The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (known as BCAR) now provide for a much more intensive system of monitoring and control of certain buildings or works to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations.
This legislation requires mandatory design certification, lodgement of plans and particulars, builders supervision and certification, and mandatory inspection by an appointed Assigned Certifier with inter-reliance on ancillary certification by key parties involved in the building process.
Along with the Building Regulations which outline minimum construction standards, Building Control Regulations provide for the control mechanisms to support the implementation of standards including such items as Commencement Notices, Fire Safety Certificates, Disability Access Certificates and now, in certain cases, Certificates of Compliance.
BCAR has also introduced a Code of Practice for Inspecting and Certifying Buildings and Works and an online Building Control Management System (BCMS). Statutory certificates are submitted with the plans specifications and certifications to the Building Control Authority through the BCMS.
Other names the service might be called:
- Building control
- Building Control Amended Regulations
- Assigned Certifier
Who is qualified to be an assigned Certifier?
- Building Surveyors.
What are the advantages to the client?
The client can be assured the materials used in the construction of the build are of the highest standard and the quality of all work carried out on site is certified by a qualified professional and backed up by the company’s Professional Indemnity Insurance. The previous system, where a building was often only certified as being in “Substantial” compliance with building regulations, was ambiguous and left the client with very little assurance that they were getting a quality built building. The current BCAR system ensures that, unless you decide to opt-out, you will be provided with certification that every aspect of your building has been inspected and is fully in compliance with building regulations.
What are the building owner’s obligations under BCAR?
Building/site owners are required to appoint, for almost any building or works, a Design Certifier and an Assigned Certifier as well as a competent builder. Building owners are required to give a written undertaking on a statutory form to the Building Control Authority (Local council) to appoint a competent builder to construct the new building in accordance with the current Building Regulations. For the construction of individual dwelling houses, it is possible to nominate to “opt-out” of the BCAR system. In this instance, the drawings and documentation are still uploaded to the BCAR system but there is no completion certificate issued and no requirement for certification to be carried out (unless required by the mortgage provider)
How is the BCAR process completed?
The Assigned Certifier and the Builder, once they have collated all the required certificates and are satisfied that the building is built in accordance with the Building Regulations, co-sign the Statutory Completion Certificate and lodge it with the Building Control Authority 3 -5 weeks in advance of the Completion date. The building will not be permitted to be occupied, used or rented, without the building being placed on the Building Control Authority Register.
What is the difference between Design Certifier and Assigned Certifier?
A design certifier is for the plans/design of the build and assigned certifier for the build itself. This individual must sign off on the building from start to finish at pre-ordained stages on an inspection plan to ensure it complies with building regulations. In most instances, the Design Certifier will also act as the Assigned Certifier.