RIAI S.I.9 CLIENT GUIDANCE NOTE – 1 Sep 2014

by Bregs Blog admin team

advice

The representative body for architects (RIAI) issued the following updated Client guidance note on BC(A)R S.I.9 on 1st September 2014.

THE BUILDING CONTROL (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS, S.I. 9 

CLIENT GUIDANCE NOTE 

What are the Building Regulations? 

The Building Regulations are a set of legal requirements for the design and construction of new buildings; and extensions, material alterations and certain changes of use of existing buildings.

What are the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations? 

In March 2014 the Government introduced new Building Control (Amendment) Regulations (BC(A)R) that set out new procedures for the control of building activity. The regulations apply to most building works (including new houses, house extensions over 40m2, and any building works which require a fire safety certificate) and may affect the cost of projects and their duration.

Who is the Building Owner? 

The “Building Owner” is the person who has commissioned or paid for the works and who has legal entitlement to have such works carried out on their behalf.

What are the Building Owner’s New Obligations under BC(A)R? 

Building owners will be required to appoint, for almost any building or works starting from March 2014 onward, a Design Certifier and an Assigned Certifier as well as a competent Builder. The building owner’s obligations include:

-Give a written undertaking on a statutory form to the Building Control Authority to appoint a competent Design Team to design the new building in accordance the Building Regulations

-Give a written undertaking on a statutory form to the Building Control Authority to appoint a competent Builder to construct the new building in accordance the Building Regulations

-Give a written undertaking on a statutory form to the Building Control Authority to appoint a competent Assigned Certifier who will prepare an Inspection Plan, inspect and certify, with the Builder, that the new building, when complete, is built in accordance the Building Regulations

-Ensure that adequate resources are made available to design, construct, inspect and certify the building works

-Where the Assigned Certifier or Builder withdraws from the project, for whatever reason; promptly appoint a replacement Assigned Certifier or Builder and give notice to the Building Control Authority of the new assignment

-Maintain records

What is a Competent Person? 

A competent person must possess sufficient training, experience and knowledge appropriate to the nature of the work to be undertaken, taking account of the size, nature or complexity of the building or works.

What is a Design Certifier? 

A Design Certifier is the person appointed by the Building Owner to design and coordinate the design by others. A Design Certifier must be a registered architect, chartered engineer or a registered building surveyor.

What is an Assigned Certifier? 

An Assigned Certifier is the person appointed by the Building Owner to inspect and certify the building works and to coordinate the certification by others including the builder. An Assigned Certifier must be a registered architect, a chartered engineer or a registered building surveyor.

Will my Architect always be the Assigned Certifier? 

The RIAI recommends that the appointment as Assigned Certifier is always an appointment separate from that as Architect. Your Architect may provide this service, or not, similar to the PSDP (Project Supervisor Design Process) role.

Who can act as the Builder? 

A person undertaking the role of the Builder must be competent to undertake that role. The Government is committed to establishing a statutory Register of Builders, and a voluntary Register is already in place (https://ciri.ie/).

I am a Self-Builder, can I undertake the role of the Builder? 

A person can self-build only if they are competent to undertake that role. Competence is defined as a person who possesses sufficient training, experience and knowledge of the project task.

What must happen before the new building can be occupied? 

The building may not be occupied until the completion documents have been accepted by the building control authority and the project entered on the Register. A Certificate of Compliance on Completion must be lodged on the BCMS (Building Control Management System), together with documents which show alterations from those originally lodged, and a completed Inspection Plan showing what inspections were undertaken. In addition, it is expected that the Assigned Certifier will submit Ancillary Certificates on which they relied from specialist designers, subcontractors and the like.

What happens if I start a project on site without registering it on the BCMS? 

If you start a project without registering it on BCMS you will have committed an offence. There is no provision in the Regulations to retrospectively submit a Commencement Notice. You should consult your solicitor as this will affect your ability to sell or let your premises.

My project does not come under the New Regulations; do I need to submit a Commencement Notice? 

In many cases, a commencement notice will still be required, for instance a domestic extension under 40 sq.m. to which a planning permission attaches, or an alteration to an office to which a Fire Safety Certificate does not apply. In these cases the Building Owner, Designer and Builder will be placed on the system, but there is no Assigned Certifier nor are any notices or certificates outlined above submitted. As before, in all cases, the Commencement Notice must be submitted between 14 and 28 days before construction is due to commence.

Where can I find more information? 

Your Architect can provide you with specific advice in relation to your project. Prior to commencing a project, Building Owners are advised to read the BC(A)R Code of Practice for inspecting and Certifying Buildings and Works. (Further information can be found at www.riai.ie).

RIAI, August 2014 

Other RIAI posts: Breg Blog: RIAI archive

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