A quick guide to ROI Building Regulations compliance
Note: The guidance below applies to Ireland only – please contact our UK Building Standards team for England & Wales Building Control support.
The design and construction of buildings in Ireland are regulated under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014 which provide for establishment of Building Control Authorities, the making of Building Regulations, dispensations and relaxations, the making of Building Control Regulations, appeals, enforcement notices, powers of inspections by authorised persons, materials prohibition, documents, offences, penalties and professional registration.
The Building Regulations 1997-2021 set out the legal requirements for the construction of new buildings (including houses), extensions to existing buildings as well as for material alterations and certain material changes of use to existing buildings. The Building Regulations have twelve parts (Parts A to M), providing for health, safety, welfare and accessibility of people in and around sustainable buildings. Technical Guidance Documents demonstrate how the requirements of each part of the Building Regulations can be satisfied.
The Building Control Regulations require Owners, Builders, and registered construction professionals to demonstrate through the statutory Building Control Management System (BCMS) website, that the works or building have been designed and constructed in compliance with Building Regulations. Their roles are set out in the supporting Code of Practice for Inspecting and Certifying Buildings and Works September 2016.
The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No.9 of 2014), known as BCAR, set out the roles of Design Certifier and Assigned Certifier. These role can only be carried out by competent registered professionals, such as Registered Architects, Chartered Engineers and Chartered Building Surveyors. The Assigned Certifier is appointed by the Building Owner to develop an inspection plan, inspect and coordinate inspections with other members of the professional design team and certify the compliance of the building or works with the Building Regulations. In the BCAR process the Assigned Certifier coordinates collating certification, inspection records and the submission of appropriate documentation to show compliance upon completion. Professionals acting as Assigned Certifiers are bound by the Code of Ethics and professional best practice.
All new buildings and existing buildings which undergo an extension, a material alteration or a material change of use must be designed and constructed in compliance with the Building Regulations. Where there is a requirement for a Fire Safety Certificate FSC, this leads to a requirement for a Disability Access Certificate DAC and the requirement for a BCAR process.
The Regulations require the submission to the Building Control Authority (BCA), via the online BCMS, of statutory notices of commencement and of completion. Such notices are submitted with certification of design and construction, lodgement of compliance documentation, inspections plans and evidence of inspections during the construction phase. Validation and registration of certificates is required.
How to get a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate
The final ‘Certificate of Compliance on Completion’ CCC is signed by both the Assigned Certifier and the Builder. A building or works which is subject to the BCAR process may not be opened, used or occupied until the Certificate of Compliance on Completion CCC has been validated and included on the statutory Register.
Where the BCAR process is not applicable (which may be where there is no increase to floor area, no subdivision of occupancy and no change of use, no requirement for a FSC or where the ‘opt out’ option for a one off dwelling has been selected), then there can be no Building Regulations Compliance Certificate and no statutory certification. In these cases an Opinion on Compliance with Building Regulations may be provided but is done so on a non-statutory basis.