Kerry County Council is a Building Control Authority under the Building Control Acts, 1990 to 2014 and as such has various powers of inspection, enforcement and prosecution to ensure compliance with Building Regulations and Building Control Regulations.
Building Control should not be confused with Planning Control, which enforces the planning conditions of a development.
- Objectives of Building Control
- Duties of Building Control
- Building Regulations
- Guide to BCMS
- Dispensation/Relaxation of Building Regulations
- Discretionary Powers of the Building Control Authority
- Non-Compliance and Penalties
- General Advice for Builders and Home Buyers
- Technical Guidance Documents
- 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.
Duties of Building Control
- To receive, acknowledge, assess and register all Commencement Notices which are lodged in relation to works to which Building Control Regulations apply.
- To receive, register and process all applications for Fire Safety Certificates and Disability Access Certificates made under the Building Control Regulations.
- To receive and process applications received for dispensations or relaxations of any requirement of the Building Regulations.
- To enforce the requirement to obtain a Building Energy Rating Certificate (BER) as required by the European Communities (Energy Performance of Buildings) 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 Heritage and Local Government and to ensure compliance with Building Regulations where necessary.
- To monitor the use of construction products by checking their compliance with the Building Regulations.
- To maintain a record of Commencement Notices, Fire Safety Certificates, Disability Access Certificates, Enforcement Notices, Decisions of the District Court, Applications for Dispensations & Relaxations, and Inspections Reports.
- To investigate complaints and serve Enforcement Notices on those responsible for the construction of buildings to ensure that non-compliance is rectified.
Building Regulations are a set of legal requirements for the design and construction of new buildings, extensions, material alterations to and certain changes of use of existing buildings. They are provided to ensure the health, safety and welfare of people who use buildings. They include requirements regarding the conservation of fuel and energy and access for people with disabilities.
The Building Regulations and the Technical Guidance Documents for the Building Regulations can be viewed on the web at www.environ.ie (See section on Building Standards). To purchase copies of the Building Regulations and associated documents, please contact the Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.
Dispensation/Relaxation of Building Regulations
What is a Relaxation/Dispensation?
Section 4 (1) of the Building Control Act, 1990 permits a Building Control Authority to grant a Relaxation / Dispensation of, any requirement of building regulations in respect of buildings or works which are situated within the functional area of the building control authority i.e. protected structures and high intensity use.
When should I apply for my Relaxation/Dispensation?
It is best practice to apply for your Relaxation/Dispensation early in the design process and before any application is made for a Disability Access Certificate application or Fire Safety Certificate application.
How long will a Relaxation/Dispensation take?
It can take up to 8 weeks for a decision to be made on a Relaxation/Dispensation, or may take longer if it’s agreed with the applicant and the Building Control Authority.
What is the fee required for a Relaxation/Dispensation?
The cost is €125 dwelling and €250 for any other building
Can the decision of the Building Control Authority be appealed?
Yes, the decision can be appealed to An Bórd Pleanála. The decision must be appealed within 28 days of the decision of the Building Control Authority.
Discretionary Powers of the Building Control Authority
- Power to inspect any works to which Building Regulations apply.
- Power to request any information relating to any works to which Building Regulations apply.
- Power to serve Enforcement Notices on persons for non-compliance with Building Regulations.
- Power to prosecute by Summary or High Court action.
- Power to request and analyse design documentation in relation to any building.
- Building Inspections
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 Acts, 1990 to 2014 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.
Non-Compliance and Penalties
All buildings must be designed and constructed in accordance with the Building Regulations. The primary responsibility for designing and constructing buildings in compliance with Building Regulations rests with builders, designers and owners / developers.
Failure to comply with Building Regulations or the Building Control Regulations can lead to summary proceedings being taken by the Building Control Department of Kerry County Council in the District Court which can result in a heavy fine or term of imprisonment or both.
Warning: Certificates of Compliance issued by builders, architects and engineers have no legal identity under the Building Control Acts, 1990 to 2014.
A building may or may not comply with Building Regulations regardless of whether or not it has a Certificate of Compliance. A Certificate of Compliance is essentially a private document prepared in connection with the conveyance and mortgaging of property.
Technical Guidance Documents
The Technical Guidance Documents are published by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and provide guidance on ways of complying with each of the Building Regulations requirements.
Note: Works carried out in accordance with the Technical Guidance Documents, will prima facie, indicate compliance with the Building Regulations. The adoption of an alternative approach other than that outlined in the Technical Guidance Documents is not precluded provided that the relevant requirements of the Regulations are complied with. Those involved in the design and construction of a building can be required by the Building Control Authority to provide such evidence as is necessary to establish that the requirements of the Building Regulations are complied with.
The Technical Guidance Documents of the Building Regulations address the following aspects of buildings:-
|Technical Guidance Documents||Brief outline of Issues covered|
|Technical Guidance Document A||Part A – Structure|
|Technical Guidance Document B||Part B – Fire Safety
Part B – Volume 2 dwellings
|Technical Guidance Document C||Part C – Site Preparation & Resistance to Moisture|
|Technical Guidance Document D||Part D – Materials & Workmanship|
|Technical Guidance Document E||Part E – Sound|
|Technical Guidance Document F||Part F – Ventilation|
|Technical Guidance Document G||Part G – Hygiene|
|Technical Guidance Document H||Part H – Drainage & Waste Water Disposal|
|Technical Guidance Document J||Part J – Heat Producing Appliances|
|Technical Guidance Document K||Part K – Stairways, Ladders, Ramps & Guards|
|Technical Guidance Document L||Part L – Conservation of Fuel & Energy|
|Technical Guidance Document M||Part M – Access for People with Disabilities|
The information provided on this website is a guideline and is not a definitive legal interpretation of Building Control Legislation. Persons should seek professional advice for their own specific situations and should consult the current Building Regulations and the current Technical Guidance Documents.