How the Building Regulations are enforced in the Republic of Ireland.

After you’ve gained planning permission and before work begins you must file a commencement notice with your local council. In the case of new builds and extensions over 40 sqm, the Building Control amendment requires that you decide whether to ‘opt in’ or ‘opt out’ of hiring an assigned designer and assigned certifier for your project.

In both cases you will be asked to submit, along with the commencement notice, the following (submissions can only be made online via the Building Control Management System website):

  • Notice of who the Builder will be. The Department of the Environment has announced they want to set up a statutory register of builders so they eventually will need to be on that list; the Construction Industry Register Ireland is being set up by the Construction Industry Federation and is now operating as a voluntary register but mostly large builders are listed at this time. The Builder must supply their certificate of compliance stating they will abide by the Building Regulations.
  • Certificate of compliance for design drawings along with plans/documentation to show how the project will comply with the Building Regulations

When opting in you will have to get statutory certificates of compliance signed before (by the designer), and after, (by the builder and certifier), the build. The completion certificate must be accompanied by plans and documentation showing how the finished building complies with the requirements of the Building Regulations, pointing out in particular any differences to design documentation previously submitted to the Building Control Authority prior to construction and by the Inspection Plan as implemented by the Assigned Certifier.

The Code of Practice for Inspecting and Certifying Building Works provides guidelines for the inspections to be carried out if you opt in but this can be used as a guideline for self-builders who choose to opt out too.

Notice of any change in circumstances (new builder or inspector/certifier assigned, change in ownership) must be made to the local authority.

All of these details will be referenced in the Statutory Register maintained by the Building Control Authority.

Failure to comply with the above requirements could delay the inclusion of details of the documentation on the register.  It will be an offence to open, occupy or use a building for which a statutory certificate of compliance on completion is not registered when required. Once the house changes ownership, the design documentation, inspection plan and statutory certificates lodged with the Building Control Authority and referenced in the register are made available to the new owners and details are subject to both Data Protection and Freedom of Information legislation.