Building Regulations secondary legislation

Subordinate (or secondary) legislation is the name given to regulations or orders written under powers granted by primary legislation. The department is empowered under Article 3 of the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (as amended) to make regulations to be known as 'Building Regulations'.

Secondary legislation and amendments

Within Northern Ireland, these regulations or orders take the form of statutory rules. There are two main statutory rules for building regulations in Northern Ireland.

The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 (The Regulations) revoke and replace, with amendments, the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 and all subsequent amending regulations. They impose certain functional or performance requirements in relation to:

  • the design and construction or erection of any building and to certain services and fittings in conjunction with any building
  • the structural alteration or extension of any building and
  • any building undergoing a material change of use

The Regulations came into operation on 31 October 2012, but do not apply in relation to work which has been completed, or for which plans have been deposited with a district council, before that date.

The department publishes Technical Booklets for guidance in support of The Regulations. 

The Regulations have been amended by the Building (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 ,  Building (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 , Building (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 and Building (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022.

The Building (Prescribed Fees) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997 authorise district councils to charge fees for certain functions prescribed by the 1979 Order. They also establish the level of fees that may be charged, and list any exemption to each fee. The 1997 Regulations have been amended by the Building (Prescribed Fees) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013 and Building (Prescribed Fees) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022.

A summary of the most recent amendments to the Building Regulations and associated Technical Booklets, including links to the awareness briefings, has been complied.

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