Practical posts 3: Change of Use – FDI and offices

by Bregs Blog admin team

number 3

Practical posts: Change of Use

You might think that the new Building Control Regulations relate to building work only. Think again.

Many categories of ‘change of use’ of a building require a Fire Safety Certificate and as a result all of the requirements of the new regulations fall on the building owner.

So if you are planning to change the use of your building into a shop, office, home, residential accomodaton or many other categories you must obtain a Fire Safety Certificate and a Disabled Access Certificate. Under the new regulations this also means that you may have to now appoint a Design Certifier, an Assigned Certifier, a competent builder (even if there is no building work) and you must wait to have a Completion  Certificate validated by the local authority before you move in.

Owners of offices may now need to make up to four separate professional appointments just to get the statutory permissions they need in place to commence building. This is before any tender documentation, specification and construction drawings are commissioned, a contractor is appointed or works commence on site. A “blizzard of red tape” as one commentator noted, particularly for SME’s. A friend, owner of a restaurant, recently remarked that he abandoned plans to install a new canopy on his shop and put up a new shopfront, as the cost of the permissions and professional fees, to manage this bureaucracy, were quite a bit more than the works themselves.

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Other Posts in this series:

Practical Post 1: BC(A)R SI.9 Extensions & Refurbishments– click link here

Practical Post 2: completion- FAO Vintners & Retailers– 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. 

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