What advice can you give me?
The Building Control Department advises developers and self-builders to employ suitably qualified architects and qualified experienced engineers with professional indemnity insurance to carry out the following professional services in relation to any building work:
• Design and preparation of drawings meeting the Building Regulations requirements.
• Structural design.
• Site assessment.
• Applications for Fire Safety Certificates.
• Supervision of the construction of the building.
• Applications for A DAC(Disability Access Certificate)
Remember responsibility for compliance with the Building Regulations lies with you, your designer and construction teams. Have your building checked during construction, particularly at foundation, sub-floor, block work, roofing, and final stages.
• The Building Designer, Builder and Owner are responsible for compliance with the Requirements of the Building Regulations. You must ensure that your building is checked for compliance.
• Employ a Competent Designer and a Competent Supervisor to oversee the construction.
• Between 14 and 28 days prior to starting any works a Commencement Notice must be submitted to the Building Control Authority .
• Most buildings (except for new private houses & those in agricultural use) require a Fire Safety Certificate. This must be granted before works can commence on site.
Building Control Section
The Building Control Section is responsible for the enforcement of the Building Control Acts 1990 and 2007, and Regulations made under those Acts, which it does through regular monitoring and inspections of developments.
While primary responsibility for compliance with the Building Control Regulations rests with the designers, builders and owners of developments, the Council has the power of inspection as well as enforcement and prosecution where breeches of these Regulations occur. Louth County Council’s policy is to firstly try and resolve breaches with the parties involved, preferably by discussion.
The objective of the building control section is to encourage good building practice, to ensure that buildings are constructed correctly. Building control applies to the design and construction of all new buildings, extensions and material alterations to, and certain changes in the use of, existing buildings.
In accordance with Building Control Regulations, developers are required to submit Commencement Notices prior to commencement of works, with certain works exempt from this requirement.
The Role of the Building Control Authority
Duties of the Building Control Authority
- To receive, assess, acknowledge and register all commencement notices, which are lodged in relation to any works to which the building regulations apply.
- To process any applications received for dispensations from any requirement of the building regulations.
- To process any applications received for relaxations of any requirement of the building regulations.
- To carry out inspections on 12% - 15% of the number of buildings covered by Valid Commencement Notices as required by the Department of the Environment Community and Local Government and to ensure compliance with Building Regulations where necessary.
- To investigate complaints and serve Enforcement Notices on those responsible and to ensure that non-compliance is rectified.
- To participate in any appeals which may be taken against the decision of the Building Control Authority on applications for dispensations or relaxations of the building regulations.
Objectives of Building Control
- To protect public health & safety by promoting and enforcing compliance with the Building Regulations among builders, designers and owners.
- To promote local awareness of Building Regulations among the general public.
- To ensure the provision of access for people with disabilities.
- To promote conservation of fuel and energy in buildings.
In some particular circumstances, an individual or a client’s representative can apply to the Building Control Authority obtain a dispensation or relaxation to the Building Regulations where requirements are unreasonable for a certain situation.
Only requirements of Building Regulations may be given relaxations or dispensations.
An application for a Dispensation from, or Relaxation of, any requirement of the Building Regulations must be made on the form set out in the fourth of the Building Regulations, 1997 (Statutory Instrument No. 497 of 1997). The fee is €125 dwelling and €250 for any other building.
The building control section also inspect up to 15% of new works to monitor compliance with all the requirements of the Building Regulations, 1997 and subsequent amendments.
Discretionary Powers of the Building Control Authority
- A right to inspect any works to which the building regulations apply.
- A right to request information relating to any works to which the building regulations apply.
- Power to serve Enforcement Notices on persons for non-compliance with Building Regulations.
- Power to request and analyse design documentation in relation to any building.
- A power of enforcement for non-compliance with the building regulations.
- Power to prosecute by Summary or High Court action. for non-compliance with the building regulations.
It should be noted that the power of inspection granted to the Building Control Authority is discretionary and does not impose a statutory obligation on the Building Control Authority to inspect all buildings during their construction. Under the Building Control Act, 1990 & 2007 the responsibility for compliance with Building Regulations rests with the builders, designers and owners. Building sites are randomly selected and monitored by way of site inspections and failure to comply with the Building Control Regulations (Commencement Notices and Fire Safety Certificates) or Building Regulations can lead to summary proceedings in the District Court which can result in a heavy fine, term of imprisonment or both.
Building Control information for Planning Packs.pdf (size 55.2 KB)