6 Project Type
For the majority of projects, the information contained within the building standards guidance (see annex A) provides comprehensive advice on what is required throughout the building warrant process.
Where the project is high risk or the design is particularly complex in nature, it may be beneficial to have a pre-warrant application discussion between the applicant/agent and verifier. There is more information about this in the Procedural Handbook.
The building regulations make provision for changes in occupation or use of buildings, that should be considered as ‘conversions’. This is defined in the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 and in the Technical Handbooks as –
Convert in relation to a building, means to make such change in the occupation or use of the building as specified in schedule 2 to regulation 4, and “conversion” and related expressions are to be construed accordingly.
The types of conversion where the regulations apply are given in Section 0, Regulation 4 of the Technical Handbooks.
There will be cases where no building work is being undertaken, however the change of occupation or use will attract the application of building regulations. In such cases a building warrant is required to demonstrate that the building, as converted, will meet the relevant building standards.
For conversions, it is the intention that the standards achieved in converted buildings should be broadly similar to those achieved by entirely new build. Schedule 6 to regulation 12 guides the verifier as to where discretion is expected to be necessary. It identifies those standards where it is not expected to be reasonably practicable to have existing buildings fully comply.
Refer to 0.4 and 0.12 in Section 0 of the technical handbooks for detailed information on what is classed as a conversion and what standards must be met.
Note: The reference to changes of use in planning applications is different to ‘conversions’ given in building regulations and should not be confused. If you are unsure, seek advice from the relevant planning authority.