Renfrewshire Council

What building standards and building warrants are

What the building standards system is

The building standards system in Scotland is established by the Building (Scotland) Act 2003. 

The Act gives powers to Scottish Ministers to create building regulations and other supporting legislation to fulfil the purposes of the Act. 

The intention of the building standards system is to ensure that all building work to new and existing buildings meets reasonable standards by securing the health, safety, welfare and convenience of people in and around buildings, furthering the conservation of fuel and power and to further the achievement of sustainable development.

When you need a building warrant

If you propose to erect a new building, to alter or extend an existing building, to convert a building or to demolish a building, you will normally require building warrant permission. Permission is granted in the form of a building warrant which must be obtained prior to starting work. A warrant will be granted if the proposals meet the requirements of the building regulations.

It is an offence to begin work, for which a building warrant is required, without such a warrant. If a warrant is not obtained, this may lead to enforcement action being taken by the building standards section and it could also cause difficulties during property transactions.

Other statutory requirements may also apply to the proposed work such as planning permission, fire law and licensing.