BCAR – (Building Control Regulations 1997 – 2014)

Note: This guidance provides general advice. It is not a legal interpretation of building control Regulations and should not be considered as such. Further guidance can be sought by contacting your technical advisor or your local Building Control Authority.

  1. What are the Building Control Regulations?

The Building Control Regulations apply to new buildings, extensions, material alterations and changes of use of buildings. They promote observance of the Building Regulations by supplementing powers of inspection and enforcement given to Building Control Authorities.

The Building Control Regulations regulate:

  • Commencement Notices & 7 Day Notices
  • Fire Safety Certificates, Revised Fire Safety Certificates and Regularisation Certificates
  • Disability Access Certificates and Revised Disability Access Certificates
  • Maintenance of Registers
  • Fees
  • Statutory registration of building control activity

Failure to submit a Commencement Notice is an offence and may have serious consequences, which cannot be regularised at a later date.

You may have difficulties in selling your property if you cannot prove that the statutory requirements relevant to the property have been met.

  1. What are the Building Regulations?

Building Regulations are a set of legal requirements for the design and construction of new buildings, extensions and material alterations to and certain changes of use of existing buildings. Building Regulations provide for, in relation to buildings, the health, safety and welfare of people, conservation of fuel and energy, and access for people with disabilities.

  1. What is a Commencement Notice?

A Commencement Notice is a notification to a Building Control Authority that a person intends to carry out works or a material change of use to a building which the Building Regulations apply.

The notice must be given to the authority not more than 28 days and not less than 14 days before the commencement of works or the change of use. Once validated by the building control authority, works must commence on site within the 28 day period.

  1. Do all developments require a Commencement Notice?

Commencement Notices are required for the following:

  • the erection of a building;
  • a material alteration of a building;
  • an extension to a building
  • a material change of use of a building;
  • works in connection with the material alteration (excluding minor works) of a shop, office or industrial building where a Fire Safety Certificate is not required.

A Commencement Notice is not required for:

  • works or a change of use which requires neither planning permission, nor a Fire Safety Certificate


  1. What happens on the 1st March 2014?

On the 1st March 2014, new regulations (S.I. 9 of 2014) relating to the commencement and certification of construction works come into effect. For certain building works, the new regulations require that certificates of compliance and other documents must be submitted with the Commencement Notice.

The additional requirements also include:

  • the nomination of a competent ‘Assigned Certifier’ to inspect and certify the works,
  • the assignment of a competent builder to carry out the works,
  • the submission of certificates of compliance on completion.
  1. Do the additional requirements apply to all

Commencement Notices?

No. The additional requirements only apply to the following works:

  • Construction of a dwelling
  • Extension of a dwelling by more than 40 square metres.
  • Works which require a Fire Safety Certificate.
  1. What additional documents must I submit with my Commencement Notice?

Any Commencement Notice submitted after the 1st March

2014, which come within the scope of S.I. 9 of 2014 must fill out an online assessment of the proposed approach to compliance with the Building Regulations and be accompanied by the following:

  • Certificate of Compliance (Design),
  • Notice of Assignment of Person to Inspect and Certify Works (Assigned Certifier),
  • Undertaking by Assigned Certifier,
  • Notice of Assignment of Builder,
  • Undertaking by builder
  • General arrangement drawings for building control purposes – plans, sections and elevations;
  • A schedule of design documents currently prepared or to be prepared at a later date,
  • The preliminary inspection plan,
  • Any other documents deemed appropriate by the Assigned Certifier.


  1. What happens if I do not start work within the statutory notice period of the Commencement Notice?

If the works do not start within 28 days of the date of lodgement of the Commencement Notice, you must submit a new Commencement Notice prior to the commencement of any works taking place.

     9. WhathappensifIdon’tsubmitmyCommencement Notice?

Failure to submit a Commencement Notice when required is an offence. If you commence works or a change of use in the absence of a Commencement Notice, there is no provision to retrospectively submit a Commencement Notice.

For works subject to S.I. 9 of 2014, you will be unable to submit a Certificate of Compliance on Completion, and your building will not be recorded on the public register. This may affect your ability to lease or sell the building.

  1. If I received planning permission before March

1st 2014, am I exempt from the new Regulations? No. All Commencement Notices received by the Building Control Authority after the 1st March 2014 must comply with the new Regulations.

  1. Who can act as an Assigned Certifier?

An Assigned Certifier must be:

  • an Architect named on a register maintained pursuant to Part 3 of the Building Control Act 2007, or
  • a Surveyor named on a register maintained pursuant to Part 5 of the Building Control Act 2007, or
  • an Engineer named on a register maintained pursuant to Section 7 of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland (Charter Amendment) Act 1969
  1. Can I build my own house myself or by direct labour?

Yes. You may appoint yourself as the builder if you believe you are competent to carry out that role and sign the Certificate of compliance (Undertaking by Builder).

As the builder, you are responsible for compliance with the Building Regulations. You must sign the Certificate of Compliance on Completion and you must also appoint an Assigned Certifier to inspect the works during construction.

Building Control Amendment Regulations Frequently Asked Questions (BCAR)

What is a Commencement Notice?

A commencement notice is a notification to a Building Control Authority that a person intends to carry out either works or a material change of use to which the Building Regulations apply.

When is a commencement notice is required?

  • All works which require planning permission
  • The erection of a building
  • The material alteration or extension to a building
  • A material change of use
  • Works that are in connection with a material alteration to a building.

When is a commencement notice is not required?

A commencement notice is not required for works or a change of use which are exempted development under the Planning Acts and for which a Fire Safety is not required.

When can I start my works?

The commencement notice must be submitted to Dublin City Council, Building Control Authority, Block 4, Floor 2, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8 in no less than 14 days and no more than 28 days prior to works commencing on site. This time frame starts from the date upon which the notification is received and stamped by the Building Control Authority. No building works can commence on site prior to the date that is given on the form.

How much does a Commencement Notice cost?

The fee for a commencement notice is calculated as follows:

  • €30 per house (e.g. extension to dwelling, construction of new dwelling etc).
  • €30 per building (e.g. as with per house, but in the case of non domestic units).
  • €30 per Fire Safety Certificate (e.g. If there is more than one FSC on a building the fee will be calculated depending on how many Fire Safety Certificates are in place.
  • The maximum fee for a Commencement Notice is €3,800.

Is a Disability Access Certificate required when submitting a commencement notice?

No, However, a Disability access certificate is required for non domestic works which require a fire safety certificate. It is strongly advised that you obtain a Disability Access Certificate prior to work commencing on site and this will avoid any expensive remedial works which may delay the occupation and/or opening of the building to have you Disability Access Certificate application lodged or granted when submitting your commencement notice.

How does the Building Control Authority respond to your commencement notice?

Upon submission of a valid commencement notice to the Building Control Authority you will receive an acknowledgement, giving you the details of the development for which the commencement notice was submitted (e.g. extension to dwelling) and also the Commencement Notice reference number (e.g. CN1234/12) along with the date it was received and the details of payment for same.

If a commencement notice is INVALIDATED by the Building Control Authority, you will receive notice of same by return post setting out the details which had been deemed insufficient and a refund of your fee will be issued to you. Once a commencement notice is invalidated the entire commencement notice process must begin again. A new form must be submitted with a new fee and a new start date. The most common reasons for invalidation are as follows:

Insufficient notice/notice received after works have commenced

Giving less than14 days notice on the application form itself or starting works on site prior to lodgement of the commencement notice.

Missing details on form

All names, addresses and telephone numbers are required on the commencement forms. Where email addresses are available for persons on the form, these email addresses should be provided also.

No Fire Safety Certificate

Where one applies (Non Domestic developments) a Fire Safety Certificate must be granted prior to submission of a Commencement Notice. If a Fire Safety Certificate is not granted for these works the commencement notice will be invalidated. (see 7 Day Notice application)

What happens if I don’t submit a Commencement Notice?

It is a legal requirement under the Building Control Act of 1990 to submit a commencement notice prior to works commencing on site. A commencement notice CANNOT be accepted for works which have already commenced or have been completed. There is no provision for retrospective commencement notices. Failure to submit a valid commencement notice can result in fines or imprisonment. Failing to submit a valid commencement notice may cause problems if/when you come to sell your property as the Certificate of Compliance (completed by your architect/engineer) will be incomplete.