Building Control Regulations

Building Control Legislation can be viewed at the link below


Building Control Regulations

Overview of Building Control Legislation

The legislative framework for the Building Control system is contained in the following:

1)                              The Building Control Acts, 1990 & 2007

2)                              Building Regulations 1997 – 2013

3)                              Building Control Regulations 1997 - 2014

What are the Building Regulations?

Building regulations are a set of legal requirements, the purpose of which is to promote good practice in the design and construction of buildings in the interest of the health, safety and welfare of people who use buildings. The regulations set out the basic requirements to be observed in the design and construction of buildings. They apply to new buildings and also to extensions, material alterations and certain changes of use of existing buildings. They replace building bye-laws which operated in some areas throughout the country.

The Building Control Act 1990 establishes a statutory duty to design and construct in accordance with the building regulations. Every building to which the building regulations apply should be designed and constructed in accordance with the provisions of such regulations and the responsibility for compliance rests with the designers, the constructors and the building owners.

The Building Control Acts 1990 & 2007

The Act is the basis of Building Control and it allows for the establishment of Building Control Authorities. It empowers the Minister to make Building Regulations and Building Control Regulations. The Act also empowers a Building Control Authority to serve Enforcement Notices, to inspect works and buildings and to prosecute for non-compliance. The Building Control Act established a statutory duty to design and construct in accordance with Building Regulations. Every building to which Building Regulations apply should be designed and constructed in accordance with the Building Regulations and the responsibility for compliance rests with builders, designers and owners.

These acts also empower the minister to prohibit the use of certain materials and to appoint a Building Regulation Advisory Body (BRAB).

The acts empower a building control authority to grant dispensations or relaxations, to serve enforcement notices, to inspect works and buildings and to seek High Court orders in relation to buildings and works. Under the Building Control Act 1990, applicants are permitted to lodge an appeal to an Bord Pleanala in relation to building control authority decisions on applications for dispensations and relaxations and applications for fire safety certificates.

The acts also set out offences and penalties and the transition from the operation of building bye-laws and the multi-storey building act to the operation of the Building Control Act and any regulations made.

Building Control Act 2007.pdf (size 1.4 MB)

Building Control Act 1990.pdf (size 146.4 KB)

Building Regulations 1997 - 2013

The Building Regulations set out the legal requirements for the design and construction of buildings. The Guidance to complying with the requirements is detailed in the Technical Guidance Documents. Adherence to the standards of the Technical Guidance Documents will usually indicate compliance with the requirements of the legislation. However other means of compliance are not excluded.  

The building regulations outline the technical requirements in the design and construction of building works. Article 3(2) of the Building Control Act 1990 identifies the provisions for which building regulations may be made. These are:

Securing the health, safety and welfare of people in or about buildings

Making provision for disabled persons

Providing for the conservation of fuel and energy

Providing for the efficient use of resources

Encouragement of good building practice

These regulations apply to new buildings, material alterations and extensions, material changes of use, services, fittings and equipment, and they came into effect on 1st July 1998. The second schedule of the building regulations sets out the specific requirements for buildings covering Parts A1 through to M3.

Building Regulations 1997.pdf (size 363.6 KB)

Further information on revised Building regulations may be obtained from:

Technical Guidance Documents

The building regulations set out the technical requirements for the design and construction of building works. The building regulations are divided into 12 parts, and for private dwelling houses, these are known as the Technical guidance documents.

These documents are published by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and provide guidance on compliance with the Building Regulations. They refer to standards and codes for further guidance with respect to the design and construction of buildings. Works carried out in accordance with the Technical Guidance Documents, prima facie, indicate compliance with the Building Regulations. The adoption of an alternative approach other than that outlined in the regulations is not precluded, provided that the relevant requirements of the regulations are complied with.

Full list of all technical documents can be viewed at

Building regulations for private dwelling houses
AStructureThis requires buildings to be designed and constructed so as to ensure that they can withstand the combined loads without impairing the stability of any part of the building.
BFire SafetyMains powered fire detection and alarm system, windows sizes for escape or rescue. Adequate fire resistance
CSite Preparation and Resistance To MoistureSite preparation, drainage, dangerous substances (e.g. Radon) Resistance to weather and ground moisture.
DMaterials and WorkmanshipFitness of materials and adequacy of workmanship.
ESoundResistance of noise pollution from one dwelling to another.
FVentilationVentilation of rooms of specific floor area and for condensation in roofs.
GHygieneInstallation of adequate washing and toilet facilities.
HDrainage And Waste Water DisposalInstallation of adequate wastewater drainage and septic tanks.
JHeat Producing AppliancesAppliances designed to burn solid fuel, oil or gas. Adequate design and installation of air supplies, exhaust gasses, protection of the building and oil storage tanks.
KStairways, Ladders, Ramps and GuardsSafe and adequate design of stairs and protection from falls
LConservation Of Fuel And EnergyLimiting heat loss, maximise heat gains and controlling output
MAccess For People With DisabilitiesApproach to, access into and circulation within a dwelling, access to electrical switches, etc. Also the provision of sanitary accommodation.

The above-tabled information is a guideline and not a detailed review of the building regulations. Persons should seek professional advice for their own specific situations and should consult the current technical guidance documents and the current regulations.

Other Recommended Links:

Department of Environment Heritage & Local Government  www.environ.ieEnergy

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

Performance of Buildings Directive (Building Energy Ratings)

Irish Building Control Institute

An Board Pleanala


Building Control Regulations 1997-2014

The Building Control Regulations are procedural and administrative. Their purpose is to promote observance of the Building Regulations by supplementing the basic building control power of inspection and enforcement. They do this by requiring Commencement Notices for building works to be lodged with the Building Control Authority. They also require Fire Safety Certificates to be lodged with the Building Control Authority for certain buildings.

The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2009 amend the Building Control Regulations 1997 and   prescribe the administrative procedures in respect of the new certification measures provided under the Building Control Act 2007.

The measures provide for a:-

§                                    Commencement notice

§                                    Fire Safety Certificate

§                                    7 Day notice

§                                    Regularisation certificate;

§                                    Revised fire safety certificate;

§                                    Disability Access Certificate

The regulations include a schedule of fees for such applications. The regulations also provide for the making of an appeal to An Bord Pleanala in respect of fire safety certificates and disability access certificates. The regulations amend Article 22 of the 1997 Regulations to prohibit the opening, operation or occupation of a building unless a fire safety certificate/ revised fire safety certificate, a regularisation certificate or a disability access certificate/revised disability access certificate has been granted. The relevant application forms, statutory declarations and certificates for the new provisions are specified in the third and fourth schedules to the regulations. An amended form of commencement notice is prescribed in the second schedule.