Scottish Ministers are responsible under the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 for creating Building Regulations and preparing technical guidance to ensure buildings are safe, efficient and sustainable for all.
The purpose of the building standards system, which is administered and enforced by Scottish local authorities, is to protect the public interest. The system, therefore, does not so much control building as set out the essential standards to be met when building work or a conversion takes place, and only to the extent necessary to meet the building regulations.
The Building Standards Division (BSD) of the Directorate for Local Government and Communities fulfils the duties placed on Scottish Ministers by the 2003 Act. The division prepares and updates building standards legislation and guidance documents, conducting any necessary research and consulting on changes as the Act requires. The division, on behalf of Scottish Ministers, gives views to help verifiers make decisions in particular cases, and deals with applications to relax standards for particular matters. It also approves verifiers, and certifiers of design and construction and it checks how local authority verifiers and certification scheme providers are operating the system.
Free access to the legislation, procedures and technical guidance can be found using the following links:
Procedures and Legislation - covers the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 and associated legislation
Technical Guidance - provides access to the Technical Handbooks for advice on achieving the standards set in the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004
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.
Technical Handbooks and Key Supporting Guidance can be accessed at http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/Building/Building-standards/techbooks/techhandbooks
Further essential guidance for designers can be accessed through the BSD web link
A useful publications list giving General Guidance and FAQ's section is intended to help anyone who is unfamiliar with the building standards system in Scotland. The information contained in it relates to the new building standards system that came into force on 1 May 2005.
Scottish Minister also provide a valuable source of guidance through the Views and Relaxations process
Guidance to help you
LABSS Information Papers have been framed to assist you in your understanding of technical and procedural matters which may impact on your design or works on site.
Local Authority guidance held within your local council offices can assist you in local knowledge and national issues.
Gaining advice from the Certifiers of Design and Construction is also available here.
LABSS work in partnership with LABC to give you access to cross border issues.