Approved Document A - Structure

This part covers the loadings on a building, and the construction of the structural elements including the foundations, walls, floors, roofs and chimneys. The building must also be constructed so that the risk of ground movement, will not impair its stability. Simple design rules and guides are also supplied for domestic buildings, including garages and outbuildings, and small non-residential buildings.

Taller buildings also need to be constructed so that in the event of an accident the building will not collapse to a greater extent than the area affected by the incident.

Approved Document AApproved Document A

PDF file: 5.33MB, 54 pages

2004 edition incorporating 2013 amendments: Valid from 1 October 2013

Quick links

The requirements in this edition of Approved Document A are as follows:

A1 - Loading
(1) The building shall be constructed so that the combined dead, imposed and wind loads are sustained and transmitted by it to the ground:
(a) safely; and
(b) without causing such deflection or deformation of any part of the building, or such movement of the ground, as will impair the stability of any part of another building.
(2) In assessing whether a building complies with sub paragraph (1) regard shall be had to the imposed and wind loads to which it is likely to be subjected in the ordinary course of its use for the purpose for which it is intended.

Limits on application
None

A2 - Ground Movement
The building shall be constructed so that ground movement caused by:-
(a) swelling, shrinkage or freezing of the subsoil; or
(b) land-slip or subsidence (other than subsidence arising from shrinkage, in so far as the risk can be reasonably foreseen), will not impair the stability of any part of the building.

Limits on application
None

A3 - Disproportionate Collapse
The building shall be constructed so that in the event of an accident the building will not suffer collapse to an extent disproportionate to the cause.

Limits on application
None

Additional guidance to support Approved Document A

Trada span tablesSpan tables for solid timber members in floors, ceilings and roofs for dwellings

This document is published by Trada Technology Ltd as guidance on the sizing of timber members used in the roofs and floors of dwellings. Alternative guidance is available in BS 5268: Parts 2 and 3, and in BS 8103 Part 3.

You can purchase this document from: www.bookshop.trada.co.uk


Download Better to be safe than sorry! leafletBetter to be safe than sorry!

PDF file: 273KB, 2 pages

Garden and boundary walls should be inspected from time to time to see if any repairs are necessary, or whether a wall needs rebuilding.

Such walls are amongst the most common forms of masonry to suffer collapse, and they are unfortunately one of the commonest causes of deaths by falling masonry. Your insurances may not cover you if the wall has been neglected.


Archived copies of Approved Document A

Download 2013 amendmentsAmendments - 2013 edition

PDF file: 478KB, 54 pages

Valid from 6 April 2013 until 1 October 2013


Download Approved Document A 2010 edition with amendmentsApproved Document A - 2004 edition with 2010 amendments

PDF file: 3.7MB, 52 pages

Valid from 1 October 2010 until 1 October 2013

The requirement in this edition was:
A1 - Loading
A2 - Ground Movement
A3 - Disproportionate collapse


Download Approved Document A 2004 edition with amendmentsApproved Document A - 2004 edition with 2004 amendments

PDF file: 3.5MB, 47 pages

Valid from 1 December 2004 until 1 October 2010

The requirement in this edition was:
A1 - Loading
A2 - Ground Movement
A3 - Disproportionate collapse


Download Approved Document A 2000 amendmentsAmendments - 2000 edition

PDF file: 3.87MB, 18 pages

Valid from 1 January 2001 until 1 December 2004


Approved Document A 1992 editionApproved Document A - 1992 edition

PDF file: 4.097MB, 72 pages

Valid from 1 June 1992 until 31 December 2000

The requirement in this edition was:
A1 - Loading
A2 - Ground Movement
A3 and A4 - Disproportionate collapse


Download Approved Document A 1998 amendmentsAmendments 1 - 1988 edition

PDF file: 2.51MB, 15 pages

Valid from February 1988 until 31 May 1992


Download Approved Document A 1985 editionApproved Document A - 1985 edition

PDF file: 12.0MB, 58 pages

Valid from 1 April 1985 until 31 May 1992

The requirement in this edition was:
A1 / 2 - Loading and ground movement
A3 - Disproportionate collapse


Quick links to other Approved Documents

The regulations cover all aspects of construction and are constantly reviewed. The guidance documents referred to as 'Approved Documents' contain practical ways and explanations of how to comply with the functional requirements of the Building Regulations.

These 'Approved Documents' are separated into 14 parts:

  • Part A - Structure
  • Part B (Volume 1) - Fire safety (Dwellinghouses)
  • Part B (Volume 2) - Fire safety (Buildings other than dwellinghouses)
  • Part C - Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture
  • Part D - Toxic substances
  • Part E - Resistance to the passage of sound
  • Part F - Ventilation
  • Part G - Hygiene
  • Part H - Drainage and waste disposal
  • Part J - Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems
  • Part K - Protection from falling, collision and impact
  • Part L1A - Conservation of fuel and power in new dwellings
  • Part L1B - Conservation of fuel and power in existing dwellings
  • Part L2A - Conservation of fuel and power in new buildings other than dwellings
  • Part L2B - Conservation of fuel and power in existing buildings other than dwellings
  • Part M (Volume 1) - Access to and use of buildings (Dwellings)
  • Part M (Volume 2) - Access to and use of buildings (Buildings other than dwellings)
  • Part P - Electrical safety - Dwellings
  • Part Q - Security - Dwellings
  • Part R - Physical infrastructure for high-speed electronic communications networks
  • Regulation 7 - Materials and workmanship