The Building Control Act, 1990 (and subsequent amendments)
• established the Building Control Authorities (BCAs) (Galway City Council and Galway County Council)
• gave power to the Minister to make Building Regulations
• gave power to the Minister to make Building Control Regulations
• established enforcement procedures
• gave powers of to the BCAS to inspect buildings and to require owners/developers for documentation to demonstrate how it is intended to comply with Building Regulations
• established appeal procedures
Using the powers conferred in the Act, the Minister introduced:
Statutory Instrument 305 of 1991 - Building Regulations
Statutory Instrument 306 of 1991 - Building Control Regulations
Building Control Regulations create certain control mechanisms as follows:
Persons are required to submit a Commencement Notice (and a fee of €30/building) to the Building Control Authority between 28 days and 14 days prior to the actual proposed commencement date. This applies to:
• the construction of a building
• the making a material alteration of or extension to a building
• works in connection with a material change of use of a building
A commencement notice is not required in the cases of
• minor works
• works which are considered exempted development in accordance with the planning regulations and for which a fire safety certificate is not required
• works where a seven-day notice has been submitted
Where works requiring a Commencement Notice have been done but without a Commencement Notice being submitted, and planning permission for the retention of those works has been obtained, there is no requirement for a Commencement Notice after the grant of retention permission.
Applications must be made to the Building Control Authority (BCA) for:
• Fire Safety Certificate
• Disability Access Certificate
Applications may be made to the BCA for
• revised Fire Safety Certificate
• Regularisation Certificate
• Seven Day Notice
• revised Disability Access Certificate
Fire Safety Certificates
Except for houses and certain agricultural buildings, a Fire Safety Certificate (FSC) must be applied for in relation to new buildings (including apartment blocks) and for material changes of use or material alterations of or extensions to buildings.
A fee (€2.90/m²) as well as detailed drawings and specifications must be submitted to show that the building will comply with the requirements of Part B (fire) of the Building Regs. The BCA will normally issue the FSC in about two months. Where the Fire officer dealing with the application on behalf of the BCA is not satisfied that the details submitted are sufficient to demonstrate compliance, the entire application is rejected along with a note (usually ambiguous) stating which aspect of the Building Regulations Part B is not satisfactorily dealt with. When this occurs, a fresh FSC application has to be made. When the FSC is eventually granted, the building must be constructed in accordance with the details submitted.
When selling or leasing a building or part of a building, the purchaser or tenant will require a copy of the FSC as well as a certificate/opinion by a reputable, local, bonded, Building Professional confirming that it has been constructed in accordance with the details and specifications indicated in the FSC application.
Disability Access Certificate
Except for houses and certain agricultural buildings and schools, a Disability Access Certificate (DAC) must be applied for. A fee of €800 (irrespective of the size of building) as well as detailed drawings and specifications must be submitted to show that the building will comply with the requirements of Part M (access for disabled persons).
Revised Fire Safety Certificate
A revised Fire Safety Certificate (rFSC) can be applied for where significant revisions are made to a building after the original FSC has been granted, or where the initial FSC application is made before planning permission is granted and the permission when granted calls for revised details or specification.
A Regularisation Certificate (sometimes called a retention FSC) can be applied for where a building requiring a FSC has been built or commenced without a FSC ever having applied of r or granted. The application fee for a regularisation certificate is €11.60/m².
Seven Day Notice
A Seven Day Notice (7DN) can be obtained for a building where a FSC has been applied for but not yet granted. This enables work to proceed on the foundations etc. whilst the more detailed aspects of fire safety are being considered by the BCA. The application fee for a 7DN is €5.80/m²
Revised Disability Access Certificate
A revised Disability Access Certificate (rDAC) can be applied for where the design or specification of a building is revised after the original granting of a DAC. The application fee for a rDAC is €800/building.