Water and Building Regulations Consultants
RAH Consultancy works with many of the UK's leading companies offering consultancy advice on all aspects of the UK water industry, including design, manufacturing and regulations. A synopsis of some of our most recent projects can be found by clicking here
Water and Building Regulations Approvals
RAH Consultancy has a long history of gaining regulatory approvals for both international and UK approval requirements. Our track record in gaining regulatory approvals stretches back to 1989. We are experts in providing our Clients with the strategy to gain UK Water Regulations and Building Regulations approvals.
Water Fittings Compliance
With regard to the Water Regulatory requirements, it is illegal to install or use a water fitting which is in contravention of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 and the Water Bye-laws 2000, Scotland.
It is not a requirement in law that any water fitting or combination of fittings should be tested for compliance with either the regulations or bye-laws. There does, however, exist a series of Test Criteria by which a water fitting can be shown to conform to an appropriate quality and standard. These criteria are used in voluntary schemes which may be used by water regulators for the approval of water fittings. These Test Criteria are available to view under the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) website.
Water Regulations Inspectors are required to inspect new-build and existing premises to ensure all fittings and materials used are in compliance with the regulations or bye-laws. Because there is no requirement in law to prove water fittings comply with the regulations, voluntary schemes exist whereby two agencies, WRAS and KIWA approve water fittings to the Regulator's criteria. The UK Water Undertakings accept the certificates provided by WRAS and KIWA as proof of product compliance.
We have extensive experience in operating as an agent for the approval of water fittings and materials. We offer advice on any necessary redesign required, any changes of materials, and co-operate with the test laboratories undertaking the test work and with the approval bodies issuing the certificates.
Water Regulations Compliance
RAH Consultancy now has "Approved Plumber" status
With effect from the 1 July 1999 the Government issued the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999, and revoked the Water Supplier's Byelaws for England and Wales. Technically similar requirements were introduced for Scotland from 4 April 2000, known as the Water Byelaws 2000 (Scotland). These have since been updated to the 2004 Byelaws and as of 12 July 2014 they became the Water Supply (Water Fittings) (Scotland) Byelaws 2014. In Northern Ireland, the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009.
England, Scotland and Wales have had a long history of protecting their domestic and commercial properties from waste, misuse, undue consumption and contamination of water supply. In 1999 the regulations became national legislation and made the them accountable to each respective Parliament.
There is a legal duty upon the owners and occupiers of premises and the installers of plumbing systems which have public water supply connections, to comply with these regulations. Successful prosecution will result in a criminal record.
Regulation 5 which refers to notification of intended work, requires that anyone who proposes to install new water systems (or, in non-domestic premises, to alter or extend systems) must give notice of the planned work to their water supplier, and shall not begin that work without their consent, (which shall not be withheld unreasonably). Contractors who fail to give notice and start their work can expect to be taken to court and fined.
What is an Approved Plumber?
"‘Approved plumbers" can be authorised by by one of the following Government approved organisations.
- Certain local Water Suppliers,
- The Water Industry Approved Plumbers' Scheme (WIAPS)
- Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE),
- The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC)
- The Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers' Federation (SNIPEF).
All these Schemes operate under the WaterSafe Installers' Scheme.
Being an "approved plumber" allows Richard Hurst of RAH Consultancy to monitor the installation of water fittings without seeking notice from the water undertaking. We are however, required to complete the works in accordance with the UK water regulations and to provide particular details of the works, their location etc. after the works have been accomplished.
WaterSafe is an online directory of approved plumbing businesses which incorporates the 7 approved contractor schemes that exist across the UK. As a regulated plumber registered by CIPHE (who operate one of the 7 approved schemes) Richard Hurst is a member of Watersafe. This membership provides further reassurance to our Clients with regards to our company's professional standards and qualifications.
Water Regulations Education
RAH Consultancy has extensive experience in designing and running customised courses for Legislators, Manufacturers, Architects, Designers, and Users of Water Systems. This requires close co-operation between RAH our clients to ensure that the course is tailored exactly to their needs. The resultant syllabus is fully documented and approved by all parties prior to the commencement of the course. We will always endeavour to maintain a flexible approach in planning and running each course to minimise any disruption of our client's business.
Building Regulations Compliance
The water regulatory aspects of Building Regulation are essentially contained within Approved Document G of The Building Regulations 2000. The primary sections relate to the water efficiency performance requirements of part G2 and the requirements for the design and installation of the directly or indirectly heated hot water storage systems of part G3.
Part G2 Water Efficiency
The government now requires much greater efficiency of fittings and fixed appliances which consume water. Potential consumption of wholesome water by persons occupying a dwelling must, where a building is newly erected or where there is a material change of use, be limited to 125 litres per person per day.
Architects and installers must demonstrate G2 compliance before building regulation inspectors will approve the building. Architects and installers can demonstrate this in two ways. Firstly, by calculating the values of each individual component's water usage in accordance with the water efficiency calculation to the appropriate BCB. RAH Consultancy are experts in undertaking the compliance processes required to provide the necessary water efficiency calculations.
Architects and installers can also rely on the voluntary initiative introduced under the European Water Label Classification Scheme. This is a European wide voluntary scheme under which manufacturers may have their product's water efficiency tested and classified. Where these products are stipulated by the architect or installer the building regulators will rely on these test results when working out the building's water efficiency. RAH can assist any manufacturer in obtaining the necessary test data.
Part G3 Hot Water Supply and Systems
In the Secretary of State's view, direct and indirect hot water storage vessels must be installed so as to ensure they are adequately protected from failure. This is particularly the case with unvented hot water storage systems that require a range of safety devices to be fitted that prevent over pressure and over temperature. In addition there are requirements for the designs to meet a whole range of applicable British and European standards. Both NSF-WRc and KIWA operate approval schemes to ensure the compliance of these devices to meet these standards and regulations. RAH experience in testing hot water storage systems coupled with our unrivaled knowledge of water regulations makes us the preferred choice of an increasing number of industry professionals.
Buildcert TMV2 Approval
A further requirement of part G3, recently introduced, relates to thermostatic mixing valves installed in domestic premises for the prevention of scalding. The acceptability of in-line lending valves is demonstrated by compliance with the relevant European Standard such as BS EN 1111:1999 or BS EN 1287:1999.
Proof of the anti-scald properties of thermostatic blending valves for domestic premises can be provided by submitting valves to the testing requirements of Buildcert TMV2 approval.
RAH Consultancy has the expertise and knowledge to guide our clients through the entire approval process.
NHS TMV3 Approval
RAH Consultancy also has a long history of interaction with the design and testing of thermostatic mixing valves; Richard Hurst, the proprietor of RAH Consultancy, was responsible for the initiation of the TMV3 scheme. In 1993 he became aware of the need for a healthcare standard with regard to anti-scald thermostatic devices. Research had shown that in the five years previous, Scotland suffered over 30 deaths directly related to scalding. Unfortunately comparable figures for England were not available.
Richard received the active encouragement of the NHS and Manufactures and following the setting up of a committee, he was involved in the writing of the new standard, "NHS Model Engineering Specification D 08 Thermostatic Mixing Valves (Health Care Premises)", and also for the design of equipment to undertake the testing.
NSF-WRc, through their Buildcert approval scheme, certify valves to TMV3. KIWA also operate a similar scheme for Type 3 thermostatic mixing valves. RAH's experience in testing of TMVs makes us the preferred choice of an increasing number of manufacturers.