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Flashcards in Building Scotland Act 2003 Deck (21):

What is the statutory act for building in Scotland?

Building (Scotland) Act 2003 passed by the Scottish Parliament on
20 Feb 2003 and received Royal Assent on 26 March 2003
Came into force in 1 May 2005


What are the three main subsidiary legislation?

- The Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004

- The Building (Scotland) Procedure
Regulations 2004 - Procedural Handbook

- The Building (Scotland) Fee Regulations 2004


Why do we have building regulations?

“To protect people in and around buildings”


What is the role of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003?

- Introduced the term Verifier
- Approve building warrants
- Accept / reject completion submissions
- Verifiers are currently Local Authorities
- Private Verifiers can be introduced in future
- Local Authorities will always carry out enforcement


What are the main objectives of the act?

The main objectives. Create a healthy environment for people to live and work in.

Safety, is there adequate means of escape, lighting etc, stairs barriers to stop falls etc.

Welfare and Convenience - Are there adequate housing standards, sanitary facilities, and meeting the needs of disabled people. We used to have a separate guidance for disabled people, now the regulations are just spread across all.

Conservation of fuel and power- obviously hot topic for government. It becomes more and more difficult to enfoce and require higher standrads for energy usage. 2015 there will be a new set of energy standards coming in. There is a real balance between the benefits of raising safety standards etc.

Sustainable development – really energy performance certficates etc. Is there a space for home working. Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels of standards.

welfare and convenience
conservation of fuel and power
sustainable development


What is the Building Warrant process in Scotland?

1. Gain approval before work starts
2. Carry out and complete work
3. Applicant submit completion certificate
4. Building Standards verify completion
- reasonable inquiry !

The warrant process, to gain approval before work starts. In england it is different, you can just start. In Scotland they have retained the requirement that approval has to be sought first. Stage approval is a half-way house between english and scottish procedure. There is a risk in there that you approve a set of foundations, however you need a separate stair etc, there is a risk element. For bigger developments there is often stage developments. They do allow start as soon as possible. Gain approval, carry out the work and complete it. We carry out verification of the completion, what is reasonable inquiry? Should they be agreeing inspections? There is dubioty as to what reasonable inquiry means.


Who is responsible?

Who is responsible? The person who is responsible for the act is called the ‘relevant person’. Written in legal terms. Actually what it means is either the applicant or the owner of the building. They are responsible for compliance, but they might shift that responsibility on to us. They shift the liability. It is important for you to recognise where the liabity lies. Responsible for compliance.


What is classified as unauthorised work? And what implications can it have?

- Work started but not complete:
Late submission of building warrant
- Work completed without approval:
Submit completion certificate
- Additional fee payable
- Greater powers of inspection

Now an allowance in the act for ‘unauthorised work’. Work started but not complete. Work completed without approval, maybe someone doesn’t realise they need building warrant for certain things. This could be simple such as patio doors etc. There is now a route for them to receive a cetificate after they complete the work. It costs them more money if work is done without application. Have greater powers of inspection. It is the most up to date set of standards that apply when found out. This can effect if you use less energy standards etc. Needs to be inspected promptly if done.


Ho many funcional but mandatory regulations are there in the Regulations?



What are the benefits of them?

- Flexibility of design
- Introduces amendments and up-to-date guidance more quickly
- Assists in the introduction of Construction Products Directive - European Standards
- Better consistency across Scotland !

It also means that changes can be made a lot quicker. It is the guidance that can be changed now instead of the mandatory regulations. It is supposed to provide better consistancy across scotland.


What are the general regulations covering?

- General - Rules of measurement. How do you measure the floor are of the room etc.
- Structure –making sure it is structurally sound -
- Fire- access to and from buildings, fire strategy, safety mechanisms, fire compartmentation and safe routes such as fire risers, lifts access in and around the building. If you get the fire section right you are future proofing all the other things.
- Environment – contaminated land, preventing condensation, harder with higher levels of air tightness and insulation, heating and boiling water
- Safety – Covers a lot of disbaled provisions, lifts, ramps etc Window potential accidents
- Noise – Principally between dwellings, actually now covers noise pollution between dwellings. Expansion of noise into some commercial buildings such as Hotels, requireemtns for sound insulation etc.
- Energy
- Sustainability – more designs now for long-life living, principal now is that you buy a house, you should be able to live in that house for your whole life. There should be provision on one level for kitchen, living and sanitary facilites on one level.


Is guidance provided?

Yes for each standard there is lengthy documentation showing how the standard could be met.


What is the checking process?

Building standards staff check the application against the guidance and observations are made.

Meeting the guidance within the Technical Handbooks guarantees approval - minimum standards have been met.


What is the role of the Guidance?

The guidance is simply there to provide a framework, however work can be looked at and measured against a mandatory standard. for Example:
Fire standards don’t take account for the height of the room, if you have a larger ceiling height, is there some way of justifying that the travel distance can be larger. It also doesn’t take into account alarm systems, so the travel distance could be extended. It is about making the justifications for using certain distances or routes. It depends on the complexity of the building. BS 9999, if you can make justifications so that it is equal and not worse than, then they will accept that.


Who can certify a design and construction work?

Structural & Energy engineers can certify design - Reduction in warrant fee.

Electrical contractors can certify installation
- Reduction in warrant fee.

The whole structural section now have certifiers of design. What they do, is that they are a member of a certified scheme, they hand a certificate to approve designs. For non-certified designs, they have to vet the applications through engineers that work for the council. The whole energy section can be certified aswell. It is more beneficial for building standards for them too, as they are generalists such as architects are too. The energy sector can be generalised too. Can get a reduction Also certifiers of construction, what is built. Electrical contractors have a scheme, where contractors are certified.


What happens upon completion?

Owner/applicant submit a completion certificate. LA verify acceptance of completion or reject.

Declaration signed by or on behalf of relevant person

“This completion certificate is confirmation that the work was carried out and/or conversion made in accordance with the building warrant and conform with the drawings, specifications and other information endorsed in connection with the warrant.
This completion certificate also confirms that in the case of building work, the building as constructed complies with the building regulations”


We then have to perform reasonable enquiry

What we have to do when we receive the completion certificate, Building standards need to perform reasonable enquiry. Scottish government worked with them to establish what it looks like, developed a compliance plan.

- Verifiers to agree a Compliance Plan with relevant person
- Compliance plan developed on a risk basis
- Liaise with appointed contractor to clarify notifiable inspections


How is the building warrant system funded?

By application fees

Based on the estimated cost
Reasonable commercial cost. The jobs at the higher end of the scale fund the lower jobs. So actual cost of the first will 300-400 instead of 100. If you go beyond a million pounds, you are up into £40-50,000 for the fee. The applicant pays for it.


What works are exempt from approval?

Works that are exempt from approval
and do not require to comply e.g.

Specialised buildings - agricultural

Small buildings < 8m²


What works do not require Building Warrant Approval?

Must still comply with standards !

Any work to or within a house with no storey greater than 4.5 metres

Any work to a non-residential building to which the public does not have access and no storey greater than 7.5 metres

For larger works where warrant doesn’t need to apply but standards do. You could refit the internal layout of offices in a low rise office building and you don’t need building warrant approval.


What is BSD and what do they do?

BSD is the `building Standards Division- They are part of scottish government, they offer the procedural handbook. Deal with buildings that are defective. Dangerous buldings, need to shut the road, evacuate users etc. Ensure that parts of the building that are not safe are safe again. Enforcement, if there are repeat offenders. The bigger penalty is effectively dismantling what they are doing to make them comply.

You do need a warrant for demolitions, not how you are going to do it really, more the issue of public safefy, more how it is horded off, or kept from public invasion, or hurting them.