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Technical Handbooks

The Technical Handbooks provide guidance on achieving the standards set in the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and are available in two volumes, Domestic buildings and Non-domestic buildings.

Technical Handbooks 2016 (revised and published 1 June 2016)

Updates to the Technical Handbooks (Domestic and Non-Domestic) have been published – 1 June 2016.   The changes include:

  • new standard (4.14) and guidance on in-building physical infrastructure for high-speed electronic communications networks (broadband) – these come into effect when building warrants are applied for after 31 December 2016; and

  • revised references for protection from radon gas (3.2) – these come into effect from 1 June 2016.

Other than a small number of minor changes to correct typographical errors, the handbooks remain as the October 2015 versions.

Earlier editions of the Technical Handbooks can be accessed below.

Domestic Handbook 2016 Complete  (revised and published - from 1 June 2016) - HTML   PDF
General Structure

Fire

Environment

Safety Noise Energy Sustainability

Appendix A Defined Terms
Appendix B List of Standards

 

Non-Domestic Handbook 2016 Complete  (revised and published - from 1 June 2016) -  HTML (available shortly)   PDF
General Structure Fire Environment Safety Noise Energy

Sustainability

Appendix A Defined Terms
Appendix B List of Standards

 

Previous Versions - Complete Handbooks

The previous editions, can be accessed in the tables below. The handbooks published prior to 2009 came into force on the May 1 of the respective year. Referenced Key Documents (referred to within Technical Handbooks, can be found immediately after each section on the list below).

Note1: 2013 and 2015 handbooks came into force on the 1 October of those years.

 

New Building Standards Systems - 2005>     Year
Domestic 2015 2013 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
Non Domestic 2015 2013 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
 
Older Technical Standards - <2005
6th Amendment of Technical Standards (2002)
5th Amendment of Technical Standards (2000)
Technical Standards For Compliance With The Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations 1990 (incorporating: amendment no.1 - July 1993, amendment no.2 - June 1994)
Technical Standards For Compliance With The Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations 1990 - 3rd
Technical Standards For Compliance With The Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations 1990
SI - 1981 No 1596 (S.169) - Building & Buildings - The Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations 1981
 
Library of Technical Guidance
Section 0 - General
Guidance Description Year of Change
Conservatories Guide 2nd edition Revised and updated in line with 2015 handbooks. 2015

Conversion of Traditional Buildings

Part 1

Part 2

These guides have been published by Historic Scotland.

 

Procedural Guidance for Crown Buildings Revised and updated including guidance on cells and reference to appropriate fire authorities. 2010
Procedural Handbook 3rd Edition

Revised and updated to include information on charging orders as introduced by the Buildings (Recovery of Expenses) (Scotland) Act 2014

2015

 

 

Section 1 - Structure

 

Guidance Description Year of Change
Small Buildings Structural Guidance Removed from Technical Handbooks, available independently on BSD website. 2010

 

 

Section 2 - Fire

 

Guidance Description Year of Change
A Simplified Approach to Alternative Fire Safety Strategies New guidance in support of Section 2: Fire. 2010

A Fire Safety Design Summary

New guidance and example forms.

2013

Fire Safety Management in Traditional Buildings

This guide has been published by Historic Scotland. For more information, please visit the Historic Scotland bookshop.

 
Whisky Maturation Warehouses - Storage Buildings (Class 1) – Automatic Fire Suppression Systems

Provides supplementary information for the installation of automatic fire suppression systems in whisky maturation warehouses to that already provided in the Scottish Building Standards Technical Handbooks.

2015

 

Section 3 - Environment
Guidance Description Year of Change
Ventilation Domestic Guide New guidance in support of Section 3: Environment. 2015

 

Section 4 - Safety
Guidance Description Year of Change
Protective Barriers in Existing Non-Domestic Buildings A building regulation guide to openings in protective barriers such as railings or balustrades. 2011

 

Section 5 - Noise
Guidance Description Year of Change
Airtightness and Sound Testing Methodology for testing in support of Section 5 - Noise and Section 6 - Energy. 2011
Example Constructions and Generic Internal Constructions

The ‘Example Constructions and Generic Internal Constructions’ has been updated.

Updated: October 2011.

2011
Housing and sound insulation: A Guide to Improving existing attached dwellings and designing for conversions The purpose of this guide is to provide methods and descriptions of how to improve sound insulation between attached dwellings, to assist in deciding on what levels of sound insulation may be required and to inform on key separating wall and floor types and influences of remedial treatments.  

 

Section 6 - Energy
Guidance Description Year of Change
Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide for Scotland

Guidance in support of compliance with Standards 6.3 to 6.7 for dwellings and other domestic buildings.

Applicable from 1 October 2015, this separate document contains guidance on building services previously published within the Technical Handbooks. The Guide should be referred to in conjunction with remaining guidance within the Domestic Technical Handbook
2015
Non-domestic Building Services Compliance Guide for Scotland

Guidance in support of compliance with Standards 6.3 to 6.6 & 6.10 for non-domestic buildings.

Applicable from 1 October 2015, this separate document contains guidance on building services previously published within the Technical Handbooks. The Guide should be referred to in conjunction with remaining guidance within the Non-domestic Technical Handbook
2015
2015 NCM Modelling Guide for Non-domestic Buildings in Scotland

Guidance on the application of the National Calculation Methodology used to demonstrate compliance on new non-domestic buildings with Standard 6.1.

Applicable to building warrants submitted from 1 October 2015.

2015
2010 NCM Modelling Guide for Non-domestic Buildings in Scotland

Guidance on the application of the National Calculation Methodology used to demonstrate compliance on new non-domestic buildings with Standard 6.1.

Applicable to building warrants submitted between 1 October 2010 30 September 2015.

2010

Accredited Construction Details (Scotland) 2015

Part 1 - Introduction and principles

Part 2 - Partial Fill Masonry Construction Details

Part 3 - Timber Frame Construction Details

Part 4 - Metal Frame Construction Details

Part 5 - Additional Common Junction Details

This document provides a revised and updated version of the Accredited Construction Details (Scotland) to take account of the increased number of thermal junctions identified within Appendix K of SAP 2012 and support the changes to the 2015 Energy standards.

The updated detail sets do not supersede previous versions, but reflect the likely changes to Scottish construction practices which meet or improve upon the design U-value for walls, floors and ceilings cited in the fuel package table of Section 6.1 of the Technical Handbooks.

For each designated construction type, a range of example junction locations are provided which illustrate good construction practice, to the most common building situations. The guidance is not prescriptive and other methods of meeting the functional standards exist.

2015

Accredited Construction Details (Scotland) 2010

This document provides guidance and one method to meet some of the requirements of the functional standards set out in Regulation 9 of the Building (Scotland) Regulations.  The guidance is not prescriptive and other methods of meeting the functional standards will exist.

2010

Accredited Construction Details (Scotland) (2007)

This document provides guidance and one method to meet some of the requirements of the functional standards set out in Regulation 9 of the Building (Scotland) Regulations.  The guidance is not prescriptive and other methods of meeting the functional standards will exist.

2007
Airtightness and Sound Testing Methodology for testing in support of Section 5 - Noise and Section 6 - Energy. 2011
Condensing Boiler Assessment Procedure Procedure for demonstrating criteria for use of non-condensing boilers when undertaking replacement work in existing buildings. 2010
NCM Modelling Guide for Non-domestic Buildings in Scotland New guidance in support of Section 6 and energy performance certificates. 2010

U-Values

6.A - Tables of U-values and thermal conductivity

6.B - Worked examples of U-value calculations using the combined method

6.C - U-values of ground floors and basements

These guides are updated version of Annexes A, B ,and C of the 2006 Technical handbooks. It is intended as a reference document for use with the 2007 Technical handbooks. The guides relate to both domestic and non-domestic buildings.

These guides are designed to give examples of some common construction methods but there are likely to be other solutions which will be more suited to a particular project. It should also be noted that there is commercially available software for undertaking U-value calculations, which is now the most usual method of calculation. Also, manufacturers of building products are usually able to assist with calculations for particular cases.

 

 

Section 7 - Sustainability
Guidance (new/updated) Description Year of Change

Safe and sustainable installation of low carbon equipment

Introduction to the guides (2010, Updated 2012)

Air source heat pumps (ASHP) (2010)

Ground source heat pumps and water source heat pumps (GSHP and WSHP) (2010)

Solar thermal systems or solar hot water (SHW) (2010)

Biomass Installations (2012)

Photovoltaics (2012)

These guides outline the main features of each technology and identify issues that need to be considered in the design and installation of low carbon equipment, for compliance with the building regulations, including good practice to optimise the energy efficiency of installations. More detailed guidance on the Scottish building regulations, including the functional standards, is given in the Technical Handbooks. See date(s) to the right of Guidance title
Sustainability label generator

Web tool for generating Statements of Sustainability under Section 7.

2011