Building Control Amendment Regulations Checklist
It is important to be aware of the Building Control Amendment Regulations (BCAR) when dealing with the construction of new dwellings (apartments or houses), buildings which require a fire safety certificate, and extensions with an area greater than 40 square meters. Having a checklist of the steps and requirements can help ensure that everything is done properly and ensure compliance to BCAR.
There are three project stages to keep in mind when it pertains to the BCAR and requirements. These include the commencement stage, construction stage, and completion stage. We explain each of these in more detail below. Each is important in its own way and can impede progress if all documentation and processes are not followed as expected.
A building cannot be inhabited before a Certificate of Compliance has been turned in, any changes have been documented, a Completed Inspection Plan has been turned in showing what inspections were done, and any ancillary certificates related to subcontractors and designers have been provided. There’s no away around this and trying to do so is going to set you up for trouble. Get what needs to be done completed and you can move on.
Commencement Stage (Validation)
The commencement stage occurs before any construction can begin on site. At this point in the process, the Commencement Notice is submitted to the Building Control Authority, as are the Undertakings, Design Certificate, Notices of Assignment (Builder and Assigned Certifier), and any documentation and accompanying plans. This is also the time when the Preliminary Inspection Plan needs to be prepared and submitted. This can all be online through the Building Control Management System.
Keep in mind for timing that the commencement notice is required to be received by the Building Control Authority no less than 14 days and no more than 28 days before work starts on the site.
Many documents must be submitted while providing the commencement notice. They must be provided by the assigned certifier. These items include:
- Commencement notice
- Plans, specifications, and calculations outlining how the building proposed will comply with requirements of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations, which include:
- Preliminary inspection plan
- Design certificate
- Notice of assignment of assigned certifier by the building owner
- Notice of assignment of builder by the building owner
- Form of undertaking by the builder
- Form of undertaking by the assigned certifier
- Required fee
Construction Stage (Inspection and Assessment)
This is the period in which construction inspections will be carried out, as explained in the Inspection Plan. Approximately 12 to 15% of new building during this time will be targeted based on risk assessment. This makes it likely they will be focused on development with multiple units, such as apartments.
It is important to understand that there can be no work done on a site before a valid commencement notice has been registered by the Building Control Management System. If you choose not to submit one, this can impact the ability to get a completion certificate later down the line. All required buildings must also acquire a Fire Safety Certificate before the Commencement Notice.
If you choose not to submit the commencement notice, fines or imprisonment may be actions taken. It’s not worth the trouble that you can get into, so do not do the work unless everything is complete and done as required up to this point.
During this stage of construction, drawings and specifications must be kept up to date with any revisions uploaded to Building Control Management. There is also a required weekly review of program and inspection plan. There can be consequences related to delays for both client and builder. In addition, all inspections must be done by appropriate individuals.
The responsibility for compliance falls on the building owners, any developers and builders, as well as designers.
- Exercise diligence in selecting assigned certifier, builder, and designer, including ensuring qualifications and experience requirements are met.
- Must allow an adequate time frame and budget to enable certifiers to work independently.
- Submission of any required notices, including change of the assigned certifier or builder, within 14 days.
- Smaller clients are reliant on local builders and designers.
- The client has required checklists for contractors and professionals showing selection process, and compliance is rigorous.
Assigned Certifier Requirements:
- Must oversee inspection process and critical records while construction occurs.
- Provide preliminary inspection plan, including INF.
- General arrangement drawing and detailed schedule.
- Test and certificates schedule.
- Inspection documents and records.
- Carries out ongoing uploads of compliance and inspection record on the BCMS.
- Ancillary certificates.
Any contractor or subcontractor must be prequalified to show experience and skill. It is suggested that prequalification include an assessment of the contractor’s ability to carry out the work, supported by CIRI registration, assessment of subcontractor’s competence to conduct work, specialist capability assessment, and contractor’s method statement.
It should also be clear who in the building owner’s organization is authorized to appoint stakeholders, sign legal documentation, and be available when commencement notice is lodged with the BCMS.
Any progress meeting pre-contract and pre-tender must follow the INF process. Each primary project member must report on project status and address any issues, delays, and clarifications that are required.
When the inspection process has been reviewed, progress meeting minutes should be taken to identify any changes and help with the workflow of the project. Follow-up correspondence will also be taken care of at this time, as needed.
During the completion stage, the assigned certifier must submit the following documents to the Building Control Authority.
- Certificate of Compliance on Completion signed by both the builder and assigned
- Plans, calculations, and particulars showing how the building is compliant with Building Regulations must be submitted before or at the time when the Certificate of Compliance on Compliance is. If design documents have changed, any differences must be recorded.
- The Inspection Plan implemented by the assigned certifier in accordance with the Code of Practice.
It is important to keep track of records as well. Some of the most important records to keep ahold of include the following:
- Evidence of inspections with photos and records of each.
- Documentation of verification, validation, and retention for demonstrated compliance.
- Follow up to verbal advice in writing.
- Copies of conversations, meetings, and instructions.
- Copies of certificates.
- Confirmation that others have undertaken inspections as expressed by the plan of work.
Staying on task and doing everything on the correct timeline can be difficult. Many different regulations and requirements can cause major issues in the event that something is done incorrectly. This can cause problems for the property owner, construction workers on the property, and other parties involved. If you are interested in learning more about the BCAR, there are training courses that can help. CIF Training has an inexpensive program that is available online, so you can work at your own pace and ensure you know the ins and outs of the requirements.
Be certain you know all the most important details so you can work without problems during your next construction project. Get in touch and learn more about the process, as well as how we can help. We want to see you succeed and we know how overwhelming the process can be. It does not have to be.