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Building Standards System

Built Environment

The Scottish Government aims to increase sustainable economic growth - through legislation, policies actions and decisions on architecture & place making, building standards and planning.

Scottish Ministers are responsible for creating Building Regulations and preparing technical guidance to ensure buildings are safe, efficient and sustainable for all.

Local Authorities administer the Building Standards system and are responsible for granting permission for work to be done (Building Warrant) and for a completed building to be occupied (Completion Certificate).

About Building Standards

The Building (Scotland) Act 2003 gives Ministers the power to make building regulations to:

  • secure the health, safety, welfare and convenience of persons in or about buildings and of others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings;
  • further the conservation of fuel and power;
  • and further the achievement of sustainable development.

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 key functions of the Building Standards system in Scotland are as follows:

  • prepare the building regulations and write guidance on how to meet the regulations;
  • provide views on compliance to help verifiers (currently local authorities) make decisions;
  • grant relaxations of the regulations in exceptional cases;
  • maintain a register of Approved Certifiers;
  • monitor and audit the certification system;
  • monitor and audit the performance of verifiers;
  • to verify Crown building work

This is further explained in the Procedural Handbook