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The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 states that a Commencement Notice should be applied for online using the Building Control Management System (BCMS) available at www.localgov.ie. The BCMS will allow building owners to nominate an Assigned Certifier and Builder for the development works. Each party must be registered with the BCMS to fill in or sign their respective parts.
Promote health and safety and welfare in and about buildings
Ensure a quality of housing stock
Ensure sustainable environmental Protection
BMS-Promote good practice/reform/enforcement
Consumer confidence/economic recovery
Promote efficiencies time/cost for construction permits
1. What happens on the 1st March 2014?
On the 1st March 2014, new regulations (S.I. 9 of 2014) relating to the commencement and certification of construction works come into effect. For certain building works, the new regulations require that certificates of compliance and other documents must be submitted with the Commencement Notice.
The additional requirements also include:
• the nomination of a competent ‘Assigned Certifier’ to inspect and certify the works,
• the assignment of a competent builder to carry out the works,
• the submission of certificates of compliance on completion.
2. Do the additional requirements apply to all Commencement Notices?
No. The additional requirements only apply to the following works:
Construction of a dwelling
Extension of a dwelling by more than 40 square metres.
Works which require a Fire Safety Certificate.
3. What additional documents must I submit with my Commencement Notice?
Any Commencement Notice submitted after the 1st March 2014, which come within the scope of S.I 9 of 2014 must fill out an online assessment of the proposed approach to compliance with the Building Regulations and be accompanied by the following:
• Certificate of Compliance (Design),
• Notice of Assignment of Person to Inspect and Certify Works (Assigned Certifier),
• Undertaking by Assigned Certifier,
• Notice of Assignment of Builder,
• Undertaking by builder
• General arrangement drawings for building control purposes – plans, sections and elevations;
• A schedule of design documents currently prepared or to be prepared at a later date,
• The preliminary inspection plan,
• Any other documents deemed appropriate by the Assigned Certifier.
4. What happens if I do not start work within the statutory notice period of the Commencement Notice?
If the works do not start within 28 days of the date of lodgement of the Commencement Notice, you must submit a new Commencement Notice prior to the commencement of any works taking place.
5. What happens if I don’t submit my Commencement Notice?
Failure to submit a Commencement Notice when required is an offence. If you commence works or a change of use in the absence of a Commencement Notice, there is no provision to retrospectively submit a Commencement Notice.
For works subject to S.I. 9 of 2014, you will be unable to submit a Certificate of Compliance on Completion, and your building will not be recorded on the public register. This may affect your ability to lease or sell the building.
6. If I received planning permission before March 1st 2014, am I exempt from the new Regulations?
No. All Commencement Notices received by the Building Control Authority after the 1st March 2014 must comply with the new Regulations.
7. Who can act as an Assigned Certifier?
An Assigned Certifier must be:
an Architect named on a register maintained pursuant to Part 3 of the Building Control Act 2007, or
a Building Surveyor named on a register maintained pursuant to Part 5 of the Building Control Act 2007, or
an Engineer of the necessary discipline named on a register maintained pursuant to Section 7 of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland (Charter Amendment) Act 1969
8. Can I build my own house myself or by direct labour?
Yes. You may appoint yourself as the builder and sign the Certificate of compliance (Undertaking by Builder). As the builder, you are responsible for compliance with the Building Regulations. You must sign the Certificate of Compliance on Completion and you must also appoint an Assigned Certifier to inspect the works during construction.
As an owner, how can I appoint a competent builder?
A competent person may generally be regarded as a person who possesses sufficient training, experience, and knowledge to enable them to undertake the project tasks they are required to perform having regard to the nature of the project and its scale and complexity. Competence can be verified, for instance, by reference to involvement on previous similar projects. One way of choosing a competent builder is to select a builder included on the Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI). Further details may be found on www.ciri.ie
9. Who is responsible for compliance with the Building Control Regulations?
The owner of the building, the designer who designs the works, and the builder who carries out the works are responsible, under law, for compliance with Building Regulations and Building Control Regulations.
10. Can I submit my Commencement Notice Online?
Yes, a new national Building Control Management System (BCMS) is now in place.
Plans, specifications, particulars, and the preliminary inspection plan can be uploaded to the BCMS. In addition, the online assessment of the proposed approach to compliance with the Building Regulations is also done through the BCMS.
The BCMS will allow building owners nominate an Assigned Certifier, and a Builder for the development works. The BCMS will also allow the Owner, Assigned Certifier, and the Builder to fill out the required Notices and Certificates online. Each party must be registered with the BCMS to fill in or sign their respective parts.
11. Can I still submit my Commencement Notice at my local County Council offices?
Yes, Commencement Notices can still be submitted at the offices of your local Building Control Authority.
If required, the online assessment must still be carried out via the Building Control Management System
12. What is the Fee for a Commencement Notice?
The fee for a Commencement Notice is €30, or where the Commencement Notice relates to multiple buildings, €30 in respect of each building
Additional charges will be imposed by the Building Control Authority for commencement notices which are not submitted online via the Building Control Management System.
13. What is a 7 Day Notice
A 7 day notice is similar to a Commencement Notice and may be used for works, which require a Fire Safety Certificate, when the works need to start before the Certificate is granted.
It must be accompanied by a valid Fire Safety Certificate application and a Statutory Declaration. After the 1st March 2014, the additional requirements which apply to commencement notices will also apply to 7 Day Notices.
The fee for a 7-Day Notice is €250 or €5.80 per square metre of applicable floor area (whichever is the greater).
14. What is a Certificate of Compliance on Completion?
For work coming within the scope of S.I. 9 of 2014, a Certificate of Compliance on Completion must be lodged with the Building Control Authority and placed on the public register before the building may be opened, occupied or used.
The Certificate must be signed by the Assigned Certifier and the Builder. It certifies that the building or works have been carried out in accordance with the Building Regulations.
15. What happens if I change my Builder or Assigned Certifier during the construction works?
The owner of the building must notify the Building Control Authority within 14 days of such changes and must submit new Notices of Assignment and undertakings. Failure to do so is an offence.
16. What happens if ownership of the building, or works changes during construction?
Under the new Regulations, the new owner of the building must notify the Building Control Authority within 14 days, in writing. Failure to do so is an offence.
17. Where can I get more information?
You can get more information, or download copies of the Building Regulations, by contacting Cork City Council Building Control or by visiting the Department of the Environment website (www.environ.ie). You may also refer to the Code of Practice for Inspecting and Certifying Buildings and Works, published by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.
The Building Control Department is involved with the administrative and technical process in the enforcement of the statutory building regulations. This Department also has functions concerning dangerous structures, private rented accommodation and safety advice.
The work of the Building Control Department can be divided into the following categories:
There are four Building Inspectors allocated to deal with the above duties. Each inspector deals with a quarter of the City. At least one Building Inspector is available at all times without an appointment. Individual appointments can be made for other times.
The Building Inspectors carry out inspections of buildings under the Building Control Acts, 1990 and 2007. The inspectors are available for discussion on Building Control matters with building owners and their advisors. Complaints made in relation to Building Control issues are pursued by the Inspectors and the Building Control Register of Commencement Notices and Disability Access Certificates is available for public inspection.
The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 states that a Commencement Notice should be applied for online using the Building Control Management System (BCMS). The BCMS will allow building owners to nominate an Assigned Certifier and Builder for the development works. Each party must be registered with the BCMS to fill in or sign their respective parts.
Commencement notices are required for the following:
- the erection of a building;
- a material alteration or extension of a building;
- a material change of use of a building;
- works in connection with the material alteration (excluding minor works) of a shop, office or industrial building.
The additonal requirements to appoint a Registered Designer and Assigned Certifer and submit a Certificate of Compliance on Completion apply to the construciton of a new dwelling, an extension to a dwelling of more than 40 sq m and any works requiring a Fire Safety Certificate or Disability Access Certificate.
A Commencement Notice is not required for works or a change of use which are exempted development under the planning codes, for which a fire safety certificate and disability access certificate is not required or where a ‘7 Day Notice’ has been submitted. Further infomation is available on request.
The Disability Access Certificate (DAC) was introduced through SI 351 of 2009, in order to improve compliance of buildings with Part M of the Second Schedule of the Building Regulations. A Disability Access Certificate is required for new buildings, other than dwellings (but including apartment buildings) and certain works (as set out in Article 20 D (1) of SI 351), to which the Requirements of Part M apply and which commence or take place on or after 1 January 2010.
The application should be accompanied by: 2 sets of drawings (including a site or layout plan), suitably marked, noted and/or highlighted (e.g. coloured, toned or other) and 2 sets of such other particulars (e.g. a technical report) as are necessary to identify and describe the works or building to which the application relates, and to demonstrate how the building or works comply with the Requirements of Part M 2010, in particular in relation to the following, where applicable;
Sufficient information should be provided to enable the building control authority to assess whether the works or building would, if constructed in accordance with the said plans and other particulars, comply with the requirements of Part M. Technical Guidance Document M Access and Use (2010) provides detailed guidance on achieving the required standard and should be consulted as early as possible in the design process.
While the standard fee for an application for a Disability Access Certificate or a Revised Disability Access Certificate shall continue to be €800, a reduced fee of €500 shall apply where the application is made prior to the commencement of works and coincides with an application for a fire safety certificate, where relevant. (Reference: Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2015 – S.I. No. 243 of 2015). These Regulations come into operation on 1st July, 2015.
Pre-application meetings to discuss the project with a Building Inspector are available by appointment.
The Building Regulations are a set of legal requirements for the design and construction of new buildings, extensions and material alterations to and certain changes of use of buildings, and provide for the health, safety and welfare of people, conservation of fuel and energy, and access for people with disabilities.
The Regulations are divided into 12 separate parts, Part A to M, and the Department of The Environment Community and Local Government have issued a set of Techincal Guidance Documents, commonly known as TGD's, which give guidance on how to construct a building so that it complies with the Regulations. Where works are carried out in accordance with the TGDs, this will indicate compliance with the Regulations. The adoption of an approach different to the TGD's is not prohibited, provided that the approach meets the requirements of the Regulations. To access the current Technical Guidance Documents, click on the links below:
A complete list of legislation and other relevant publications is available on the website of the Department of the Environment Community and Local Government, Building Standards Section. The Department is continuously reviewing and updating the Building Regulations and Technical Guidance Documents. Primary responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations rests with the designers, builders and owners of buildings. The role of the local building control authority is to monitor and enforce the building control system. Cork City Council is empowered to carry out inspections and undertake, where necessary, enforcement action in order to ensure compliance.
The primary purpose of the Construction Products Regulation is to break down technical barriers to trade in order to ensure the free movement of construction products across Member States within the European Union. It is important to note that the Construction Products Regulation does not aim to harmonise national building codes. Each Member State is free to set its own requirements on the performance of building works and, by virtue of same, construction products when in use. The choice of required performance values for specific intended uses to which construction products are put rests with each Member State.
An information paper is available below which sets out the general objectives behind the Construction Products Regulation, the requirements that must be fulfilled in order to place construction products onto the market and the particular implications for manufacturers, importers and distributors that will arise from the introduction of the Regulation on 1 July 2013. The information paper also provides some brief information for specifiers, designers and builders when using these construction products.
Further queries may be addressed to the Executive Building Surveyor, Building Control Department, City Hall, Cork.
Complaints regarding dangerous structures and places, can be made by the public and are pursued by the relevant Building Inspector and a course of action is recommended. (Legal proceedings may be instituted where necessary).
Tel: 021 4924000 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday).
The Department provides a 24 Hour service in relation to dangerous buildings. This service can be accessed through the City Fire Brigade telephone system (021) 4966512 outside of normal hours.
The Safety Officer is attached to the Building Control Department and is responsible for advising on all health and safety issues within Cork City Council.
The Department provides an inspection service for the Housing Department in relation to the implementation of the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations, 2008 (S.I. 534 of 2008) as amended by the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2009 (S.I. 462 of 2009). Three inspectors carry out inspections of privately rented accommodation to ensure that it is in compliance with the Regulations. An information leaflet outlining the main features of the current standards may be accessed by clicking here and a more detailed technical information document may be accessed by clicking here
Inspections are carried out by this Department on foot of complaints/requests received from the Southern region of the Health Service Executive or Cork City Council's Drainage Department where there are potential health hazards.
This Department carries out inspections in relation to house loans and disabled persons grants as a service to the City Council's Housing Department.
The Department provides a service to the Property Department by way of inspections of houses being considered for purchase into City Council's housing stock.
A register is maintained of all multi-storey buildings as defined in the Local Government (Multi-Storey Buildings) Act, 1988.