New Building Control Regulations 2014
A guide to the Regulations by Vincent Coleman of Coleman Architects Ballina.
The new Building Control Regulations came into operation on 1st March 2014 and apply to:
· the design and construction of a new dwelling or any extension to a dwelling with a floor area of more than 40 square metres; and
· works where a fire safety certificate is involved (i.e. virtually any type of commercial building).
Building Owners are now required to appoint a Design Certifier, an Assigned Certifier as well as a ‘competent’ Builder.
The Design Certifier and the Assigned Certifier (the same person may be appointed as both) must be a Registered Architect, Chartered Engineer or Chartered Building Surveyor.
New building works cannot proceed until the certificates and other requirements of the Commencement Notice have been filed by the Building Control Authority and new buildings cannot be opened, occupied or used until a Certificate of Compliance on Completion has been filed and registered by the Authority.
The recent well publicised cases in connection with pyrite defects and the Priory Hall Apartments have highlighted the need for changes to the building control regime in Ireland.
Prior to the introduction of the new regulations there was no statutory lodgement and approval system for Building Control Regulations in Ireland other than a statutory lodgement and approval system for Disability Access and Fire Safety Certificates.
Building Owner’s Obligations under BC(A)R
The building owner’s obligations include giving written undertakings on statutory forms to the Building Control Authority to appoint:
· a competent Design Team to design the building in accordance the Building Regulations.
· a competent Builder to construct the building in accordance with the Building Regulations.
· a competent Assigned Certifier to prepare an Inspection Plan, inspect and certify, with the Builder, that the building when complete is built in accordance the Building Regulations.
Building Owner and Design Team Procedures prior to construction
· 14 -28 days before the construction of the Building starts on site, the Building Owner issues a statutory Commencement Notice to the Building Control Authority.
· With the Commencement Notice the Design Team issues a Statutory Certificate, with back up drawings and information, confirming the Building is designed in compliance with the Building Regulations.
· The Assigned Certifier issues an Inspection Plan to the Building Control Authority.
· The Builder signs and issues a Statutory Certificate confirming they will construct in accordance with the Building Regulations.
Lodgement of the Commencement Notice
· The Commencement Notice is submitted electronically to the relevant Building Control Authority, together with the drawings, specification, design philosophy, Fire Safety and Disability Access Certificates.
· The Building Control Authority carries out a risk analysis/inspection system, of the Design, Inspection Plan, and the Builder.
· The Building Control Authority may seek additional information, from the Building Owner, Design Team, Assigned Certifier and Builder during the construction process.
The Role of the Assigned Certifier and Builder, During the Construction Stage
· The Assigned Certifier will implement the Inspection Plan with the Builder.
· The Assigned Certifier will collate certificates, sub-certificates, ancillary
certificates, warranties and tests as set out in the Inspection Plan, with the Builder.
· The Assigned Certifier will respond to requests for additional information by the BCA.
The Role of the Assigned Certifier and the Builder at Completion
The Assigned Certifier and the Builder having collated all the required certificates identified in the Inspection Plan, collected from all those identified, sub-contractors, suppliers, testers, manufacturers and are satisfied that the building is built in accordance with the Building Regulations, co-sign the Statutory Completion Certificate and lodge it with the BCA, 3 -5 weeks in advance of the Completion date.
The Building will not be permitted to be occupied, used or rented, without the building being placed on the Building Control Authority Register.
Registration of Builders and Sub-Contractors
A Statutory Register of Builders does not yet exist but is proposed to be established in 2015. The Construction Industry Federation, representing Builders in Ireland, have launched information on a voluntary register of builders and sub-contractors on: www.ciri.ie. This voluntary register will have a code of practice and sanctions procedure whereby builders can be struck off the register.
Implications for the Self-Builder
The implication for the ‘self-builder’ is as yet unresolved and more clarification is required in this regard from the Government. However it is likely to be difficult for building owners to act as a builder and correctly say that they were ‘competent’ to undertake the works. Certifying compliance where the builder has little or no experience would increase the risk and exposure for the architect, engineer or surveyor.
The new regulations should be viewed overall as a positive development in that the intention is to increase compliance with Building Regulations and develop a compliance culture within the building industry. However the new processes will increase the potential liabilities of all parties involved and have the potential to delay both design and building stages.
The new processes are also likely to increase the cost of construction projects due to the increased work loads for those who carry out the roles of design certifier and assigned certifier, and for the contractor in complying with the required inspection regime.
It will take some time for the process to settle and to ascertain the overall effects.
The above text is only guidance and is not an exhaustive list of the requirements imposed under the new BCAR. People need to familiarise themselves with the legislation if they are considering undertaking works that fall within the scope of the BCAR.
For further information, please contact:
Vincent Coleman at Coleman Architects
096 70891 087 6199345 firstname.lastname@example.org www.colemanarchitects.ie
Vincent Coleman is a Registered Architect and member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI), Registered Designer and Assigned Certifier and Conservation Architect Grade III. Vincent has been a qualified architect since 1990. He co-founded Doherty Coleman Architects in Ballina 2000 and since then has been director of the company. Doherty Coleman Architects are now Coleman Architects.