3. Roles and Duties
3.1 Key Responsibility
There is an obligation under section 3(5) of the Act of 1990 that buildings be designed and constructed in accordance with the relevant requirements of the Building Regulations. Building Owners, Designers and Builders are bound by this legal requirement. In undertaking building works, appropriate measures should be taken so that the work is in accordance with the Building Regulations. Designers, Builders and certifiers should exercise reasonable skill, care and diligence in the exercise of their duties. They and persons assigned by them should be competent for the work they
3.2 Building Owner’s Role
The Building Owner is ultimately responsible for ensuring that buildings or works are carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Building Regulations. In relation to the Design and Construction of buildings, the Building Owner should ensure that they appoint a competent Builder and competent registered professionals to act as Designer and as Assigned Certifier.
Specifically, the Building Owner should:
(a) ensure that a Fire Safety Certificate and a Disability Access Certificate are obtained where required;
(b) sign a Commencement Notice (or 7 Day Notice) that is lodged;
(c) sign the notice for the assignment of:
1) a competent, registered professional (the Assigned Certifier) who will inspect the building works during Construction and provide a Certificate of Compliance on Completion, and
2) a competent Builder to construct in accordance with the plans, specifications and Building Regulations and to sign the Certificate of Compliance on Completion; Builders included on the Construction Industry Register Ireland or equivalent may be regarded as competent for projects consistent with their registration profile.
(d) ensure that adequate resources and Competent Persons are made available to design, construct, inspect and certify the building works;
(e) promptly assign a replacement Assigned Certifier or Builder where the Assigned Certifier or Builder withdraws from the project for whatever reason; where this happens the Building Owner is required under the Building Control Regulations to give notice to the Building Control Authority of the new assignment; at all times the Building Owner should use reasonable endeavours to ensure that an Assigned Certifier and Builder are in place;
(f) where there is a change of Building Owner prior to the submission of the Certificate of Compliance on Completion, the new Building Owner is required under the Building Control Regulations to give notice of the change of Building
Owner and, also, to notify the Building Control Authority in writing of all appointments that are in place; and
(g) maintain records.
3.3 Builder’s Role
The Builder should carry out the works in accordance with the plans and specifications of the professional design team, their specialists and sub-consultants as listed in the schedule to the Commencement Notice or 7 Day Notice or as subsequently certified and submitted to the Building Control Authority, and have regard to these in accordance with the requirements of the Building Regulations.
The Builder (company or sole trader) should:
(a) accept from the Building Owner the assignment to build and supervise the building or works outlined in the Commencement Notice;
(b) familiarise themselves with the drawings, specifications and documents lodged with the Commencement Notice/ 7 Day Notice;
(c) ensure a Competent Person is assigned to oversee the Construction works;
(d) co-operate with the design team, the Assigned Certifier and other certifiers;
(e) ensure that the workmanship complies with the requirements of the Building Regulations;
(f) ensure that materials which they select and for which they are responsible comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations;
(g) sign the Certificate of Compliance on Completion;
(h) provide to the Assigned Certifier, such documents for which they are responsible, as may assist the Assigned Certifier to collate particulars for the purposes of handover and certification, and/or for further submissions to the
Building Control Authority;
(i) ensure the coordination and provision of all test certificates and confirmations to the satisfaction of the Assigned Certifier or other designated inspectors or certifiers providing Ancillary Certificates; and
(j) maintain records.
3.4 Designer’s Role
(a) design their respective elements of work in accordance with the applicable requirements of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations;
(b) provide the Design Certifier with the necessary plans, specifications and documentation that is required for lodgement at commencement stage;
(c) arrange to provide sufficient information to the Assigned Certifier to enable them to fulfil their role;
(d) as agreed with the Assigned Certifier, carry out work inspections which are pertinent to their elements of the Design, and liaise with the Assigned Certifier in terms of this and the required ancillary certification;
(e) notify the Assigned Certifier of their proposed inspection regime for inclusion in the overall Inspection Plan;
(f) provide the Ancillary Certificates when required by the Assigned Certifier and Design Certifier; and
(g) maintain records of inspection.
3.5 Assigned Certifier’s Role
The Assigned Certifier is assigned by the Building Owner as required under the Building Control Regulations. They undertake to inspect, and to co-ordinate the inspection activities of others during construction, and to certify the building or works on completion. The role of Assigned Certifier does not include responsibility for the supervision of any builder. They may or may not be a member of the design team.
The Assigned Certifier should:
(a) provide and sign the relevant statutory certificates - the form of Certificate of Compliance (Undertaking by Assigned Certifier) at commencement and the Certificate of Compliance on Completion;
(b) co-ordinate the ancillary certification by members of the design team and other relevant bodies for the Certificate of Compliance on Completion;
(c) identify all design professionals and specialists, in conjunction with the Builder, from whom certificates are required;
(d) identify all certificates required and obtain them;
(e) co-ordinate and collate all certification of compliance for completion in conjunction with the Builder;
(f) in consultation with the members of the design team, plan and oversee the implementation of the Inspection Plan during Construction;
(g) prepare the Preliminary Inspection Plan and oversee adherence to this plan, and on completion provide the Inspection Plan as implemented;
(h) on termination or relinquishment of their appointment make available to the Building Owner all certification prepared and inspection reports carried out;
(i) act as the single point of contact with the Building Control Authority during construction;
(j) seek advice from the Building Control Authority, in respect of compliance matters relating to the building or works where disputes or differences of opinion arise between the parties to the project; and
(k) maintain records of inspection.
3.6 Role of Building Control Authority
3.6.1 Overall Role
The Building Control Authority should:
(a) process applications for Fire Safety Certificates and Disability Access Certificates and issue decisions on those applications;
(b) validate and register Commencement Notices/ 7 Day Notices and the accompanying Certificates of Compliance (Design), notices of assignment by Building Owner, and notices of undertakings by the Assigned Certifier and the
(c) undertake a risk analysis of each Commencement Notice/ 7 Day Notice submitted in order to inform its own inspection arrangements;
(d) advise the Assigned Certifier, in relation to issues of compliance relating to the building or works that are disputed by parties to the construction project;
(e) validate and register the Certificate of Compliance on Completion and accompanying documentation submitted in support of same;
(f) maintain the statutory Register; and
(g) maintain records, including records of inspection
Under the Act of 1990 Building Control Authorities have strong powers of inspection, enforcement and prosecution.
While Building Control Authorities use enforcement and the courts to effect compliance where reasonable and appropriate to do so, desired results can also be achieved, and often are, through discussion and persuasion with the threat of legal action.
It is expected that Building Control Authorities will undertake an appropriate level of assessment and inspection informed by the risk analysis of Commencement Notices submitted via the Building Control Management System, thereby ensuring that available inspection resources are targeted towards projects carrying the greatest risks.
Inspections by Building Control Authorities are undertaken in the interests of public safety and law enforcement. This does not relieve building owners, builders, designers or assigned certifiers of their statutory obligations to build and construct in compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations and to demonstrate through inspection, certification and lodgement of documentation how compliance has been achieved in practice.
Where inspections are carried out by Building Control Authorities they should make their inspection reports available to Assigned Certifiers and the Builders on an ongoing basis.
3.6.2 Commencement Stage - Validation
On receipt of the Commencement Notice, together with the notices of assignment of Builder and Assigned Certifier and their respective undertakings and the Design Certificate and accompanying plans and documentation the Building Control Authority will undertake a validation process on the documentation submitted. There is no requirement or obligation on the Building Control Authority to carry out a technical assessment of the plans or other documents submitted, see section 6(4) of the Act of 1990. Separate to its administrative function of maintaining the Register,
Building Control Authorities have strong powers of inspection and enforcement under the Building Control Acts. They should exercise these powers based on the combination of risk-based assessment and random selection.
The purpose of the lodgement of plans, mandatory inspection by registered professionals, statutory certificates of compliance and registration of certificates and accompanying documentation is to ensure a strong culture of compliance with the Building Regulations, and greater accountability and transparency in the process.
From the Building Control Authority’s perspective, any plans and documentation lodged will be readily available should the particular project be selected for a building control inspection.
3.6.3 Construction stage – assessment and inspection
Building Control Authorities should adopt a formal policy for the assessment and inspection of building work as notified on the Building Control Management System.
Authorities should adopt a risk management based approach in undertaking this work. This will include consideration of matters such as:
(a) the use of the building;
(b) the type of construction;
(c) the level of experience of the design team and the Builder; and
(d) past experience regarding compliance by the parties involved in the project.
In addition a level of random assessment and inspection should be carried out.
In line with the agreed Service Indicators for Local Government, Building Control Authorities are required to carry out a level of inspection equivalent to 12% to 15% of new buildings for which valid Commencement Notices have been received.
Building Control Authorities should keep full records of all assessments and inspections carried out. Inspection reports should be made available to the Assigned Certifier and the Builder.
3.6.4 Completion stage
The role of the Building Control Authority at completion stage is to validate the submission of the Certificate of Compliance on Completion and, where appropriate to include details of same in the statutory Register. The validation process will include checking that the certificate was properly completed and signed by the appropriate persons. The authority will check that there are no unresolved matters in relation to requests under Section 11 of the Act or Enforcement Notices or conditions attached to Fire Safety Certificates, Disability Access Certificates, etc. It is not appropriate for the Building Control Authority to commence a technical assessment at this stage.
Documents accompanying the certificate of compliance on completion should be retained on the Building Control Management System by the Building Control Authority.