Approved Document M - Access to and use of buildings - Volume 1: Dwellings

This document covers the requirements for access to and the use of new dwellings, for everyone. It includes many useful diagrams on how to show compliance with the regulations, along with details on Access Statements.

Download Approved Document M - Volume 1: Dwellings - 2015 editionApproved Document M - Volume 1: Dwellings

PDF file: 1.76MB, 69 pages

2015 edition incorporating 2016 amendments: Valid from 1 March 2016

Download 2016 amendments2016 Amendments to Approved Document M - Volume 1

PDF file: 322KB, 12 pages

2016 amendments: Valid from 1 March 2016

Quick links

The requirements in this edition of Approved Document M - Volume 1: Dwellings are as follows:

Category 1 - visitable dwelling
M4(1) - Access and use

Reasonable provision shall be made for people to -
(a) gain access to; and
(b) use the dwelling and its facilities.

Limits on application
The requirements of this Part do not apply to -
(a) an extension to a dwelling; or
(b) any part of a building which is used solely to enable the building or any service or fitting in the building to be inspected, repaired or maintained.

Category 2 - accessible and adaptable dwellings
M4(2) - Optional requirement

(1) Reasonable provision must be made for people to-
(a) gain access to; and
(b) use the dwelling and its facilities.
(2) The provision made must be sufficent to-
(a) meet the needs of occupants with differing needs, including some older or disabled people; and
(b) to allow adaptation of the dwelling to meet the changing needs of occupants over time.

Limits on application
Optional requirement M4(2)-
(a) may apply only in relation to a dweeling that is erected;
(b) will apply in substitution for the requirement M4(1);
(c) does not apply where optional requirement M4(3) applies;
(d) does not apply to any part of a building which is used solely to enable the building or any service or fitting in the building to be inspected, repaired or maintained.

Category 3 - wheelchair user dwellings
M4(3) - Optional requirement

(1) Reasonable provision must be made for people to-
(a) gain access to; and
(b) use the dwelling and its facilities.
(2) The provision made must be sufficent to-
(a) allow simple adaptation of the dwellings to the needs of occupants who use wheelchairs; or
(b) meet the needs of occupants who use wheelchairs.

Limits on application
Optional requirement M4(3)-
(a) may apply only in relation to a dweeling that is erected;
(b) will apply in substitution for the requirement M4(1);
(c) does not apply where optional requirement M4(2) applies; (d) does not apply to any part of a building which is used solely to enable the building or any service or fitting in the building to be inspected, repaired or maintained.

Optional requirement M4(3) (2)(b) applies only where the planning permission under which the building work is carried out specifies that it shall be complied with.

Archived copies of Approved Document M

Download Approved Document M - Volume 1: Dwellings - 2015 editionApproved Document M - Volume 1: Dwellings - 2015 edition

PDF file: 1.78MB, 69 pages

Valid from 1 October 2015 until 1 March 2016

The requirements in this edition were:
M4(1) - Category 1: Visitable dwellings
M4(2) - Category 2: Accessible and adaptable dwellings
M4(3) - Category 3: Wheelchair user dwellings


Download Approved Document M 2004 edition incorporating 2010 and 2013 amendmentsApproved Document M - 2004 edition incorporating 2010 and 2013 amendments

PDF file: 5.85MB, 36 pages

Valid from 6 April 2013 until 1 October 2015

The requirements in this edition were:
M1 - Access and use
M2 - Access to extensions to buildings other than dwellings
M3 - Sanitary conveniences in extensions to buildings other than dwellings
M4 - Sanitary conveniences in dwellings


Download 2013 amendments2013 Amendments

PDF file: 478KB, 54 pages

2013 amendments: Valid from 6 April 2013 until 1 October 2015


Download Approved Document M 2004 edition incorporating 2010 amendmentsApproved Document M - 2004 edition incorporating 2010 amendments

PDF file: 4.42MB, 87 pages

Valid from 1 October 2010 until 6 April 2013

The requirements in this edition were:
M1 - Access and use
M2 - Access to extensions to buildings other than dwellings
M3 - Sanitary conveniences in extensions to buildings other than dwellings
M4 - Sanitary conveniences in dwellings


Download Approved Document M 2004 editionApproved Document M - 2004 edition

PDF file: 2.20MB, 85 pages

Valid from 1 May 2004 until 1 October 2010

The requirements in this edition were:
M1 - Access and use
M2 - Access to extensions to buildings other than dwellings
M3 - Sanitary conveniences in extensions to buildings other than dwellings
M4 - Sanitary conveniences in dwellings


Download Approved Document M 1992 editionApproved Document M - 1999 edition

PDF file: 5.85MB, 36 pages

Valid from 25 October 1999 until 1 May 2004

The requirements in this edition were:
M1 - Interpretation
M2 - Access and use
M3 - Sanitary conveniences
M4 - Audience or spectator seating


Approved Document M 1992 editionApproved Document M - 1992 edition

No download currently available

Valid from 1 June 1992 until 25 October 1999

The requirements in this edition were:
M1 - Interpretation
M2 - Access and use
M3 - Sanitary conveniences
M4 - Audience or spectator seating


Approved Document M 1987 editionApproved Document M - 1987 edition

No download currently available

Valid from November 1987 until 1 June 1992

The requirements in this edition were:
M2 - Means of access
M3 - Sanitary conveniences
M4 - Audience or spectator seating


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 20 parts:

  • Part A - Structure
  • Part B (Volume 1) - Fire safety (Dwellings)
  • Part B (Volume 2) - Fire safety (Buildings other than dwellings)
  • 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