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What are the Implications for Including Part M Under the Definition of Material Alterations in the Building Regulations?

The fact that 'material alterations' now includes Part M in its definition under the Building Regulations raises some interesting questions. Most notably, we are often asked what the implications are in relation to the Disability Access Certificate (DAC) process.

For example, The Building Control Regulations require a DAC application to be made to the Building Control Authority where works are in connection with the material alteration of: 

This excludes works to these buildings consisting solely of minor works.

So, is replacing directional and wayfinding signage in a hotel therefore classified as a material alteration and is a DAC application required or is it classified as a repair and renewal?

If a building owner decides to make changes to the internal layouts of toilet facilities in an institutional building, is a DAC and a Fire Safety Certificate application required?

If a building owner decides to add an accessible car parking bay in an existing car park of a place of assembly, is this classed as a material alteration and therefore a DAC application is required?

If a building owner decides to replace the main entrance doors in a day centre, is a DAC and a Fire Safety Certificate application required?

The main implication for including Part M under the definition of ‘Material Alterations’ in the Building Regulations is how the building owner determines whether works that they are carrying out are repairs, renewals, minor works or material alterations that affect the requirements of Part M. This in turn will have implications as a Disability Access Certificate application may or may not be required.