The Building Control Act 1990 introduced building regulations. This was followed by a statutory instrument, the Building Control Regulations in 1997. The object of the 1990 Act and the 1997 Regulations and subsequent amendments was to achieve minimum standards in building practice in relation to design and construction methods. Historically, the policing of the process has relied on a self-assessment model involving builders and professionals who provided opinions on compliance.
A new model is about to be introduced which seeks to redress failings in the old system. The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 9 of 2014) (“the Regulations”) come into effect on the 1 March 2014. The Regulations are being introduced following high profile cases in Ireland. The Regulations represents one of the most significant changes to the Building Control Code since the introduction of the Building Act in 1990. The Regulations impact on all stages of the building process from initial design to completion.
The Building Control Amendment Regulations apply to the following:
- Design and construction of new dwellings
- An extension to a dwelling greater than 40 square meters
- Works to which Part III of the Building Regulations apply i.e. works where a fire safety certificate is required.
The thrust of the Building Control Amendment Regulations is to raise accountability and provide greater visibility by:
- Owners of new buildings notify the Building Control Authority of the details of the person who will be inspecting and certifying the works and the details of the builder carrying out the works.
- Owners notify the Building Control Authority of any change in the Builder and / or the Assigned Certifier within a 14 day period of appointment.
- Increasing obligations on professionals by moving to a certification process.
- Mandatory inspections are carried out by the Assigned Certifier throughout the construction process.
- Establishing a validation process within the Building Control Authority
- Creation of a register by local authorities with full access by the public and identifying those responsible for compliance with the Regulations.
Building Control Amendment Regulations (BCAR)
Why have the Amendments been introduced?
- To strengthen the current arrangements
- To achieve greater accountability in relation to compliance with Building Regulations
- Promote health and safety and welfare in and about buildings
- Ensure a quality of housing stock
- Ensure sustainable environmental protection
- Promote good practice/reform/enforcement
- Consumer confidence/economic recovery
- Promote efficiencies time/cost for construction permits
What do the Building Control Amendment Regulations 2014 apply to?
- New Dwellings – houses and apartments
- Extensions with a floor area greater than 40 square metres
- Buildings and works that require a fire safety certificate (Part III)
Are there any dispensations? Yes, for the following types of projects:
- Primary level, second level or third level educational;
- Hospitals and primary care centres where the following actions and dates are achieved:
- Planning permission is granted before 1 March 2014
- Contract documents are signed before 1 November 2014
- A valid commencement notice has been lodged with the building control authority no later than 1 March 2015
The BCAR programme provides the learner with a deeper understanding on how the legislation needs to be applied in the real world, so it has a direct impact on how they plan to work and build for the future. It is a complex space but Kevin Sheridan breaks down this space in bite size pieces to learners can take away key milestones making them easy to apply.
This is an online programme, please contact us for access.