Publication - Advice and guidance

Building Standards technical handbook 2017: domestic buildings

The Building Standards 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. This publication is available in html and also in PDF format (in 'supporting documents' ).

Building Standards technical handbook 2017: domestic buildings
0. General

0.3 Exempted buildings and services, fittings and equipment

Regulation 3

  1. Regulations 8 to 12 shall not apply to any building or any services, fittings and equipment the whole of which falls into any one or more of the exempted types described in schedule 1.

  2. The provision of:

    1. services, fittings and equipment to, or the demolition or removal of, exempted buildings is exempt, and

    2. services, fittings and equipment to, or the demolition of, exempted services, fittings and equipment is exempt.

  3. For the purposes of this regulation, for the avoidance of doubt, each such exempted type does not include any of the exceptions expressed in relation to that type.

0.3.1 Explanation

Regulation 3 and schedule 1 set out what buildings and work are exempted from the building regulations. The general principles applied to establish exemption are that the regulations do not need to apply where:

  • other legislation covers the buildings or work (types 1 - 3)

  • the buildings or work are covered by another regulation (type 4)

  • the buildings or work are not normally frequented by people (types 5 - 8)

  • the buildings or work are so separated that the regulations are largely inappropriate, and are likely in any case to be supervised by specialists including civil engineers (types 9 - 12)

  • the buildings or work are sufficiently minor that they have little or no impact on the public interest and it is not in the public interest to seek to enforce the regulations (types 13 - 15 and 17 - 21)

  • the buildings or work are temporary (type 16).

Particular care is necessary where exempted work is in the vicinity of, or attached to, an existing building. The level of compliance of the existing building with building regulations should not be adversely affected when exempt works are undertaken.

Where exempt work requires that alteration is made to an existing building to maintain the level of compliance with building regulations, a building warrant may be required. For example where it is intended to construct a porch, which falls within type 18, over an accessible entrance and a new accessible entrance is required.

0.3.2 Schedule 1

Table 0.1. Exempted buildings and services, fittings and equipment

Reason Type Description Exception
Buildings etc. controlled by other legislation 1.
  1. Any building in which explosives are manufactured or stored under a licence granted under the Explosive Regulations 2014 where the whole building is used for that manufacture or storage.

  2. Where only a part of a building is used for the manufacture or storage of explosives under a licence granted under the Explosive Regulations 2014, that part of the building where the licence specifies that manufacture or storage may take place.

  3. Except - sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) do not include any building or, as the case may be, any part of a building as is referred to in, respectively, sub-paragraph (1) or (2) in relation to which -

    1. no minimum separation distance is required to be maintained by virtue of regulation 27(2)(a) or (3) of the Explosives Regulations 2014, or

    2. a minimum separation distance of 0 metres is prescribed by virtue of regulation 27(1) of, and Schedule 5 to the Explosive Regulations 2014 and the requirement for the assent of the local authority under regulation 13(3) of those Regulations did not apply by virtue of regulation 13(4)(a) of those Regulations.

 
  2. A building erected on a site which is subject to licensing under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965.
  • A dwelling, residential building, office, canteen or visitor centre.

  3. A building included in the schedule of monuments maintained under section 1 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.
  • A dwelling or residential building.

Protective works 4. Protective works subject to control by regulation 13.  
Buildings or work not frequented by people 5. A building into which people cannot or do not normally go.
  • A building within 6m or the equivalent of its height (whichever is the less) of the boundary.

  • A wall or fence.

  • A tank, cable, sewer, drain or other pipe above or below ground for which there is a requirement in these regulations.

  6. Detached fixed plant or machinery or a detached building housing only fixed plant or machinery, the only normal visits to which are intermittent visits to inspect or maintain the fixed plant or machinery.
  • A building within 1m of a boundary.

Agricultural and related buildings 7. An agricultural greenhouse or other building of mainly translucent material used mainly for commercial growing of plants.
  • A building used to any extent for retailing (including storage of goods for retailing) or exhibiting.

  8. A single-storey detached building used for any other form of agriculture, fish farming or forestry.
  • A building used to any extent for retailing (including storage for retailing) or exhibiting.

  • A building exceeding 280 square metres in area.

  • A building within 6m or the equivalent of its height (whichever is the less) of a boundary.

  • A dwelling, residential building, office, canteen or visitor centre.

  • A dungstead or farm effluent tank.

Works of civil engineering construction 9. A work of civil engineering construction, including a dock, wharf, harbour, pier, quay, sea defence work, lighthouse, embankment, river work, dam, bridge, tunnel, filter station or bed, inland navigation, reservoir, water works, pipe line, sewage treatment works, gas holder or main, electricity supply line and supports, any bridge embankment or other support to railway lines and any signalling or power lines and supports, and a fire practice tower.
  • A bridge or tunnel forming part of an escape route or an access route provided to meet a requirement of these regulations.

  • A private sewage treatment works provided to meet a requirement of these regulations.

Buildings of a specialist nature 10. A building essential for the operation of a railway including a locomotive or carriage shed, or for the operation of any other work of civil engineering contained in type 9 of this schedule and erected within the curtilage of such a railway or work.
  • A signalling and control centre for a railway or dock.

  • A building to which the public is admitted, not being a building exempted by type 11 of this schedule.

  • A dwelling, residential building, office, canteen, or warehouse.

  11. A single- storey detached road or rail passenger shelter or a telephone kiosk which in so far as it is glazed complies with the requirements of regulation 9 and paragraph 4.8 of schedule 5.
  • A building having a floor area exceeding 30 square metres.

  • A building containing a fixed combustion appliance installation.

  12. A caravan or mobile home within the meaning of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, or a tent van or shed within the meaning of Section 73 of the Public Health (Scotland) Act 1897.
  • Any wastewater disposal system serving a building of this type.

Small buildings 13. A detached single- storey building having an area not exceeding 8 square metres.
  • A dwelling or residential building.

  • A building ancillary to and within the curtilage of a dwelling.

  • A building within 1m of a boundary.

  • A building containing a fixed combustion appliance installation or sanitary facility.

  • A wall or fence.

Construction & development buildings 14. A building used only by people engaged in the construction, demolition or repair of any building or structure during the course of that work.
  • A building containing sleeping accommodation.

  15. A building used in connection with the letting or sale of any building under construction until such time as the letting or sale of all related buildings is completed.
  • A building containing sleeping accommodation.

Temporary buildings 16.

A building which, during any period of 12 months, is either erected or used on a site –

for a period not exceeding 28 consecutive days, or

for a number of days not exceeding 60,

and any alterations to such buildings.

 
Buildings ancillary to houses 17. A detached single- storey building ancillary to and within the curtilage of a house.
  • A building exceeding 8 square metres in area.

  • A building within 1m of the house unless it is at least 1m from any boundary.

  • A building containing sleeping accommodation.

  • A building containing a flue, a fixed combustion appliance installation or sanitary facility.

  • A wall or fence.

  18. A single- storey building attached to an existing house, which is ancillary to the house and consists of a conservatory or porch which insofar as it is glazed complies with the requirements of regulation 9 and paragraph 4.8 of schedule 5.
  • A building exceeding 8 square metres in area.

  • A building containing a flue, a fixed combustion appliance installation or sanitary facility.

  • A building within 1m of a boundary.

  19. A single- storey building which is detached, or is attached to an existing house and which is ancillary to the house and consists of a greenhouse, carport or covered area.
  • A building exceeding 30 square metres in area.

  • A building containing a flue, a fixed combustion appliance installation or sanitary facility.

Buildings ancillary to flats or maisonettes 20. A detached single- storey building ancillary to and within the curtilage of a flat or maisonette.
  • A building exceeding 8 square metres in area.

  • A building within 1m of the flat or maisonette or within 3m of any other part of the building containing the flat or maisonette.

  • A building within 1m of a boundary.

  • A building containing a flue, a fixed combustion appliance installation or sanitary facility.

  • A wall or fence. A swimming pool deeper than 1.2m.

Paved areas 21. A paved area or hardstanding.
  • A paved area or hardstanding exceeding 50 square metres in area.

  • A paved area forming part of an access to meet a requirement of these regulations.