Which version of the Approved Document applies to my project?

The table below shows which edition applies. However, the developer can choose to use a later version. Work started or building notice, full plans application or initial notice submitted –
Before 1 October 2015 – 2010 edition with 2010 and 2013 amendments
Between 1 October 2015 and 15 February 2016 – Volume 1: 2015 edition
After 15 February 2016 – Volume 1: 2015 edition with 2016 amendments
Note: The 2016 changes are included on the amendment slip issued by RIBA Enterprises for copies purchased after??? 2015.

What bathroom provision is required by G5?

This requires that in dwellings and in buildings containing one or more rooms for residential purposes a bathroom must be provided containing a wash basin and either a fixed bath or shower. This requirement is the same as in the previous edition but is now extended to include buildings containing one or more rooms for residential purposes for example hostels as well as to dwellings.

Is a ventilated lobby needed between a toilet and a food preparation area?

Part G only requires that a WC and/or associated handwashing facilities should be separated by a door from a food preparation area. In dwellings, a lobby is not needed, as illustrated in diagrams 2 and 3 in AD G.

However, for workplaces, the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) that supports the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 requires that no room containing a sanitary convenience should communicate directly with a room where food is processed, prepared or eaten. Therefore, in workplaces (particularly in food businesses such as restaurants, cafes, catering businesses and shops selling food), toilets must not open directly C be ventilated to deter air from the toilet moving to the food handling area.

G4 – Sanitary Conveniences and Washing Facilities: What is required by G4?

This provision is similar to that contained in G1 of the previous edition of Approved Document G, but there is no longer any requirement for cleanability in the current edition. It sets out that adequate and suitable sanitary conveniences (WCs and urinals) must be provided in toilets or bathrooms and that adequate hand washing facilities must be provided in or adjacent to rooms containing sanitary conveniences. Any room containing a sanitary convenience, bidet or facility for washing hands associated with a sanitary convenience must be separate from a kitchen or area where food is prepared.

Do vitreous enameled (glass lined) carbon steel storage vessels and calorifiers comply with Building Regulations requirements, as they are not mentioned in the standards listed in paragraph 3.11 of the Approved Document?

Yes. There are no national or other standards for these products but a storage vessel or calorifier fitted with suitable safety devices that has passed a relevant pressure test, such as BS EN 89:2000 Gas-fired storage water heaters for the production of domestic hot water, should normally be accepted by the building control body as complying with the functional requirements of G3.

When carrying out an emergency replacement of a vented cylinder on a like for like basis do I need to comply with all the guidance in the Approved Document?

Emergency replacement of a cylinder on a like-for-like basis would mean that the installation is no more unsatisfactory than before, so it would not be classed as a material alteration and therefore not subject to building regulations as long as the work does not adversely affect the energy and safety controls.

However, where reasonably practicable, it would be good practice to provide the system with overheat protection as described in the Approved Document, including a non-resetting energy cut-out to any immersion heater. It would also be good practice to check that the support of any cold water cistern supplying the system complies with the guidance given in paragraph 3.15 of the Approved Document.

If I am installing a new bathroom in an existing dwelling, do I have to fit a thermostatic mixing valve (TMV) to the bath?

No, the requirement to ensure that the temperature of the water delivered to a bath is no more than 48 degrees celsius temperature applies only to baths in new homes (including those created by a change of use), not in existing homes. However, people may want to consider the potential safety benefits of fitting a TMV, or some other means to prevent scalding, when they are adding a bath or having an existing one replaced or repaired, particularly where occupants are known to include those most at risk from scalding, that is, the very young and the very old.

Paragraph 3.60 of the Approved Document allows safety relief discharge pipes to connect to a soil stack if it can safely resist the temperature of the water discharged. Which materials are considered to be suitable?

Metal pipework, such as cast iron, is suitable.
For smaller hot water systems, BRE Information Paper 8/07 indicates that discharges can be made to PVCu stacks, provided that:
relief discharge is from domestic unvented hot water storage systems only – not combi boilers or sealed system boilers.
storage volumes do not exceed about 210 litres.
stacks are fully ventilated (ie. no stack cap or air admittance valve).
pipework complies with BS EN 1329-1:2000 or BS 4514:2001.

Paragraph 3.60 of the Approved Document says that if a discharge pipe is connected to a soil stack the discharge pipe should be either polybutalene or cross linked 8 polyethylene. Does this mean a polypropylene discharge pipe cannot be used?

As stated in its Introduction section, the guidance in the Approved Document is intended to provide advice on how to comply with the requirements set out in the Building Regulations and that “there may well be other ways of achieving compliance with the requirements”. The Department’s view is that it would be acceptable, subject to also complying with subparagraphs a, b and d of 3.60, for these pipes to be polypropylene to BS EN 1451-1, as recommended in BRE Information Paper 8/07.