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54 George's Street Lower
Dublin, County Dublin,
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01 5585205

Award Wining Architects based in Monkstown, Co.Dublin and working in all surrounding counties.

Specialising in sensitive contemporary design for domestic extensions, renovations, new-build houses and interior design.  We also design and build custom joinery.

RIAI registered architects, project managers & interior designers

Dublin Architecture Blog

Hofler Architects Dublin  - Our Blog of our news and views.

Filtering by Category: Building Regulations

Building a New Dwelling or Extension? Information on Changes to the Certification Process

Paul Mulhern

What are the implications of opting in or out of the Building Control certification process for those building a new house or extension?

The most recent amendment to the Building Control Regulations 1997 to 2015 provides owners of new single dwellings, on a single development unit, and domestic extensions with an alternative process to the Statutory Certification route.  The key difference involves the facility to opt out of the requirement to obtain Statutory Certificates reliant on the services of a registered construction professional. 

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Here's a summary of the recent changes to S.I.9:


S.I.365 of 2015 amending S.I.9 of 2014 came into force on the 1st September 2015.  The principle changes and clarifications are:

People engaged in building a single house or an extension to a house of more than 40 square metres in area may opt out of the full S.I.9 process by submitting a "Declaration of Intention to Opt Out of Statutory Certification".  In those circumstances the following Statutory Documents are no longer required

  • a Preliminary Inspection Plan prepared by the Assigned Certifier
  • a Certificate of Compliance (Design)
  • a Notice of Assignment of Person to Inspect and Certify Works (Assigned Certifier)
  • a Certificate of Compliance (Undertaking by Assigned Certifier)
  • a Certificate of Compliance (Undertaking by Builder)
  • a Certificate of Compliance on Completion and accompanying documents.

The 40 square metre issue has been clarified to mean any one extension of 40 square metres (i.e. not cumulative).

Self-builders may act as the 'Builder' under both systems though the reference to competence is still present in the Code of Practice.

Comparison of requirements relating to Statutory Certification of Compliance for Building Control purposes and the Alternative Process for Owners who opt out of Statutory Certification.

Comparison of requirements relating to Statutory Certification of Compliance for Building Control purposes and the Alternative Process for Owners who opt out of Statutory Certification.

 

What hasn't changed?

  • A Commencement Notice still must be submitted to the Local Authority.
  • The Commencement Notice is to be accompanied by Compliance Documentation (plans, calculations, specifications, etc.) and to include (i) general arrangement drawings, (ii) a schedule of compliance documents as currently designed or to be prepared at a later date, (iii) online assessment on the BCMS.
  • Notice of Assignment of Builder.
  • Requirement to design and build in compliance with the Building Regulations.
  •  

Some Additional Thoughts to Consider:

A significant number of 'opt-out' properties will end up being sold at some point and future buyers will not have the level of consumer protection provided by the certification process.  Owners undertaking a project should consider the implications for the sale of their property of not having the construction certified under S.I.9 provisions.
 
Beyond the immediate building costs and costs associated with Certification, the decision to opt out of the statutory certification process may have further consequences down the line in relation to the capacity to insure, mortgage or sell the dwelling concerned.  In the DECLG guide to the Building Control System it says:  “...In addition, when it comes to selling your property, you may have difficulties if you cannot satisfy the purchaser's solicitor that the requirements of the Regulations have been met.”   The Information Note prepared by the Ministers Department also advise that “Homeowners should weigh up carefully the implications of a decision to opt out of the statutory certification process.”   It further advises that “It is worth bearing in mind that reasonable investment in the design, inspection and certification of works will pay dividends in terms of delivering a quality compliant building.” 

Homeowners should be aware of the Sample Preliminary Inspection Plan which is published on the Department’s website that outlines the typical hourly service required from construction professionals. Fees charged by professionals may vary.

Homeowners should appraise themselves of any potential cost or other implications that may arise as a result of choosing to opt out of the statutory certification process. Prior to deciding on whether or not to avail of the opt out option, it is recommended that a homeowner should consult with their solicitor.


Meanwhile, the RIAI (Institute of Architects) has advised member architects as follows:  Members are cautioned against advising Clients to opt out until such time as an alternative is in place. Liability for such advice may arise if conveyance or value related problems surface at a later stage. 

Information Note for Owners of New Dwellings and Extensions Who Opt out of The Statutory Certification Process (PDF)


Learn more about SPACIOUS Architects.  Talk to us about our role in your new dwelling or extension project.

VIEW SOME OF OUR RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS HERE

READ OUR LATEST BLOG ARTICLES HERE

Hofler Architects,  6A Carrickbrennan Road, Monkstown, Co. Dublin.

Tel: 01-5585205.   Contact Us

Building regulations for one-off homes and extensions rolled back

Paul Mulhern

Changes to the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014, S.I. 9 of 2014

Hofler Architects - Domestic Extension Work Under Construction.

Hofler Architects - Domestic Extension Work Under Construction.

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government had been undertaking a review of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 9 of 2014), to include an examination of the cost burden involved for one-off houses, including self-build, and extensions to existing dwellings.

The review of the regulations by the Minister was because of what he said were “outlandish charges” being sought for the inspections required under new system.

The review examined the first 12 months of the mandatory certification requirement, and Minister of State for Housing and Planning Paudie Coffey yesterday announced amendments to the regime:

He said the changes “remove the mandatory requirement for statutory certificates of compliance in respect of a new dwelling on a single unit development or a domestic extension”.

Owners including self-builders will in future be given the choice to opt out of statutory certification and are to be allowed instead to “demonstrate by alternative means that they have met their general obligation to build in accordance with the minimum requirements of the building regulations”.

Alternative means may include the opinions of building professionals, such as architects and inspections by local authorities.

To ensure that building standards do not slip, a local authority inspection process is to be introduced. Mr Coffey said the Department of Environment would engage with the local authorities to ensure they develop the inspection capacity “over time”.

Mr Coffey said there would be with definitive targets and timelines to ensure progressive improvement by local authorities in all sectors including inspections of single dwellings, multi-unit residential developments and commercial buildings.

The mandatory requirement for certification will remain in place for all multi-unit developments.

Mr Coffey said he was satisfied the new arrangements would “level the playing field for individuals and families planning to build or extend their own home” and that they would “no longer be held to ransom by excessive quotes for design and completion certificates”.

“Owners who wish to invest in statutory certification may of course continue to do so and I believe many will do so where reasonable and affordable prices can be obtained,” he said.

Contact SPACIOUS Dublin to discuss our arrangements for dealing with the evolving Building Regulations.

Independent News article - New rules will remove requirement for one-off homes to be inspected.

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SPACIOUS Architects - Working throughout Dublin & beyond.   - Our Blog.

Hofler Architects have extensive experience in house extensions, refurbishments, sustainability, conservation of protected structures and  one-off new builds.  We are a highly experienced team of architects based in Monkstown, Co. Dublin. The practice was established in 1992 and offers a full range of architecture services for domestic works, conservation, housing & apartment developments, and many commercial sectors including bars, restaurants, offices, educational and retail.

"This is a great example of a meticulous period restoration - as green as a period house can be" - The Irish Times.

READ OUR LATEST BLOG ARTICLES HERE

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Two of Our Favourite Things...

Paul Mulhern

Great Coffee & Working Drawings!

Working Drawings - How Architects & Designers Communicate.

Working Drawings - How Architects & Designers Communicate.

Great coffee is up there as one of our favourites.  After spending three years in Melbourne how could it not be?  The coffee and cafe scene there are quite an amazing experience.

The other favourite is communicating our design intentions to the contractors we work with through the medium of the Working Drawing.  Clients usually get to see more of, and pay more attention to the earlier stage Design Sketches, but it's the working drawing that determines a great deal of the success of the final building.

If you were to hand the same sketch or planning stage drawing to three different builders you would get three vastly different tender prices and buildings.  Quality, finishes, details, standards, performance, weathering, would all be left open to interpretation - good or bad.

The Working Drawing's purpose is to flesh out the details of earlier sketch and planning stage drawings.  It describes the full intention of how the building is to be put together (in a lot of detail).  It tells builders what is to be done and therefore what way it's not to be done!  It allows for accurate pricing (along with the written specification) so you know you are comparing one builder's apples with another's apples.  It is used for the new Building Regulation compliance requirements (BCAR) and it records the professional input that goes into your building giving you peace of mind.

Without comprehensive Working Drawings great buildings don't happen.

Look what goes into a simple coffee pot.  Think about what goes into the drawings for your new home, renovation or extension!  Come and have a chat with us about what's involved in the various stages of commissioning architectural work for your home.  We'll even shout you a great coffee!

Melbourne Coffee and Cafe's

Hofler Architects, Monkstown - Working throughout Dublin & beyond.   - Our Blog.

Hofler Architects have extensive experience in house extensions, refurbishments, sustainability, conservation of protected structures and  one-off new builds.  We are a highly experienced team of architects based in Monkstown, Co. Dublin. The practice was established in 1992 and offers a full range of architecture services for domestic works, conservation, housing & apartment developments, and many commercial sectors including bars, restaurants, offices, educational and retail.

"This is a great example of a meticulous period restoration - as green as a period house can be" - The Irish Times.

READ OUR LATEST BLOG ARTICLES HERE

NZEB - Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in Ireland

Paul Mulhern

Today we've been at the nZEB-15 National Retrofit Conference at Dublin Institute of Technology listening to the latest research, developments and education in this energy retrofit technology for Irish buildings.

Introduction video - Near Zero Energy Buildings

Some Information on Nearly Zero Energy Buildings standards in Ireland:

From January, 1st 2019 every new public building will have to be designed to nearly zero energy building standards. Also, all other new buildings will have to comply with the new nearly zero energy buildings standards from January, 1st 2021. This arises from the Recast European Performance of Buildings Directive 2010/30/EU.

For a typical dwelling this will equate to 45 kWh/m2/annum and an Energy Performance Coefficient (EPC) and Carbon Performance Coefficient (CPC) of 0.302 and 0.305 in accordance with the common general framework set out in Annex I of Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings (Recast). This takes account of the energy load for space heating, water heating, fixed lighting and ventilation. A very significant proportion of which will be covered from renewable energy sources produced on-site or nearby. (Ref: Towards Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in Ireland – Planning for 2020 and beyond

 The proposed improvement from current building  standards  to  an intermediate and final NZEB target for buildings other than dwellings are:

Targets will be further refined when developing new the technical performance standard TGD L – Buildings other than Dwellings. (Source: Towards NZEB in Ireland- Planning for 2020 and beyond)

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)

The EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD - 2002/91/EC) is the main European legislative instrument for improving the energy efficiency of Europe's building stock. Under the Directive, the following obligations were introduced in all Member States:

  • A methodology to calculate and rate the integrated energy performance of buildings
  • A system of energy certification for new and existing buildings, with display requirements for public buildings
  • Regular inspections of heating and air-conditioning systems
  • Minimum energy performance standards for new buildings and for existing buildings that undergo major renovation with a useful floor area over 1000m2

The EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) was transposed into Irish Law from 2006 onwards.

From 2013, the EPBD was superseded by the Recast EPBD and S.I. No 666 of 2006 was superseded by S.I. 243 of 2012.  See more at: http://www.seai.ie/Your_Building/EPBD

Changes in the Building Regulations in Ireland

Building Regulations were first introduced in Ireland in 1976 in Draft form and revised draft Regulations were introduced in 1981. The Building Regulations were formally revised in 1991, 1997, 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2011.

There have been significant step changes in the Irish Building Regulations since 2005. Technical Guidance Document Part L (TGD L), of the 2008 Regulations required a 40% reduction in primary energy use compared to a reference dwelling specified in the TGD Part L 2005 Regulations. TGD L of the 2011 Regulations require a 60% reduction in the primary energy us. The gradual improvements leading to NZEB standards for dwellings are summarised in the table below. 

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*These energy values are for a typical two storey semi-detached house.

Information from NZEB Open Doors Ireland.