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. They provide for the health, safety and welfare of people, conservation of fuel and energy, and access for people with disabilities. Providing these things successfully to building occupants require strict compliance to numerous forms and checklists.
mWorkerCIS is a mobile workforce data collection system that can help meet building regulations by providing a more efficient and effective way of capturing and collating data/information. It can improve the efficiency of the builders and certifiers and can make substantial savings on admin costs through an accessible and affordable system which works offline and online.
mWorkerCIS’s recent improvements on reporting, SMS notifications, and enhanced workflows have been developed with the expectation of being used in scenarios like the BCAR and LABC sign-off processes.
Building Control Regulations in Ireland
In Ireland, building regulations are different from building control regulations. Building regulations deal with how the building is constructed while building control regulations deal with the process regarding appointments, notifications, inspection and certification in relation to compliance.
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 regulations require that only competent registered building surveyors, registered architects or chartered engineers, can undertake statutory roles in relation to design, inspection and certification in conjunction with a code of practice for inspection. They provide for matters of procedure, administration and control for the purposes of securing the implementation of the requirements of the Building Regulations and of demonstrating how compliance with such requirements has been achieved in relation to the building or works concerned.
The Building Control Amendment Regulations (BCAR) 2014 came into force on the 1 March 2014. Some of the key features of the Amendments are the introduction of a new role within the Construction Industry, the Assigned Certifier and the introduction of a number of new certificates and undertakings. The amendments have also introduced a “Code of Practice Inspecting and Certifying Buildings and Works” and an online Building Control Management System (BCMS) at: https://www.localgov.ie/en/BCMS. The amendments apply to new dwellings, extensions with a floor area greater than 40 square meters, and buildings and works that require a fire safety certificate.
The Effects of the New Amendments
MORE LIABILITY: The building owner, builder, designer, design certifier, assigned certifier, and building control authority all have duties in this new Code of Practice.
NEW “ASSIGNED CERTIFIER” ROLE: This is a brand new role and requires particular attention. The Assigned Certifier must be a Chartered Engineer, Registered Architect or a Registered Building Surveyor. Under the Regulations they are required to inspect, coordinate inspections and certify the building or works on completion. The Assigned Certifier does not have to be a member of the design team.
STRICT COMPLIANCE: Previously the standard would have been to issue opinions on substantial compliance. However, the Amendments now require strict confirmation that the works comply. This places much greater responsibility on the Assigned Certifier and Design Certifier than previously and makes them much more likely to face prosecution should any breeches occur.
MORE INFORMATION REQUIRED: What has changed is a lot more information is required to be completed and submitted to the Building Control Authority and it is likely that more site inspections by duty holders will be carried out.
ADDITIONAL COST: A large amount of additional information and paperwork is required to be completed and a greater amount of site inspections will be required, all of which will incur expenses. Also, the management of this process of generating this process of generating the paper is costly.
Building Regulations and Building Control Bodies (BCBs) in the UK
Building regulations in the UK are statutory instruments that seek to ensure that the policies set out in the relevant legislation are carried out. Building regulations approval is required for most building work in the UK. The detailed requirements of building regulations in England and Wales are scheduled within 14 separate headings and covering different aspects, and each part has detailed specifications describing the matters to be taken into account. The regulations also specify that some types of work must be undertaken by an appropriate qualified professional or must be notified to the relevant local authority’s Building Control department (“LABC”) for certification or approval. Additional guidance from the Building Control Alliance (BCA), an industry group involved in building control in England and Wales, is also provided.
In the UK, apart from BCA, the role of checking that building regulations are being complied falls to Building Control Bodies (BCB). There are two types – Local Authority BCBs (usually the Council’s Building Control Department) and Private BCBs (known as Approved Inspectors). Local authority building control teams in England and Wales help people comply with the building regulations by giving feedback on plans and providing site inspections. The local authority has a general duty to see that building work complies with the Building Regulations. Only local authorities have the power to enforce standards if things go wrong. Individual local authorities co-ordinate their services regionally and nationally (and provide a range of national approval schemes) via an organisation called the Local Authority Building Control (LABC). LABC represents all local authority building control teams in England and Wales. Approved Inspectors are companies or individuals, on the other hand, are authorised under the Building Act 1984 to carry out building control work in England and Wales.
mWorkerCIS’s Customisable Forms and Workflow Capabilities Can Help Meet Building Control Regulations
These regulations bring a lot of additional form-filling and management of these forms to the building process. mWorkerCIS can dramatically reduce the effort involved.
Every building project goes through a commencement stage, construction stage, and completion stage. Each stage requires rigorous inspection, certification, and compliance to building control standards.
In general, this is how the regulation works:
- a builder notifies a certifier to inspect the site following specific guidelines
- the certifier visits the building and completes the inspection forms or documents
- the certifier notifies the builder that the inspection has been completed with details of any issues
- the builder assigns these issues to his team
- builder submits progress reports
- upon completion, builder submits completion report
Importance of keeping records:
- Evidence of Inspections (including photos) must be properly recorded.
- Document verification, validation and retention have to demonstrate compliance
- Follow up oral advice in writing is needed.
- It is important to retain notes of meetings, conversations, instructions, etc.
- Retaining copies of certificates is also a must.
- There is a need to get confirmation that others have undertaken inspections according to plan.
- Everyone relies upon other people’s responses and certificates
How mWorkerCIS will make it work better:
- Forms are available for the certifier to complete when visiting a site
- A certifier is assigned a list of jobs by the builder, who creates customised, task-specific forms.
- The certifier accesses forms for these jobs using a tablet or smart phone, with GPS locations of each job immediately available for easy navigation
- On the building site, the certifier can take photos, capture signatures, complete risk assessments, record voice memos and videos, and capture their location.
- Upon completion, all the details are submitted to the server when the device has access to data connection
- Actions outlined in the forms can be immediately assigned to appropriate people
- When the actions are completed, reports can be sent to the certifier and they can revisit, completing additional / similar forms
To learn more about mWorkerCIS or see a demo on how it works, contact +353 (1) 2530680 or firstname.lastname@example.org.