Draft Shopfront Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) - July 2019

Draft North Somerset Council Shopfront Design Guide - July 2019

Change of Use and the Building Regulations

Through the change of use to a residential dwelling the detailed design of a former shop unit will require careful consideration. New designs will require creative adaptation and consideration of the building regulations.

There will be general requirements for upgrading the thermal performance of the walls, ceilings and floors including the glazed shopfront. A sound test will be needed between party walls or party floors. There will be a requirement for ventilation through background ventilation or possibly mechanical ventilation. Toughened glass in walls or windows below the 800mm level will be required and glazing with a fire rating will also be required in certain circumstances.

The standard for listed buildings, buildings within a conservation area or scheduled monument are different.

Where changes to a property are typically required to meet the standards set by Building Regulations Approved Documents B (Fire safety), E (Resistance to the passage of sound), F (Ventilation), K (Protection from falling, collision and impact), L (Conservation of fuel and power) and M (Access to and use of buildings) and Q (Security in dwellings) work to a listed building, a building within a conservation area or to a scheduled monument should not prejudice the character of the building or increase the risk of long-term deterioration. The building should be improved as much as is practically possible, although it may not reach the standards. Please seek the advice of the local authority conservation officer if in doubt.

The building regulations only apply to new work and there is no general requirement to upgrade all existing buildings to meet these standards.

Where a building did not comply with the regulations before the alteration, the work of an alteration shall be carried out so that afterwards the building’s compliance with the regulations is no more unsatisfactory.

Listed buildings, buildings within a conservation area or scheduled monument are exempt from compliance with the energy efficiency requirements to the extent that the requirements would unacceptably alter the character or appearance of such buildings.

In support of shopfront conversions, the use of secondary glazing systems that are sympathetic to the original shopfront design will be considered appropriate. This maintains the original shopfront character and has the added benefit of minimising areas of cold bridging around glazing frames and minimising the risk to the shopfront from condensation which may form on single glass panes.

To achieve the necessary fire and sound insulation requirements, suspended ceilings that are appropriately designed in relation to the shopfront will be supported. Please refer to the shopfront design section of this SPD for advice on how to achieve an appropriately detailed suspended ceiling.