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A Disability Access Certificate (DAC) shows that you have made adequate provision for people with disabilities by complying with Part M of the Building Control Regulations. You must apply for a DAC for all new buildings (including apartments, but not houses).  

Disability Access Certificate

BUILDING CONTROL (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2009

S.I. No. 351 of 2009
It is a requirement of Article 8 of these regulations that a certificate of compliance with respect to requirements under Part M of the Second Schedule of the Building Regulations (referred to as a Disability Access Certificate) shall be required in respect of all works or a building to which Part III of the Building Control Regulations 1997 applies (all buildings currently requiring a Fire Safety Certificate).

The regulations state that as and from 1 January 2010 no new building or no existing building in respect of which an extension or a material alteration has been made, shall be opened, operated or occupied unless a Disability Access Certificate (DAC) has been granted by the building control authority.

All architects/engineers and builders/developers involved in works to which these regulations apply (i.e. any works or building to which Part III of the Building Control Regulations 1997 apply, and which are intended to be opened, operated or occupied after 1 January 2010), should make themselves familiar with the requirements of these regulations.

An application for a Disability Access Certificate (DAC) shall be made to the building control authority on the prescribed form.  The fee for the making of such application, as set down in the regulations is €800 per building.

In order to comply with BUILDING CONTROL (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2009

S.I. No. 351 of 2009 a Disability Access Certificate (DAC) shall be required in respect of all works or a building to which Part III of the Building Control Regulations 1997 applies (all buildings currently requiring a Fire Safety Certificate).

The regulations state that as and from 1 January 2010 no new building or no existing building in respect of which an extension or a material alteration has been made, shall be opened, operated or occupied unless a Disability Access Certificate (DAC) has been granted by the building control authority.

An application for a Disability Access Certificate (DAC) shall be made to the building control authority on the prescribed form. The fee for the making of such application, as set down in the regulations is €800 per building. 

FAQS

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. 

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. 

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. 

Planning permission has no impact on the need for a Disability Access Certificate. If the works began on a building (other than dwellings houses) on or after January 1st 2010, then the Disability Access Certificate is required. 

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.

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.  

Material alterations or Extensions should not give rise to any ‘new or greater contravention’ in the existing building. That is, a material alteration or an extension (vertical or lateral) to an existing building should not make the existing building any worse in relation to Building Regulations.

The following examples are given by way of clarification:

The erection of an extension to an existing building whereby the extension is to be served for access and escape purposes by an existing staircase within the existing building:

•        If the existing staircase was adequate for the occupancy capacity of the existing building but inadequate for the extended building, this would constitute a ‘new contravention’ of Building Regulations.

•        If the existing staircase was inadequate for the existing building and rendered more inadequate due to the additional occupancy of the extended building, this would constitute a ‘greater contravention’ of Building Regulations.

Note, therefore, that Building Regulations as they apply to works in connection with existing buildings being materially altered or extended, require solely that the 'status quo' be maintained in the existing building. Where an existing building contravenes Building Regulations, the material alteration or extension of such a building does not carry with it the requirement to make good such contravention, but merely that the contravention is not worsened, i.e. that no new or greater contravention arises. Building Regulations do not apply retrospectively to existing buildings where such buildings are being extended except to the extent that any new or greater contravention is not permitted.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

A revised Disability Access Certificate is required where significant revision is made to the design or works or a material alteration to or a material change of use of a building in respect of which a Disability Access Certificate has been granted by a Building Control Authority. You may apply to the Building Control Authority for the revised certificate.

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.

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

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.  

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. 

 

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. 

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.

There is provision for an appeal to An Bord Pleanála in such cases. The appeal must be lodged within 1 month of the date of the decision on the application –see Part VI of the Building Control Regulations.

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.

It is expected that drawings will be certified by a person qualified to do so as a building professional- this would be expected to be the professional who completed the drawings.

This is a matter between the building owner and the builder/professional engaged by the building owner.

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.

No - specifically excluded from exemption by Part 1, Schedule 2, Column 2, Condition 7. (see page 156).

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