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      What is a Disability Access Certificate?

      A Disability Access Certificate is a certificate granted by a Building Control Authority which certifies compliance of the design of certain works (e.g. new buildings (except dwelling houses), some extensions to, and some material alterations to buildings (except dwelling houses) with the requirements of Part M of the Building Regulations. 

      When is a Disability Access Certificate required?

      A  Disability Access Certificate is required in respect of the following works to buildings other than dwellings (but including apartment buildings), in so far as the Requirements of Part M apply and which commence or take place on or after 1 January 2010;

      (a) works in connection with the design and construction of a new building,

      (b) works in connection with the material alteration of—

      (i) a day centre,

      (ii) a building containing a flat,

      (iii) a hotel, hostel or guest building, or

      (iv) an institutional building, or

      (v) a place of assembly, or

      (vi) a shopping centre,

      but excluding works to such buildings, consisting solely of minor works,

      (c) works in connection with the material alteration of a shop, office or industrial building where —

      (i) additional floor area is being provided within the existing building, or

      (ii) the building is being subdivided into a number of units for separate occupancy,

      (d) works in connection with the extension of a building by more than 25 square metres,

      (e) a building as regards which a material change of use takes place, (see note below)

      It should be noted in this context, that the Requirements of Part M 2000

      • apply to all works in connection with a material alteration or an extension, without requiring any further work to the existing building1,2.

      • do not apply to a material change of use, except where a material alteration or extension is associated with the material change of use, in which case refer to the previous point3.

      1 Article 11 of the Building Regulations 1997-2008 also stipulates the Regulations apply to every part of a buildings affected by the material alteration or extension but only to the extent of prohibiting any works which would cause a new or greater contravention, in such building.

      2 Part M does not apply to works in connection with extensions to and the material alterations of existing dwellings, provided that such works do not create a new dwelling.

      3 The Requirements of Part M 2010 due to commence on 1 January 2012 amended Article 13 to include the application of Part M to certain material changes of use. It also amended Article 11 of the Building Regulations to extend the definition of a Material Alteration to include Part M. 

      Are there transitional arrangements for the introduction of the Disability Access Certificate?

      The requirement for a Disability Access Certificate came into effect on 1st January 2010 for new buildings (other than dwellings houses) which commence on or after that date. 

      Is a Disability Access Certificate required prior to submitting a commencement notice?

      A person shall not carry out works in contravention of Part M of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations 2000 or any conditions subject to which a Disability Access Certificate is granted (where a Disability Access Certificate is required). 

      To avoid potentially expensive remedial work,  it would be considered good practice to apply for a DAC at the same time as a Fire Safety Certificate ((FSC) prior to submitting a commencement notice), therefore ensuring that the DAC and any conditions pertaining to it are set out prior to commencement of works.  

      However, a DAC may be applied for after commencement notice, but in no case shall a building be opened, operated or occupied or permitted to do so unless a DAC has been granted or pending determination of an appeals process.

      A commencement notice must be submitted between 14-28 days in advance of work commencing.

      Can works commence on a relevant development prior to the granting of a Disability Access Certificate?

      Technically, a Disability Access Certificate is not required in advance of commencement of work. However, a person shall not carry out works in contravention of Part M of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations 2000 or any conditions subject to which a Disability Access Certificate is granted (where a Disability Access Certificate is required). 

      To avoid potentially expensive remedial work,  it would be considered good practice to apply for a Disability Access Certificate at the same time as a Fire Safety Certificate, therefore ensuring that the Disability Access Certificate and any conditions pertaining to it are set out prior to commencement of works.  

      How long will a Disability Access Certificate take to process?

      The timescale is up to 8 weeks under Section 6(5) of the Building Control Act, 1990, or longer if agreed between the applicant and the Building Control Authority.

      When should I apply for the Disability Access Certificate?

      You should apply at the same time as applying for a Fire Safety Certificagte. The time scale for assessment of both applications is the same. This ensures you have all relevant information prior to construction

      What If I have my Fire Safety Certificate already but no Disability Access Certificate?

      Apply for the Disability Access Certificate immediately/ as soon as possible. Paragraph 2(b) of Departmental Circular BC11/2009 lists what should be provided with the application. Further material may be requested by the Building Control Authority.

      If a proposed development has already been granted planning permission and a FSC prior to 01/01/10, but works have not commenced prior to that date, is a Disability Access Certificate required?

      Yes. 

      Is a Disability Access Certificate required for a material change of use of a building ?.

      A Disability Access Certificate is required for certain works to which the Requirements of Part M apply. Refer to Article 20 D (1) of S.I. 351)  Part M will apply to a material change of use of a building only when it includes a material alteration - in such cases Part M will apply to all works in connection with the material alteration and a Disability Access Certificate should be applied for.

      Does an application for a Disability Access Certificate have to show compliance with the proposal for a revised Part M, which was the subject of a public consultation process in 2009?

      No. The Disability Access Certificate will certify compliance with the requirements of the current Part – Part M 2000. Draft Part M 2009 proposals have not yet been finalised. However, additional information may be required for Disability Access Certificate applications when future revisions of part M become operative.

      Which of these scenarios require a Disability Access Certificate?

      Yes:  New buildings, including apartment blocks

      No:  Dwelling houses

      Yes:  Material alteration to a day care centre, apartment block, hotel, hostel, guest building, institutional building, place of assembly, shopping centre

      Yes:  Material alteration to a shop, office or industrial building where additional floor area is provided within existing building or building is being subdivided into a number of units for separate occupancy.

      Yes:  Extension to an existing building other than a dwelling house of greater that 25m2

      No:  Existing building was damaged/burnt and is being repaired.

      No:   A material change of use, by itself -  see above

      Yes:  A material change of use involving a material alteration associated with the change of use.

      Will there be a 7 day Notice or a Regularisation Certificate in respect of the Disability Access Certificate?

      There is no need for a 7 day notice in respect of a Disability Access Certifiate, as a Disability Access Certificate is not required prior to commencement - see above.

      There is no need for a regularisation certificate as Disability Access Certificate only applies to works commencing from Jan 1 2010 and not retrospectively. A Disability Access Certificate must be acquired prior to opening, operating or occupying a building to which works required a Disability Access Certificate. A Disability Access Certificate can be applied for this purpose. 

      What is the fee for a Disability Access Certificate?

      The fee is €800 per building.

      Why are schools, bar the smallest, not exempt from Disability Access Certificate fees?

      The Regulations provide for an exemption from fees for primary schools only with 4 mainstream teachers or less, as requested by the Department of Education and Science.

      Is there a sq.m application fee for a Disability Access Certificate?

      There is no sq.m application fee for a Disability Access Certificate.

      Can agents sign the Disability Access Certificate application form on behalf of the applicant?

      Yes, if they are authorised to do so by the building owner.

      The form for a revised Disability Access Certificate requires working drawings. Working drawings are only progressed where work has commenced.

      The need for a revised Disability Access Certificate is not limited to works which have not commenced. It applies where significant revision is made to the design of the building or  works already commenced.  

      If a Disability Access Certificate has not been sought for a building where it is required or where an appeal has been lodged with An Bord Pleanála in respect of a decision on a Disability Access Certificate application, what is the position?

      A building cannot be opened, operated or occupied or permitted to be opened, operated or occupied  without the necessary Disability Access Certificate  or where an appeal has been lodged, pending the determination of the appeal. 

       

      What is a Regularisation Certificate?

      A certificate granted by a building control authority in respect of works on non-domestic buildings and apartments blocks which were commenced or completed  without  the necessary Fire Safety Certificate (FSC). The certificate may be granted with or without conditions or refused. 

      Is there a fee for a Regularisation Certificate?

      The fee is €500 which is four times the fee for a Fire Safety Certificate or €11.60 per square metre of floor area, whichever is greater. This may vary depending on the works - please see the Fifth Schedule of the Building Control Regulations.

      A period of 4 months is set down to comply with conditions which may be inserted by the Building Control Authority in a Regularisation cert. This is not sufficient time and is there a mechanism to extend it?

      There is no mechanism to extend. It is an offence to commence work on a building without a Fire Safety Certificate (where required) and the Regularisation Cert is a chance to be in compliance  with the fire safety certification regime. If the works are not carried out within the 4- month period, the certificate will not have effect.

      Can a solicitor sign a statutory declaration as a Commissioner of Oaths?

      Yes, when s/he is also a Commissioner of Oaths. However, a solicitor shall not exercise these powers in any proceedings in which he is solicitor to any of the parties or in which he has an interest.

      Do I require a Final Grant of Planning Permission before I submit my Commencement Notice?

      Yes. Final Grant is required before a commencement notice can be submitted. 

      How many days prior to starting the development am I required to submit a Commencement Notice?

      You must submit a Commencement notice between 14 - 28 days before starting works, informing the Building Authority of your intended start date. If this is not completed youa re in breach of your Planning Conditions. 

      Can I still submit a paper copy of a Commencement Notice?

      No. Paper copies are no longer accepted. All forms must now be submitted electronically via the Building Control Management System (BCMS) website. 

      What is the Fee for a Commencement Notice?

      The fee is €30 per unit

      If my development is Apartments/Commercial do I require a Fire Safety Certificate?

      Yes. When submitting a commencement notice for a Commerical Development or Apartments a Fire Safety Certificate must also be submitted. 

      If I am building several apartments in a one block.What is the fee?

      The fee is €30 per block of apartments. You do not require a separate commencement notice for each apartment.
      e.g 100 apts in one block = €30

      What is a 7 day notice?

      It is a fast track notification of commencement of work prior to the granting of a Fire Safety Certificate.

      What is the fee for a 7 day notice?

      The standard fee is €250 or €5.80 per square metre of floor, whichever is the greater. This is double the amount for a standard Fire Safety Certificate application. 

      The fee may vary depending on the work proposed and the fees are listed in the Fifth Schedule of the Building Control Regulations
      Do I need to apply for a Fire Safety Certificate as well and do I have to pay a fee for both?

      Yes, the 7 Day notice must be accompanied by a valid Fire Safety Certificate application and a statutory declaration form in respect of the work proposed, but only the fee for the 7 day notice applies. 

      You do not have to submit separate fees for both the 7 Day Notice and the Fire Safety Certificate.
      Can you apply for a 7 day notice if you have already applied for a Fire Safety Certificate?

      Yes, if you have made a valid application for a Fire Safety Certificate you may submit a 7 day notice provided you submit the reference number of the original application, the revised fee and all the required documentation as listed in Article 20A of the Regulations. You should liaise with your local Building Control Authority.

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Building Control

What is a Disability Access Certificate?

A Disability Access Certificate is a certificate granted by a Building Control Authority which certifies compliance of the design of certain works (e.g. new buildings (except dwelling houses), some extensions to, and some material alterations to buildings (except dwelling houses) with the requirements of Part M of the Building Regulations. 

When is a Disability Access Certificate required?

A  Disability Access Certificate is required in respect of the following works to buildings other than dwellings (but including apartment buildings), in so far as the Requirements of Part M apply and which commence or take place on or after 1 January 2010;

(a) works in connection with the design and construction of a new building,

(b) works in connection with the material alteration of—

(i) a day centre,

(ii) a building containing a flat,

(iii) a hotel, hostel or guest building, or

(iv) an institutional building, or

(v) a place of assembly, or

(vi) a shopping centre,

but excluding works to such buildings, consisting solely of minor works,

(c) works in connection with the material alteration of a shop, office or industrial building where —

(i) additional floor area is being provided within the existing building, or

(ii) the building is being subdivided into a number of units for separate occupancy,

(d) works in connection with the extension of a building by more than 25 square metres,

(e) a building as regards which a material change of use takes place, (see note below)

It should be noted in this context, that the Requirements of Part M 2000

• apply to all works in connection with a material alteration or an extension, without requiring any further work to the existing building1,2.

• do not apply to a material change of use, except where a material alteration or extension is associated with the material change of use, in which case refer to the previous point3.

1 Article 11 of the Building Regulations 1997-2008 also stipulates the Regulations apply to every part of a buildings affected by the material alteration or extension but only to the extent of prohibiting any works which would cause a new or greater contravention, in such building.

2 Part M does not apply to works in connection with extensions to and the material alterations of existing dwellings, provided that such works do not create a new dwelling.

3 The Requirements of Part M 2010 due to commence on 1 January 2012 amended Article 13 to include the application of Part M to certain material changes of use. It also amended Article 11 of the Building Regulations to extend the definition of a Material Alteration to include Part M. 

Are there transitional arrangements for the introduction of the Disability Access Certificate?

The requirement for a Disability Access Certificate came into effect on 1st January 2010 for new buildings (other than dwellings houses) which commence on or after that date. 

Is a Disability Access Certificate required prior to submitting a commencement notice?

A person shall not carry out works in contravention of Part M of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations 2000 or any conditions subject to which a Disability Access Certificate is granted (where a Disability Access Certificate is required). 

To avoid potentially expensive remedial work,  it would be considered good practice to apply for a DAC at the same time as a Fire Safety Certificate ((FSC) prior to submitting a commencement notice), therefore ensuring that the DAC and any conditions pertaining to it are set out prior to commencement of works.  

However, a DAC may be applied for after commencement notice, but in no case shall a building be opened, operated or occupied or permitted to do so unless a DAC has been granted or pending determination of an appeals process.

A commencement notice must be submitted between 14-28 days in advance of work commencing.

Can works commence on a relevant development prior to the granting of a Disability Access Certificate?

Technically, a Disability Access Certificate is not required in advance of commencement of work. However, a person shall not carry out works in contravention of Part M of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations 2000 or any conditions subject to which a Disability Access Certificate is granted (where a Disability Access Certificate is required). 

To avoid potentially expensive remedial work,  it would be considered good practice to apply for a Disability Access Certificate at the same time as a Fire Safety Certificate, therefore ensuring that the Disability Access Certificate and any conditions pertaining to it are set out prior to commencement of works.  

How long will a Disability Access Certificate take to process?

The timescale is up to 8 weeks under Section 6(5) of the Building Control Act, 1990, or longer if agreed between the applicant and the Building Control Authority.

When should I apply for the Disability Access Certificate?

You should apply at the same time as applying for a Fire Safety Certificagte. The time scale for assessment of both applications is the same. This ensures you have all relevant information prior to construction

What If I have my Fire Safety Certificate already but no Disability Access Certificate?

Apply for the Disability Access Certificate immediately/ as soon as possible. Paragraph 2(b) of Departmental Circular BC11/2009 lists what should be provided with the application. Further material may be requested by the Building Control Authority.

If a proposed development has already been granted planning permission and a FSC prior to 01/01/10, but works have not commenced prior to that date, is a Disability Access Certificate required?

Yes. 

Is a Disability Access Certificate required for a material change of use of a building ?.

A Disability Access Certificate is required for certain works to which the Requirements of Part M apply. Refer to Article 20 D (1) of S.I. 351)  Part M will apply to a material change of use of a building only when it includes a material alteration - in such cases Part M will apply to all works in connection with the material alteration and a Disability Access Certificate should be applied for.

Does an application for a Disability Access Certificate have to show compliance with the proposal for a revised Part M, which was the subject of a public consultation process in 2009?

No. The Disability Access Certificate will certify compliance with the requirements of the current Part – Part M 2000. Draft Part M 2009 proposals have not yet been finalised. However, additional information may be required for Disability Access Certificate applications when future revisions of part M become operative.

Which of these scenarios require a Disability Access Certificate?

Yes:  New buildings, including apartment blocks

No:  Dwelling houses

Yes:  Material alteration to a day care centre, apartment block, hotel, hostel, guest building, institutional building, place of assembly, shopping centre

Yes:  Material alteration to a shop, office or industrial building where additional floor area is provided within existing building or building is being subdivided into a number of units for separate occupancy.

Yes:  Extension to an existing building other than a dwelling house of greater that 25m2

No:  Existing building was damaged/burnt and is being repaired.

No:   A material change of use, by itself -  see above

Yes:  A material change of use involving a material alteration associated with the change of use.

Will there be a 7 day Notice or a Regularisation Certificate in respect of the Disability Access Certificate?

There is no need for a 7 day notice in respect of a Disability Access Certifiate, as a Disability Access Certificate is not required prior to commencement - see above.

There is no need for a regularisation certificate as Disability Access Certificate only applies to works commencing from Jan 1 2010 and not retrospectively. A Disability Access Certificate must be acquired prior to opening, operating or occupying a building to which works required a Disability Access Certificate. A Disability Access Certificate can be applied for this purpose. 

What is the fee for a Disability Access Certificate?

The fee is €800 per building.

Why are schools, bar the smallest, not exempt from Disability Access Certificate fees?

The Regulations provide for an exemption from fees for primary schools only with 4 mainstream teachers or less, as requested by the Department of Education and Science.

Is there a sq.m application fee for a Disability Access Certificate?

There is no sq.m application fee for a Disability Access Certificate.

Can agents sign the Disability Access Certificate application form on behalf of the applicant?

Yes, if they are authorised to do so by the building owner.

The form for a revised Disability Access Certificate requires working drawings. Working drawings are only progressed where work has commenced.

The need for a revised Disability Access Certificate is not limited to works which have not commenced. It applies where significant revision is made to the design of the building or  works already commenced.  

If a Disability Access Certificate has not been sought for a building where it is required or where an appeal has been lodged with An Bord Pleanála in respect of a decision on a Disability Access Certificate application, what is the position?

A building cannot be opened, operated or occupied or permitted to be opened, operated or occupied  without the necessary Disability Access Certificate  or where an appeal has been lodged, pending the determination of the appeal. 

 

What is a Regularisation Certificate?

A certificate granted by a building control authority in respect of works on non-domestic buildings and apartments blocks which were commenced or completed  without  the necessary Fire Safety Certificate (FSC). The certificate may be granted with or without conditions or refused. 

Is there a fee for a Regularisation Certificate?

The fee is €500 which is four times the fee for a Fire Safety Certificate or €11.60 per square metre of floor area, whichever is greater. This may vary depending on the works - please see the Fifth Schedule of the Building Control Regulations.

A period of 4 months is set down to comply with conditions which may be inserted by the Building Control Authority in a Regularisation cert. This is not sufficient time and is there a mechanism to extend it?

There is no mechanism to extend. It is an offence to commence work on a building without a Fire Safety Certificate (where required) and the Regularisation Cert is a chance to be in compliance  with the fire safety certification regime. If the works are not carried out within the 4- month period, the certificate will not have effect.

Can a solicitor sign a statutory declaration as a Commissioner of Oaths?

Yes, when s/he is also a Commissioner of Oaths. However, a solicitor shall not exercise these powers in any proceedings in which he is solicitor to any of the parties or in which he has an interest.

Do I require a Final Grant of Planning Permission before I submit my Commencement Notice?

Yes. Final Grant is required before a commencement notice can be submitted. 

How many days prior to starting the development am I required to submit a Commencement Notice?

You must submit a Commencement notice between 14 - 28 days before starting works, informing the Building Authority of your intended start date. If this is not completed youa re in breach of your Planning Conditions. 

Can I still submit a paper copy of a Commencement Notice?

No. Paper copies are no longer accepted. All forms must now be submitted electronically via the Building Control Management System (BCMS) website. 

What is the Fee for a Commencement Notice?

The fee is €30 per unit

If my development is Apartments/Commercial do I require a Fire Safety Certificate?

Yes. When submitting a commencement notice for a Commerical Development or Apartments a Fire Safety Certificate must also be submitted. 

If I am building several apartments in a one block.What is the fee?

The fee is €30 per block of apartments. You do not require a separate commencement notice for each apartment.
e.g 100 apts in one block = €30

What is a 7 day notice?

It is a fast track notification of commencement of work prior to the granting of a Fire Safety Certificate.

What is the fee for a 7 day notice?

The standard fee is €250 or €5.80 per square metre of floor, whichever is the greater. This is double the amount for a standard Fire Safety Certificate application. 

The fee may vary depending on the work proposed and the fees are listed in the Fifth Schedule of the Building Control Regulations
Do I need to apply for a Fire Safety Certificate as well and do I have to pay a fee for both?

Yes, the 7 Day notice must be accompanied by a valid Fire Safety Certificate application and a statutory declaration form in respect of the work proposed, but only the fee for the 7 day notice applies. 

You do not have to submit separate fees for both the 7 Day Notice and the Fire Safety Certificate.
Can you apply for a 7 day notice if you have already applied for a Fire Safety Certificate?

Yes, if you have made a valid application for a Fire Safety Certificate you may submit a 7 day notice provided you submit the reference number of the original application, the revised fee and all the required documentation as listed in Article 20A of the Regulations. You should liaise with your local Building Control Authority.

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