FAQ’S on Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014)

by Bregs Blog admin team


In a recent member’s bulletin the architect’s representative body the RIAI published a number of frequently asked questions. The following is a direct quote form the bulletin to members on 11th February 2014. Answers have been highlighted in italics:


“The FAQ answers given below are subject to a disclaimer.  They are the best information or opinion available at this time as the situation in relation to BC(A)R evolves. The editors invite comment not only from elsewhere in the RIAI, but also from those working on the BC(A)R Framework document being prepared under the chairmanship of John O’Connor of the Housing Agency for building control authorities.

The editors will be pleased to consider corrections and contrary opinions submitted to bcar@riai.ie please give a contact telephone number with such submissions.

The Department of the Environment also have an email address where BC(A)R questions can be sent: buildingstandards@environ.ie 


Q1: I have a project that recently secured planning permission and will likely go to site in March. I am assuming I need to lodge a commencement notice (CN) before 1st March to avoid coming under the new regulations. Do I also need to ensure that the Commencement Date is before 1st March? i.e. would I need to issue the CN before 14th Feb with a start date on or before 28th Feb?

A: If a valid Commencement Notice is submitted before the 1st of March 2014 then the current legislative conditions will apply. If a Commencement Notice is submitted on or after the 1st of March 2014 then the new Legislation will apply. 

Q2: A building was commenced with viable Fire Certificate and Commencement Notice under the BCR 1997. It is incomplete. Does its completion remain under the original Commencement Notice and therefore no new Commencement Notice under BC(A)R 2014 is required after 1st March 2014?

A:  Yes. 

Q3:  Will any change in Building Owner and/or Assigned Contractor after 1st March 2014 be required to be notified?

A: Yes any changes will be notifiable although it is not clear if notification will trigger the new Regulations.

Q4: Can you confirm that the BC(A)R regulations will apply only to buildings or works for which a commencement notice is lodged on or after 1st March?

A: If a valid Commencement Notice is submitted before the 1st of March 2014 then the current legislative conditions will apply. If a Commencement Notice is submitted on or after the 1st of March 2014 then the new Legislation will apply. Written confirmation of the above should be obtained from the relevant building control authority you are dealing with.

Q5: What will the correct level of documentation be for a Commencement Notice, being lodged in respect of a domestic extension under 40sqm and where planning permission was required.  – After 1st March 2014?

A:  If the extension is under 40m2 in floor area, and a commencement notice is required, it will be in the form of commencement notice which exists under the 1997 Building Control Regulations.

Q6: We are involved in a project, in the xxx* County Council area, for an office building which will be subject to the New Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2013. This project will involve a Building Contract for a four storey Shell and Core Office Building with separate fit-out contracts for the lettable areas. The fit out contracts may run in parallel or subsequent to the Shell and Core Contract. It is not clear to us from our reading of SI.9 (2014) how the legislation proposes to deal with this scenario. Can you advise?

A: The RIAI advises a note of caution, as the legislation seems unclear. Given the information provided it would seem that two commencement notices should be submitted: the first with the required Fire Cert and DAC for the shell and core contract, and the second subsequently also with a relevant Fire Cert and DAC. The Fire Certificates and DAC may be the same for both notices depending on the layout, whether it is single occupancy and open plan or not. It would be best to seek clarification on this from the relevant Building Control Authority.

Q7: Is there an information sheet available to send to clients which will highlight the impact on them of the new building control regulations in ‘lay man’s’ terms?

A: Please refer to Client Guidance Note attached to this BC(A)R Bulletin.

Q8: What CPD is available from the RIAI in relation to Registered Architects acting as Design Certifier and/or Assigned Certifiers and if so, where will it be provided?

A: There is no CPD scheduled at this time. The RIAI are awaiting the completion of documentation by the Technical Groups and others. We will advise RIAI members as soon as possible.

Q9: After 1st March 2014 can a builder “provide” the assigned certifier to client as part of his overall offering to potential clients? In other words, if the assigned certifier does not have to be independent of the builder, can such a builder have someone who is a registered architect as an employee and get him to “provide” completion certificates?

A: Yes, the builder can provide the Assigned Certifier provided that the proposed assigned certifier is from one of the three registered professions under building control. “

*specific location removed by bregs blog admin

Link to RIAI issued Interim Client Advice Note: