French Building Regulations

There are legal requirements for French buildings concerning safety of persons, sanitary requirements, hygiene, and energy consumption.

The code of practice is set out in Documents Techniques Unifiés DTU and all public contracts must adhere. There are also Avis Techniques (technical advisory notes) for materials, components and equipment, where no standardisation yet exists.

For private contracts, it is the contractor’s responsibility to comply with "Règles de l'Art". The Règles de l'Art include the norms, the DTUs and the "savoir-faire" (know how) of the contractor. The norms and DTU's may be made binding in private projects by being prescribed in the contract.

AFNOR (Agence Française de NORmalisation) is the French institution that sets out technical or technological recommendations applicable to products. When a product has the mark "NF" (Normes Françaises) it means that it has been controlled, conforms to the norm and is suitable for use. Representatives of AFNOR can inspect works in progress, carry out tests and request to see all official documents. They can do so for two years after the completion of the construction. This does not happen very often on private construction.

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