Building Control (Amendment) Regulations SI 9, 2014
These regulations come into effect on 1st March 2014.
In summary, the new Building Control Amendment Regulations require:
- Submission of compliance drawings and documentation to local building control authorities starting at Commencement Notice stage
- Signing of mandatory certificates of compliance by the designer and undertaking by the builder prior to construction
- Setting out and executing an inspection plan at key stages during construction by the Assigned Certifier (registered architect, engineer or building surveyor) for compliance with building regulations
- Signing of mandatory certificates of compliance by the Assigned Certifier and the Builder when a building is complete.
The Code of Practice for Inspecting and Certifying Building Works has been published by the Minister.
For further information please refer to www.corkcity.ie/services/humanresourcemanagementorganisationalreform/buildingcontrol
What is Building Control all about?
Under the Building Control Acts 1990 and 2007 two main sets of regulations have been issued, the Building Regulations 1997 to 2013 which sets standards for building works and the Building Control Regulations 1997 to 2014 which puts procedures in place to control building works. The Fire Safety Certificate Application procedure is part of the control element and is administered by the Building Control Authority, Cork City Council.
What are the Building Control Regulations?
The Building Control Regulations provide administrative and procedural methods and requirements for construction or development in Ireland. The Building Control Regulations have existed since 1991 and regulate the following:
7 Day Notices
Fire Safety Certificates, Revised Fire Safety Certificates and Regularisation Fire Safety Certificates
- Disability Access Certificates and Revised Disability Access Certificates
Maintenance of Registers
The Building Control Regulations provide administrative processes to regulate the Building Regulations
What are the Building Regulations?
Building Regulations are a set of legal requirements for the design and construction of new buildings, extensions and material alterations to and certain changes of use of existing buildings. Building Regulations provide for, in relation to buildings, the health, safety and welfare of people, conservation of fuel and energy, and access for people with disabilities.
What is a Fire Safety Certificate?
A Fire Safety Certificate is a certificate issued by the Building Control Authority on foot of an application submitted to it. A Fire Safety Certificate certifies that the works or building to which the application relates will, if constructed in accordance with the plans and specifications submitted, comply with the requirements of Part B [Fire] of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations 1997.
Which developments require a Fire Safety Certificate?
The following developments (other than those listed as exempt below) require a Fire Safety Certificate;
- Works in connection with the design and construction of a new building
- Works in connection with the material alteration of a day centre, a building containing a flat, a hotel, hostel or guest building, an institutional building, a place of assembly, a shopping centre
- Works in connection with the material alteration of a shop, office or industrial building where additional floor area is being provided within the existing building or where the building is being sub divided into a number of units for separate occupancy.
- Works in connection with the extension of a building by more than 25 square metres
- A building as regards which a material change of use takes place.
Which developments are exempted from the requirement of a Fire Safety Certificate?
The following buildings are exempted from the requirement to obtain a Fire Safety Certificate:
- Certain single storey agricultural buildings
- A building used as a dwelling other than a flat
- A single storey domestic garage
- A single storey building ancillary to a dwelling which is used exclusively for recreational or storage purposes or the keeping of plants, birds or animals for domestic purposes and is not used for any trade or business or for human habitation.
- Works by a Building Control Authority in it’s functional area
- Works in connection with a Garda station, a courthouse, a barracks and certain government buildings
How does the Fire Safety Certificate process work in Cork City Fire Authority?
An application is submitted to the Building Control Authority. Valid applications are date stamped and an acknowledgement stating date of receipt is sent to the applicant.
The application is examined technically for compliance with the ‘Fire’ part of the Building Regulations. Where it is considered that additional information or modifications are required to the application, the officer examining the application may request such additional information/modification from the applicant.
The Building Control Authority must notify the applicant of the decision on the application within two months of the date of receipt of a valid application or within such extended period of time as may be agreed between the applicant and the Authority at any time.
What must be submitted with a Fire Safety Certificate Application?
A Fire Safety Certificate Application should contain:
- A completed Application Form (see below for forms)
- Relevant drawings (in duplicate)
- A fire safety report
- The appropriate fee
What drawings are required?
An application shall be accompanied by such plans (including a site or layout plan and drawings of floor plans, elevations and sections) and such other particulars as are necessary to identify and describe the works or building and to enable the building control authority to assess, whether the said works or building would comply with requirements of Part B of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations.
What should the fire safety report contain?
The application is required to demonstrate that the development will comply with Part B (Fire) of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations. One way to achieve this is to systematically address each relevant clause of the particular Codes and Guidance documents which are being used in the fire safety design of the building.
When can work on the development start?
Where a Fire Safety Certificate is required in respect of works or a building then a person shall not carry out the works until a Fire Safety Certificate has been issued for the works. Where it is proposed to commence work before grant of the relevant fire safety certificate a 7 Day Notice shall be submitted to the Building Control Authority (see details below).
What about changes in the design after a Fire Safety Certificate has been granted?
A Fire Safety Certificate is granted based on the design and information submitted. Deviations at construction stage from the documentation submitted may call into question the validity of the Fire Safety Certificate as it applies to the development. Where significant revision is made to the design or works of a building or a building extension or a material alteration or material change of use of a building in respect of which a fire safety certificate has been granted then a Revised Fire Safety Certificate is required in respect of the works. (See details below).
Will Cork City Council inspect the development when it is completed?
The Building Control Authority has the power to inspect and your building may be inspected for compliance with the Building Regulations and with the Fire Safety Certificate issued. Where there is non compliance enforcement action may be initiated.
Will Cork City Council certify the development when it is completed?
No. The building can only be certified by someone who has overseen the construction and you are advised to employ your fire safety consultant to oversee and certify the fire related aspects of the work.
What happens to a development carried out without a fire safety certificate?
If you carry out works without a fire safety certificate you are liable to prosecution under building control legislation. It is also a serious offence to occupy a building which requires a fire safety certificate in the absence of a fire safety certificate. Where works have been commenced or completed in the absence of a fire safety certificate or the submission of a 7 day notice then an application must be submitted for a Regularisation Certificate. (See details below). You should also note the serious consequences of carrying out works in the absence of a commencement notice (see link at top of page).
What is a 7 day notice?
Where it is proposed to commence work before grant of the relevant fire safety certificate a 7 day notice shall be submitted to the Building Control Authority. A 7 day notice shall be submitted at least 7 days before commencement of work.
All 7 Day notices should be processed online. See https://www.localgov.ie/en/link-type/bcms for more details and the relevant forms.
A 7 day notice application consists of
- A 7 day notice form
- A valid Fire Safety Certificate application
- A 7 day notice statutory declaration
- The prescribed fee
Please refer to www.corkcity.ie/services/humanresourcemanagementorganisationalreform/buildingcontrol for revised procedure for 7 Day Notices.
What is a Revised Fire Safety Certificate?
A Revised Fire Safety Certificate is required where significant revision is made to the design or works of a building in respect of which a Fire Safety Certificate has been granted.
A Revised fire safety Certificate application consists of
- A completed Application Form
- Relevant revised drawings (in duplicate)
- A fire safety report
- The appropriate fee
What is a Regularisation Certificate?
Where works have been commenced or completed in the absence of a fire safety certificate or the submission of a 7 day notice then an application must be submitted for a Regularisation Certificate.
A Regularisation Certificate application consists of
- A completed application form
- Relevant drawings (in duplicate)
- A Statutory Declaration
- The appropriate fee.
What is the fee for a Fire Safety Certificate?
The fee is calculated by reference to the relevant floor area. The relevant floor area means the floor area of the works or of the building to which the application relates and which is affected by the works or the material change of use, as the case may be. Floor area is measured to the finished internal surfaces of the walls. Refer to fees table below.
Fire Safety Certificate and Revised Fire Safety Certificate
|Construction or extension of a building||€125 or €2.90 per square meter of floor area being provided, whichever is the greater|
|Material alteration of a building and material change of use of a building||€125 or €2.90 per square meter of relevant floor area, whichever is the greater|
|Material alteration of the external surfaces of a building||€125|
|Submission of a 7 Day Notice|
|Construction or extension of a building||
€250 or €5.80 per square meter of floor area being provided, whichever is the greater
|Material alteration of a building and material change of use of a building||€250 or €5.80 per square meter of relevant floor area, whichever is the greater|
|Material alteration of the external surfaces of a building||€250|
|Application for a Regularisation Certificate|
|Construction or extension of a building||€500 or €11.60 per square meter of floor area being provided, whichever is the greater|
|Material alteration of a building and material change of use of a building||€500 or €11.60 per square meter of relevant floor area, whichever is the greater|
|Material alteration of the external surfaces of a building||€500|
For a full list of fees please refer to the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2009
Note that certain voluntary community organisations are exempted from paying the application fee.
Who should I contact with problems or queries?
The following forms can be downloaded in PDF format:Fire Safety Certificate(573KB)
Revised Fire Safety Certificate(546KB)
Regularisation Certificate Statutory Declaration(388KB)
Iarratas Ar Theastas Sábháilteachta Dóiteáin(583KB)
Iarratas Ar Theastas Sábháilteachta Dóiteáin Athbhreithnithe(566KB)
Rialú Tógála Dearblu Reachtúil Um Dheimhniú Tabh chun Rialtachta(24KB)
The information and advice set out above should not be taken as a legal interpretation of the Building Control Regulations. Where there is any doubt reference should be made to the full text of the legislation.