What is building Control?
The role of the Builing Control Section of Galway City Council involves the monitoring of building construction activity in the City to:
- Secure the health, safety and welfare (including fire safety) of people in and around buildings.
- Ensure the provision of access for people with disabilities.
- Further the conservation of fuel and energy in relation to buildings.
Galway City Council is the Building Control Authority for the City of Galway.
Building Control should not be confused with Planning Control which enforces the Planning Conditions for a Development.
The Building Control Officer in Galway City Council helps to promote local awareness of the Current Building Regulations and to help you achieve Compliance.
For further information on building control contact: Building Control Officer, Planning Section, Galway City Council, City Hall, College Road, Galway.
Do I need to notify the Galway City Council of when I wish to commence building and if so what is the procedure?
A Commencement Notice is a notice informing the City Council of intent to carry out building works and is applicable to all types of building.
On receipt of a final grant of permission, should you wish to commence development under the Building Control Regulations, you are required to lodge a commencement notice. Notices should be submitted not less than 14 days and not more than 28 days before the commencement of such works. The notice must be accompanied by the appropriate fee.
A Commencement Notice is required for:
- The erection of a building.
- The material alteration or extension of a building.
- A material change of use of a building to which the Building Regulations apply.
Commencement Notice Fees
Commencement Notice Fees are:
- where the proposed works or material change of use relate to more than one building, €30 per building applies.
2 adjoining terraced houses are taken to be 2 buildings.
A block of apartments is taken to be one building.
The maximum fee is €3,800.
The correct fee must be submitted with the Commencement Notice, otherwise the Notice is deemed to be invalid.
What is a Fire Safety Cert and when do I need one?
A fire safety certificate is an approval by your local building control authority, (Galway City Council, in this case) of proposed fire safety design to be incorporated into the overall design of your building.
It is a certification of your proposed fire safety design, not the fire safety design of your finished building. When you receive a fire safety certificate in relation to a proposed design it means that your building, if built in accordance with the design as proposed, complies with the fire requirements of the Building Regulations.
A fire safety certificate is not necessary for houses/dwellings. However it is required for all other types of developments including appartments.
Procedure for obtaining a Fire Safety Certificate
A fire safety certificate application consists of:
- Application form
- Technical drawings
- Technical report
When the items listed above are submitted to your local fire authority, they are assessed for compliance with up to date building codes.
The content of the application needs to be comprehensive in nature. Anyone preparing a fire safety certificate will need a sound knowledge of building construction and fire safety design.
If the application submitted is lacking then the local authority will return it to you together with your fee.
What are the steps involved in applying for a Fire Safety Certificate?
Establish if you need a Fire Safety Certificate .
As a general rule, if you are constructing a new building or making changes to an existing building and the building is not a family dwelling, you will probably need a fire safety certificate. If in doubt, contact the Building Control section of the Planning Department and we will let you know if you need to apply. Tel. 091- 536599 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Retain a Fire Safety Consultant
A fire safety consultant is any individual or firm of a technical background with knowledge and experience of fire safety design. Your fire safety consultant will advise you on how fire safety will affect the layout and look of your building.
With your consultant, you will work towards a design that is functional and complies with fire safety standards. Once agreement on a design has been reached, your consultant will prepare an application. As with any other service, you get what you pay for. Fire safety consultants are no different. Remember poor or incomplete applications will not be assessed and will be returned to you.
Submit your Application
Upon submission, the application will be processed and assigned to a fire officer who will carry out an assessment. The statutory period for assessment is 2 months. During this period your consultant may be requested to make changes to the design of the building. Once the officer is satisfied that the design complies with the building regulations, the City Council's Building Control Section will issue you a fire safety certificate.
Only when you have obtained a fire safety certificate should you commence works on your project. It is against the law to commence works prior to receiving a fire safety certificate.
You are legally obliged to ensure that the works carried out are in accordance with the specifications and plans approved under your application. It is recommended you retain your consultant to oversee the fire related issues of the construction of your building.
What is a Disability Access Certificate (DAC) ?
A Disability Access Certificate (DAC) is a certificate granted by a Building Control Authority, such as Galway City Council, 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 DAC is required in respect of certain works to buildings other than dwellings (but including apartment buildings), in so far as the Requirements of Part Mapply and which commence or take place on or after 1 January 2010; As a general rule, if you require a fire safety certificate then you will also require a DAC.
For further details & FAQs in relation to Disability Access Cert please visit www.environ.ie or contact the Building Control Officer on 091 536818.
What is a Regularisation Certificate?
A Regularisation Certificate is 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.