COVID-19 – Temporary Changes to Building Control Regulations for State Authorities

On 3 April 2020, Eoghan Murphy Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government introduced S.1. No. 113 of 2020, Building Control Regulations 2020 (the “Regulations”).

The Regulations temporarily disapply the requirement to obtain Commencement Notices, Fire Safety Certificates, Disability Access Certificates and Certificates of Compliance as required by the Building Control Regulations 1997 to 2018, in relation to works being carried out by or on behalf of a State Authority in response to Covid-19.

The Regulations apply exclusively to works or material changes of use to the classes of buildings listed in the Regulations and in particular include accommodation required for patients with Covid-19 or health care workers and facilities required to assist with the treatment and testing of Covid-19.

Instead the State Authority or the body acting on its behalf are able to avail of a streamlined process, whereby they will be required to serve a notice on the relevant Building Control Authority, in the form of a ‘Works (Covid-19 Crisis) Notice’, and an accompanying declaration. In the declaration they will be required to set out that adequate oversight, supervision, inspection and certification will be carried out by competent persons to ensure compliance with Building Regulations. The Regulations further require that the relevant State Authority apply for a regularisation Certificate for the works, within 12 months from the date that the Regulations cease to be effective, if the works are still in place.

The Regulations are effective from 13th March 2020 to the end date as specified in the Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020 (No.1 of 2020). This is currently 9 November 2020 although it may be extended.

The Regulations do not affect the obligation to comply with the relevant performance requirements of the Building Regulations and therefore any State Authority seeking to avail of same must ensure that the works conducted by or on their behalf comply in full with the Building Regulations.

For further information in relation to this matter, please contact Aine Gleeson (Partner), Conor Rock (Solicitor), or your usual AMOSS contact.