets within certain in-scope buildings, depending on their type and size in terms of footprint or capacity when larger buildings, commonly visited by the public, are newly built, or where a building is formed by a material change of use:

For more information please visit the Department’s dedicated web resource.

Series of technical guidance released regarding fuel and power within buildings

The Technical Booklet F1, which takes effect on 30 June 2022, is one of a series that has-been prepared by the Department of Finance for the purpose of providing practical guidance with respect to the technical requirements of the building regulations.

The guidance given in a Technical Booklet includes performance standards and design provisions relating to compliance with specific aspects of the Building Regulations for the more common building situation.

This first one will focus on fuel and power within buildings.

Any questions?

Contact Gavin McGuire, Director FMB Northern Ireland on 07341 869 080 or send us an email.

Email Gavin McGuire

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Gavin McGuire

Gavin McGuire

Director, FMB Northern Ireland, Federation of Master Builders