Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Building Regulations

Building Standards is a statutory service provided by all Local Authorities in Scotland who are the Verifiers. Its main intention is to ensure, as far as is reasonably practical to do so, the health, safety and welfare of any and all inhabitants of the built environment. The Building Regulations cover everything from structural stability and fire safety, to drainage and sound insulation.

National Standards

Building Regulations set national standards for health and safety and are generally applied through the Building Warrant process. You may require a Building Warrant if you intend to alter, extend, erect, demolish or convert any structure.

In certain situations, a Building Warrant won't be needed. These include the works to a house where:

  • There is no structural alteration to the property.
  • The floor area of the property is not increased.
  • The roof line of the building is not altered in any way.
  • The alterations do not include a change to the waste water system.

Other examples could include refitting a kitchen, replacing doors and windows, or installing a stairlift.

Detached Buildings

Detached buildings such as a Garage, Store or Shed, with a floor area of up to 30m2 can be built, providing it is at least one metre from the House and boundary and does not have a fixed combustion appliance.

Further information on exemptions is available from Building Standards directly and, even if a Building Warrant isn't required, it is important to remember that all work must comply fully with the Building Regulations.

Building Operations: Recommended First Step

We recommend that if you are considering undertaking building operations that you contact us directly and we will advise you accordingly. The Regulations are constantly being changed, so please contact our Building Standards team on Telephone: 01856 873535 for advice.

Further guidance can be found online at:

  • Building Standards Division.
  • Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS).
  • Via the 'Related Sites' section of this page.

Related Sites