Building Control Framework
31 Local Authorities are designated as Building Control Authorities under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014. Building Control Authorities monitor compliance with Building Regulations in their area having regard to -
- the minimum requirements for the design and construction of buildings as set out in the Building Regulations;
- detailed Technical Guidance Documents showing how these requirements can be achieved in practice;
- procedures set out in the Building Control Regulations for demonstrating compliance in respect of an individual building or works.
Building Control Authorities have strong powers of inspection and enforcement under the Acts. Responsibility for compliance rests at all times with the owner of the proposed building or works, and with any builder or designer engaged by the owner.
Building Control Regulations
The Building Control Regulations 1997 to 2015 require owners, builders, and registered construction professionals to demonstrate through the Statutory Register of Building Control Activity that the works or building concerned have been designed and constructed in compliance with Building Regulations.
Building Control Regulations apply generally to new buildings and to existing buildings which undergo an extension, a material alteration or a material change of use.
Revised Building Control Regulations 1997
This Revised Statutory Instrument is an administrative consolidation of Building Control Regulations 1997.
List of the the Building Control Regulations
Building control procedures vary for different categories of buildings and for different circumstances. Generally, the building control process requires that -
- A Commencement Notice signed by the owner is submitted to the Building Control Authority prior to the commencement of works; in most cases this notice must be accompanied by a statutory Design Certificate, forms relating to the assignment of the Builder and the Assigned Certifier, and a preliminary Inspection Plan;
- A Statutory Certificate of Compliance on Completion, together with relevant compliance documentation and the Inspection Plan as implemented is lodged with the Building Control Authority before the building is occupied or used;
- In the case of commercial buildings and apartment blocks, a Disability Access Certificate and a Fire Safety Certificate be obtained from the local building control authority.
Statutory fees apply to building control procedures.
Building control activities are published on the Statutory Register of Building Control Activity.
It is an offence to occupy or use a building without having a valid Statutory Certificate of Compliance on Completion or Fire Safety Certificate or Disability Access Certificate in place as required.
More detailed information can be obtained by reading the Building Control Regulations 1997 to 2015 or the Code of Practice for Inspecting and Certifying Buildings and Works
Opt Out of Statutory Certification – Single Dwellings and Extensions to Dwellings
Owners of new single dwellings, on a single development unit, and domestic extensions may opt out of the requirements for statutory certification. Compliance with Building Regulations must still be achieved and Building Control procedures will still apply.
Inspection and Enforcement
The Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014 vest the powers of inspection, enforcement and prosecution in the 31 Local Authorities. Authorised officers of each local Building Control Authority have delegated powers to:
- scrutinise proposals and inspect works in progress;
- serve enforcement notices on owners and builders for non-compliance;
- institute proceedings for breaches of any requirements outlined in the Acts, or any regulations made thereunder;
- seek High Court orders to mitigate danger to the public where serious non-compliance poses risks to public safety.
Failure by an owner or a builder, at the request of a Building Control Authority, to demonstrate compliance with Building Regulations or Building Control Regulations, or to rectify such non-compliance, may be an offence under the Building Control Acts. If successfully prosecuted in court, such offences may lead to a fine and/or a term of imprisonment.
Building Control Management System
The Building Control Management System or BCMS facilitates the electronic administration of building control matters.
All statutory processes are handled by the local Building Control Authority via the BCMS.
Owners, builders and construction professionals may use the BCMS to upload building control forms, design and compliance documents, and statutory certificates and should register as users on the BCMS in good time in advance of the intended date of commencement of works. The local building control authority will assist with registration as a BCMS user.
Registration of Construction Professionals
The Building Control Act 2007 restricts the use of the protected titles of Architect, Building Surveyor and Quantity Surveyor to those registered under the Act. It is an offence to use such titles unless registered to do so.
A review of the arrangements in place for the registration of architects under the Building Control Act 2007 was undertaken by in 2013 by Mr. Garret Fennell, Solicitor.
The following associated regulations have been made by the Minister pursuant to the Act –