Practical Post 1: BC(A)R SI.9 Extensions & Refurbishments

by Bregs Blog admin team


In response to a number of comments in our recent BC(A)R SI.9 shapshot survey (see post here) we will be running a series of up to ten Practical posts, written by and aimed at the home/ business owners, SME’s, and professionals about the new regulations. We thought a useful starting point was extensions, given a large number of comments/ queries we have received relate to questions like “does this minor extension/ alteration qualify under BC(A)R SI.9?“.

One correspondent was about to commence a new shopfront with no additional floor area. After some discussion it transpired that this material alteration would end up qualifying under SI.9. Unfortunately a majority of non-residenial under 25 Sqm alterations will qualify and the following post attempts to address the quite false impression, that small non-residential extensions automatically are exempt from SI.9. Enough talk and on to the topic.


Practical Post 1: Extensions and Refurbishments under the  new Building Control Regulations  

There has been much commentary on the changes to new-build projects under the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations.

The Minister in the Seanad on Thursday 10 April said that “Contrary to what Senators might have been told, it just applies to new builds and does not apply to extensions under 400 square feet or refurbishments”. Link to Seanad Debate on Thursday 10 April 

Apart from the error in measurement (40sqm, not 400 sqft) the Minister does not seem to be aware that this 40msq limit applies to HOUSE EXTENSIONS ONLY.

Small extensions to other residential buildings and to almost every other commercial and institutional building do not have this exemption. With a deficit in information or guidance from the DECLG, how many unwary building owners will now undertake works without a BCMS  Conmencement Notice in a situation where there are NO REMEDIES to allow legal occupation of the extension in the future. This alone has the potential to cause legal and conveyancing problems.

More importantly, many refurbishment and alterations in existing buildings also fall under the new regulations, due to the requirement to obtain a Fire Safety Certificate where the works come under Part A (Structure) or Part B ( Fire Safety).

Works in Protected Structures present designers with particular challenges. Part A or Part B works might only include moving a door, changing linings, replacing floor joists, reconfiguring escape routes or changing the use. Again, there are risks that the unwary will be caught out.

Finally, the absolute requirement that the works cannot be ‘opened, occupied or operated’ means an end to shops, pubs, hotels, airports and hospitals doing building works around their day to day operations.

A public information campaign, called for by Senator Paschal Mooney, is long overdue.


Other Posts in this series:

Other Posts in this series:

Practical Post 2: completion- FAO Vintners & Retailers– click link here

Practical posts 3: Change of Use – FDI and offices – Click link here

Practical post 4: What if the builder goes bust?– Click link here

Practical Post 5: Small retail extension- problem with certifier – Click link here

Practical Post 6: no one wants to do certifier roles! – Click link here

Practical Post 7: Existing Shopping Centres – Click link here

Practical Post 8: Employees won’t certify: BC(A)R SI.9 – Click link here

Practical Post 9: Fees & numbers of inspections?: BC(A)R SI.9 – Click link here

Practical Post 10: No retrospective compliance: BC(A)R SI.9 – Click link here

Practical Post 11: Phasing and BC(A)R SI.9? – Click link here

Practical Post 10: No retrospective compliance: BC(A)R SI.9 – Click link here

Practical Post 11: Phasing and BC(A)R SI.9? – Click link here

Practical Post 12: “architects only” club?–  Click link here

Practical Post 13: Duties & conflicts- BC(A)R SI.9 –  Click link here

Practical Post 14: Supervision vs Inspection –  Click link here

Practical post 15: Code of conduct issues –  Click link here

Practical Post 16: Pyrite and certification? – Click link here

Practical Post 17: Off-License fit-out –  Click link here

Practical Post 18- material alterations: Creche  – Click link here

Practical Post 19: Phased completion & BC(A)R SI.9 –  Click link here

Practical post 20: Are builders off the hook with BCAR? – click link here

NOTE: This series of posts is not meant to undermine or be in opposition to any professional advice from registered representative bodies: rather it is to offer additional technical aids to those that find themselves in the unenviable position of having to deal with SI.9 in it’s current form at present. As with all information posted on the Blog we urge all practitioners to check with their respective professional bodies before assuming any roles or duties under Building Control (Amendment) regulation (SI.9 of 2014). We hope to post a number of these practical posts and list in one area, so home owners, SME’s and professionals can drop in and click on a particular topic to get summary information that may be useful to them while working within these new and difficult regulations.