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Understanding the use of Technical Guidance Document (TGD) - Part M 2010

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.

The Building Regulations (Part M Amendment) Regulations introduce a number of significant amendments to Part M of the Building Regulations which will come into operation from the 1st January 2012. M1 of Part M 2010 requires that ‘adequate provision shall be made for people to access and use a building, its facilities and its environs’.

Unlike the previous Technical Guidance Document (TGD), this guidance is broken into three sections. The following is a brief overview of how the new TGD M is laid out:

Section 1 sets out the minimum level of provision required to meet the requirements of Part M for new buildings and their environs (other than dwellings) and the common areas of new apartment buildings. Section 1 of the TGD covers a wide range of issues in relation to access and use of a building including:

Section 2 sets out to provide additional guidance to meet the minimum requirements for existing buildings and their environs (other than dwellings) and the common areas of existing apartments where it would not be practical to implement the recommendations in section 1. It is however noted in the TGD that section 2 should be read in conjunction with section 1. Section 0.7 of the TGD defines ‘practicability’ and provides information for the user to determine what sections of the guidance should be used to meet the minimum requirements of Part M.

Some of the examples given to determine ‘practicability’ include whether the works would have a significant adverse effect on the historical significance of the existing building, structure and stability of load bearing walls, physical or site constraints, ownership/control of area where works are taking place and where planning conditions prohibit modifications of an identified existing feature.

The guidance in Section 3 of the TGD applies to dwellings and their environs (which includes individual dwelling houses). The TGD notes in section 0.5 that the guidance in section 3 does not apply to common areas of apartment blocks but does apply to the common areas of duplex buildings. Section 3 covers access to dwellings, circulation within dwellings, sanitary facilities and switches and controls.

The TGD concludes with a comprehensive list of Irish and British standards, relevant legislation and best practice guidance documents which could be used to get further information on access or in some cases to show how the requirements of Part M 2010 can be met.

If you would like further information on the implications of the New Part M 2010, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on 01-4151285 or e-mail [email protected].