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Building regulations

- have been devised to protect the health and safety of the users of buildings and latterly, to promote energy conservation. The "regs" covering issues ranging from structural stability to control of fire, are designed for buildings of a particular use. Consequently, restoring or reusing buildings, frequently requires ingenuity and imagination to reconcile the requirements of the regulations with the need to retain architectural and historic character. Most problematic areas of the regs are, structure, fire precautions, means of escape, resistance to moisture, resistance to transmission of sound, stairs ramps and barriers, and facilities for the disabled. Local authorities who are responsible for enforcing the regulations are instructed to exercise discretion and consider relaxations where possible. There are differences between England and Scotland. It is important to remember that conservation and modern use are often interdependant and will be better guaranteed if the building is known to be structurally sound, hygenic etc, in other words, it complys with the building regs.