The information provided here is an overview of the Building Regulations. It is not a detailed review and is not a definitive legal interpretation of building control law. You should employ a competent designer and a competent supervisor to provide you with professional advice and to oversee the construction.
Building regulations provide for the health, safety and welfare of people in or about buildings, conservation of fuel and energy and access for people with disabilities. Primary responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the building regulations rests with the designers, builders and building owners.
Where possible we try to resolve problems by discussing them with the builder to find an agreed solution. Occasionally, however, we serve enforcement notices where contraventions of the Regulations occur and, in certain cases, we can, and do prosecute.
As well as inspecting buildings during construction, we have the authority to examine documents, drawings and other materials relevant to the work. Primary responsibility for compliance with the Building Regulations rests with the designers, builders and building owners.
To view the Building Control Acts & Regulations click here.
Guidance to comply with the Building Regulations is provided in a set of documents known as the Technical Guidance Documents. These may be viewed and downloaded on the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government Website here
Part A - Structure
Buildings must be designed and constructed so that movements of the subsoil will not impair the stability of any part of the building and the building is structurally sound. The building should be professionally designed from foundation to roof.
Part B - Fire Safety
Buildings must be designed and constructed so that there is adequate means of escape in case of a fire. There must be adequate fire protection, alarm systems etc. Wall and ceiling linings must inhibit the spread of fire. Walls, floors and roofs must resist the spread of fire between buildings or compartments. Access for fire services must be provided. Most buildings other than new private houses require a Fire Safety Certificate.
Part C - Site Preparation and Resistance to Moisture
The ground to be covered by the building must be adequately cleared of all organic material. Subsoil drainage must be provided where necessary. The building must be designed and constructed in a way that prevents moisture getting in. Reasonable precautions are to be taken to avoid danger to health and safety from substances, e.g. Radon gas.
Part D - Material and Workmanship
All works are to be carried out with proper materials and in a workmanlike manner. All materials should be:
- Fit for the use for which they are intended and are certified with CE marking in accordance with the Construction Products Regulation.
- Comply with an appropriate harmonised standard or European Technical Assessment.
- Comply with an appropriate Irish Standard or Irish Agreement Certificate or with an alternative suitable national technical specification of any state which is a contracting party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area.
Part E - Sound
Walls and floors which separate a dwelling from another building, or another part of the same building, which is not part of the dwelling, should be designed and constructed to have reasonable resistance to both airborne and impact sounds.
Part F - Ventilation
All habitable rooms should have a means of general and rapid ventilation, while kitchens, utility rooms and bathrooms should also have mechanical ventilation. Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) may be used to satisfy background and mechanical ventilation requirements together. Ceiling height should be appropriate so as not to inhibit ventilation of habitable rooms. Buildings must be designed and constructed in a way that prevents excessive condensation in a roof or in a roof void above an insulated ceiling.
Part G - Hygiene
A dwelling must be provided with:
- Bathroom containing a fixed bath or shower and a washbasin.
- Kitchen containing an adequately sized sink and draining board
- Provision of hot and cold water to the bathroom and kitchen.
Adequate sanitary conveniences must be provided in a building in rooms provided for that purpose, or in bathrooms, and every room or bathroom which contains a sanitary convenience must be adequately separated from any place where food is prepared or cooked.
Part H - Drainage and Waste Water Disposal
Surface water and foul wastewater must be disposed of in a safe and proper manner in an adequate drainage system designed for the purpose. Wastewater treatment systems must be properly designed and constructed and do their job without polluting or damaging the health of any person or the environment.
Part J - Heat Producing Appliances
There must be adequate air supply to all appliances for combustion and for efficient working of flues and chimneys. There must be adequate discharge of combustion products to the outside air. Flue pipes, fireplaces and chimneys must be designed and constructed as to reduce the risk of the building catching fire. Oil storage tanks must be located to minimise risk of fire spreading from a building to the tank.
Part K - Stairways, Ladders, Ramps & Guards
Stairways, ladders and ramps must provide safe passage for building users, and the sides of every floor and balcony etc. must be guarded to protect from the risk of falling. The use of winders in stairways should be avoided. The sides of every vehicle ramp, and floor and roof to which vehicles have access, must be guarded against the risk of vehicles falling.
Part L - Conservation of Fuel and Energy
Buildings must be designed and constructed so that the amount of energy required for the operation of the building and the amount of associated CO2 emissions are minimised. Compliance with the Regulation must be demonstrated using the Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP) methodology for dwellings and the Non-Domestic Energy Assessment Procedure (NEAP) methodology for buildings other than dwellings.
A Building Energy Rating (BER) and advisory report is required for new buildings before they are first occupied and for all buildings offered for sale or letting under the European Communities (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations 2012.
Part M - Access and Use
People must be able to safely and independently approach, gain access to and use a building, an extension to a building, its facilities and its environs. Elements of the building must not constitute an undue hazard for people, especially for people with vision, hearing or mobility impairments.
Most buildings, other than new private houses, require a Disability Access Certificate (DAC).