Practical Post 19: Phased completion & BC(A)R SI.9

by Bregs Blog admin team


Practical Post 19: Phased completion & BC(A)R SI.9

Confusion over Housing Development

I am a registered architect who is doing a feasibility study for a residential development site. I recently called in to my Local Authority to ask if anyone could help me with phasing queries and BC(A)R SI.9. The building control officer was not in a position to answer these but kindly provided the current draft building control guidelines, noting that these were draft only and would be finalised by September 2014.

This is a link to draft “Code of Practice for Inspecting and Certifying Works” here:


These are attached and an extract off the relevant section dealing with phased developments follows:

Code of Practice for Inspecting and Certifying Works (extract):

8.4 Phased Completion For buildings that are completed on a phased basis for occupation, for example houses or apartment blocks, it is appropriate that certificates of completion for each phase may be submitted. Where it is in order, the Building Control Authority should accept the certificate for the particular phase and place it on the register. On completion of the entire project a final complete certificate of compliance on completion should be provided

This seems to cover the usual situation where housing in an estate or an apartment block can be completed and sold as they are built. My queries are:

  • Do I submit a Commencement Notice for each house on an estate or do I do one per group or phase of houses?
  • If I do one for the full development, can the houses that are finished first be sold before the ‘final’ Completion Certificate?
  • What is a “final completion certificate”?
  • If I do one per house, does there have to a separate appointment of Certifiers, Assignment of Builder, Inspection Plan etc. for each house. In that case it seems like there will be a lot of duplication.
  • If it is a block of apartments and the Completion Certificate for Apartment 1(a) is validated, can this apartment then be sold, even though the “final” certificate for the building, including the fire-stopping in the roof is not yet lodged with the local authority?
  • If one apartment can be sold with the other areas still incomplete, where is the protection for the homebuyer?
  • How will phasing or partial completion affect conveyancing? Will buyers be affected by new validation procedures?
  • Will all common areas, landscaping and access etc. need to be completed and validated with local authority in advance of building phases? If so this will increase my client’s upfront financing costs.

Unfortunately I am none the wiser for reading the code of practice. Help?


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 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 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.