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Time to start getting to know the requirements of Part M 2010 & TGD M 2010

Why is it time to start getting to know the requirements of Part M 2010 & Technical Guidance Document (TGD) M 2010?

Reason 1: The requirements of Part M 2010 have been significantly revised - As you maybe aware, The Building Regulations (Part M Amendment) Regulations 2010 (S.1. No 513 of 2010) were signed by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government John Gromley on the 1st of November 2010 and published as a Statutory Instrument on the 5th of November 2010.
As a result from the 1st January 2012 Part M (M1-M4) of the Second Schedule of the Building Regulations (as amended) provides as follows:
Access and Use:
M1 - Adequate provision shall be made for people to access and use a building, its facilities and its environs.

Application of the Part:
M2 - Adequate provision shall be made for people to approach and access an extension to a building.
M3 - If sanitary facilities are provided in a building that is to be extended, adequate sanitary facilities shall be provided for people within the extension.
M4 - Part M does not apply to works in connection with extensions to and material alterations of existing dwellings, provided that such works do not create a new dwelling.
Reason 2: The amended regulations come into operation from 1st January 2012 - The (Part M Amendment) Regulations shall apply to works, or buildings in which a material alteration or change of use takes place, where the works, material alteration or change of use commence or take place, as the case may be, on or after 1 January 2012 subject to the Transitional arrangements outlined in S.1. No 513 of 2010.  For further details click here.
What this really means is:
• Where works that do not require planning permission, a FSC or a DAC but commence after the 1st January 2012, they must comply with Part M 2010.
• Where planning permission is applied for on or after the 1st January 2012 the proposed works must comply with Part M 2010.
• Where a notice  pursuant to the provisions of Part 8 of the Local Government (Planning and Development) Regulations 2001 (S.I. No. 600 of 2001) is published on or after the 1st January 2012 the proposed works must comply with Part M 2010.
• Where works that are not subject to Planning Permission but are subject to a FSC or DAC application, Part M 2010 applies. where the FSC and the DAC is not granted by 31st December 2011. It doesn’t matter if they have been applied for before this date, at least one of them has to be granted before 31st of December 2011 for the requirements of Part M 2000 to apply.
Reason 3: The TGD M 2010 which accompanies the amended Regulations is much more detailed than TGD M 2000 - TGD M 2000 mainly addressed the needs of people with physical disabilities. TGD M 2010 on the other hand is a much more detailed document which provides guidance on how to meet the needs of all users regardless of age, size or disability.  This has resulted in a guidance document which addresses design issues such as pedestrian crossings, car parking, sloped access routes, accessible entrances, accessible signage, visual contrast, lighting, hearing enhancement systems, ambulant disabled WCs, enlarged cubicles, accessible urinals, refreshment facilities, internal stairs suitable for ambulant disabled people, switches, sockets and controls.

The guidance document also provides guidance on the determination of practicability for existing buildings, the role that management can play in making buildings accessible, the steps to take when carrying out works on buildings of historic interest, the application of Part M for material changes of use, material alteration extensions etc and the importance of linking access provision with fire safety and emergency egress.