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54 George's Street Lower
Dublin, County Dublin,

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

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Filtering by Tag: 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. 


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.



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

Tel: 01-5585205.   Contact Us

An owner’s guide to the Irish Building Control Regulations

Paul Mulhern

This informative guide has been produced by the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland.

The Building Control (Amendment) Regulation 2014 now provide for a much more intensive system of monitoring and control of certain building or works from March 1st 2014. The new legislation requires mandatory design certification, lodgement of plans and particulars, builders supervision and certification, mandatory inspection by an appointed Assigned Certifier with inter-reliance on ancillary certification by key parties involved in the building process. This will affect all buildings and works requiring a Fire Safety Certificate, new dwellings and extensions to dwellings greater than 40 m2. 

The new Building Control (Amendment) Regulations were introduced in order to improve evidence of compliance with building standards in the construction industry. The Building Owner is ultimately responsible for ensuring that buildings and/or works are designed by competent Designers, and are overseen by Assigned Certifiers such as an architect and supervised by competent Builders.

The building owner needs to ensure that they engage the services of a competent architect, a competent Builder and Assigned Certifier.

Summary of Building Owner’s Obligations under The Building Control Amendment Regulations 2014 (Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland - RIAI - Guidance Note)

  1. Appoint, for almost relevant building works starting from March 2014 onward, a Design Certifier and an Assigned Certifier as well as a competent Builder.
  2. Give a written undertaking on a statutory form to the Building Control Authority to appoint a competent Design Team to design the new building in accordance the Building Regulations.
  3. Give a written undertaking on a statutory form to the Building Control Authority to appoint a competent Builder to construct the new building in accordance the Building Regulations.
  4. Give a written undertaking on a statutory form to the Building Control Authority to appoint a competent Assigned Certifier who will prepare an Inspection Plan, inspect and certify, with the Builder, that the new building, when complete, is built in accordance the Building Regulations.

RICS owner’s guide to the Irish Building Control Regulations

Contact Hofler Architects with your queries:  Contact

Health & Safety - A Guide for Homeowners Planning Work.

Paul Mulhern

This guide tells you what you need to know and do when you are having construction work done in your home. The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) developed this guide in light of new responsibilities for homeowners under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013. The regulations apply to construction work that you pay to get done in your home. They do not apply to DIY (Do it yourself) jobs.

The responsibilities on home owners are quite rigorous and are set out in the document.  Hofler Architects will guide you through the process and your responsibilities at the outset of a project.

What do the regulations mean?

The regulations mean that you have to appoint competent people to carry out construction work. For riskier and or longer jobs you must appoint competent project supervisors to oversee and co-ordinate safety. The role of the project supervisors of your work is very important. They co-ordinate the work of designers and contractors and make sure that the work is completed safely.

When works are being done in or near your home, you need to make sure that they don’t put you and your family at risk. The new regulations aim to reduce the number of people killed and injured while carrying out construction work. Specific requirements are set out in European law for those who hire people to carry out construction work as well as for construction workers themselves. The Construction Regulations put these requirements into Irish law. 

What do you have to do?

By law, you have to:

  • determine the competency of people doing paid construction work for you,
  • appoint project supervisors if required,
  • keep the safety file for the work as appropriate, and
  • let the Health and Safety Authority know if your project is going to take longer than 30 days or more than 500 person days (person days mean the number of days the work takes multiplied by the number of people doing the work). 

HSA Summary of what you have to do.

HSA Summary of what you have to do.