Building Standards News - 2014
- eNewsletter to Agents December 2014
- eNewsletter to Agents August 2014
- eNewsletter to Agents March 2014
Revised Section 6: Energy standards and guidance
At the beginning of October 2014, the text for the next set of standards and guidance was published on the BSD website. Coming into effect on 1 October 2015, the publication of this section of the Technical Handbooks one year in advance is unprecedented. This should allow the construction industry time to adjust to any new construction practice needed to achieve the new carbon dioxide abatement levels set by Section 6. The core documents, which at present stand-alone from the current Technical Handbooks are available here.
Revised Section 0: Exempt buildings, services and fittings (Schedule 1)
At the beginning of October 2014, an amendment to the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 came into force by virtue of the Explosives Regulations 2014 (ER 2014). The amendment replaces paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 (Exempted buildings and services, fittings and equipment). The amendment was needed to align the type 1 exempt class in building regulations with the requirements of ER 2014 and clarify the exempt status of buildings where only part of them are used for the manufacture or storage of explosives.
Consultation on a review of building standards guidance
At the end of October 2014 a consultation was launched for a range of possible changes to the guidance in the following Sections: 2 – Fire, 3 – Environment, 4 – Safety, 5 – Noise and 7 – Sustainability. This follows discussion with industry last year under the theme of ‘better regulation’. The measures selected for review were considered by a working group, with the intention of delivering these in a smarter way, without loss of amenity and where feasible reducing cost for industry. The consultation closes on 21 January 2015 and can be accessed here.
Action Plan process – for the changes to Section 6: Energy
The Sullivan Report (Update 2013) recommends that an action plan is developed to ease the introduction of the 2015 changes to Section 6: Energy. The approach to be taken is through a ‘collaboration website’ where industry can demonstrate what is already being done and also identify issues that could need further consideration. Trade and Professional bodies will be the point of contact and able to contribute on behalf of their members. You can read more about the Action Plan process here.
Improvements to local authority cost recovery powers for enforcement
The Buildings (Recovery of Expenses) (Scotland) Act 2014 comes into force on 24 January 2015 and introduces changes to the cost recovery powers for local authorities taking enforcement action under the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 (2003 Act). The new sections in the 2003 Act will allow a LA to make a Charging Order in respect of their expenses and the building, determine the number of instalments for payment and register the Order in the appropriate land register. These improved powers are particularly relevant for the important role LAs have in dealing with defective and dangerous buildings and will improve the certainty of them recovering their expenses.
The Scottish Government is currently developing an on-line eBuilding Standards system to supplement the successful ePlanning Scotland portal. The expansion into building standards is planned for summer 2016 and will allow the on-line submission of building warrant applications and completion certificates, as well as other related forms. Here in Moray we are currently working with some of you piloting an interim system for submitting building warrant applications electronically by email. Hopefully we will shortly be able to make this service more widely available so watch this space.
Partners in Compliance - One day Awareness Seminar to be held in Aberdeenshire. For further information please view or download a leaflet (PDF)
Scanning of Mail
As you will be aware from previous communications, all Building Warrant applications and mail that comes into the Service is now scanned and stored in an electronic document management system. The ultimate aim is to have a fully electronic service but it will take time to get there.
As part of this process it would help us greatly if you could:
- Send in only ONE set of plans with a new building warrant application. We will request further copies at a later stage before the warrant is granted.
- Include our ‘Revised Plans Cover Sheet’ with any subsequent plans that would assist the scanning team to identify what and who the plans are for.
- If you are submitting something by email please do not send a hard copy in as well unless you are requested to do so.
- Ensure that the correct reference number is provided on the correspondence that is being submitted.
Fire Service Consultations
Plans that require a fire service response as a result of a Building Warrant submission to Moray Council (new or existing build) will be processed from the Scottish Fire & Rescue Services office in Peterhead. Only in exceptional circumstances will they be able to offer any formal response to plan submissions that are not part of a warrant application to us.
If consultation is necessary, then any correspondence including plans should be submitted to us in the first instance for consideration. We will then consult directly with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
Fire Safety Design Summary
On the 1 October 2013 The (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2013 came into force. As a result, The Buildings (Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and the Building (Forms) Scotland Regulations 2005 have been amended to take account of this change in procedure.
Under these amendments Fire Safety Design Summaries (FSDS) must now be provided with completion certificates relating to the construction of, or conversion to, new non–domestic buildings, including extensions to existing buildings. The information must be entered in Part II of the Building Standards Register.
Fire Safety Design Summaries mean information relating to the design and construction of the building, and the services, fittings and equipment provided in or in connection with the building, which will assist in the operation and maintenance of the building for fire safety purposes.
The regulations apply when the application for a building warrant is submitted after the 1 October 2013. The ‘relevant person’ must submit a Fire Safety Design Summary (FSDS) with the completion certificate. In most cases, the ‘relevant person’ will be the building warrant applicant or their duly authorised agent. The local authority verifier will check the FSDS for accuracy prior to accepting or rejecting the completion certificate. (See Procedural Handbook and Building Standards Division Website for more guidance).
Self Closing Device
Any closer used on a fire door, required by the Technical Handbooks, or alternative guidance (where no definition of self-closing fire door is given), that is used to determine compliance with the mandatory standards should meet the following criteria.
“Self-closing fire door means a fire door, fitted to close automatically from any angle of swing.”
In relation to controlled or un-controlled closers, guidance in the Technical Handbooks in Clause 2.1.14: Non-Domestic and Clause 2.2.9 Domestic notes that self-closing doors should be installed in accordance with the recommendations in the Code of Practice, ‘Hardware for Fire and Escape Doors’ Issue 2, June 2006, published by the Door and Hardware Federation (DHF) and the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers. This publication has been withdrawn and replaced by Issue No 4 published in November 2012.
The November 2012 Code of Practice replicates Issue No 2 published in June 2006 and specifically draws attention to the following criteria for self-closing devices to fire doors:
“Spring hinges, which are purely spring urged and do not control the closing speed, are unable to comply with BS EN 1154 and, therefore, should NOT be used for fire doors (see sections 3.2.7 and 3.3.8).”
Uncontrolled closers are therefore clearly NOT suitable for use in self-closing fire doors as they cannot guarantee to close the door automatically from any angle of swing. Door closers required by Section 2: Fire should have certified compliance with BS EN 1154: Controlled Door Closing Devices or equivalent.
Change to the Building Warrant Application Form
There have been a couple of changes made to the Building Warrant Application Form. The first change is the addition of a Privacy Note (item 20). The Building Standards Division of Scottish Government, via a third party, are carrying out a national customer survey for building standards and this gives customers the option to opt out of sharing their contact details for this purpose. This will also be applicable for any future customer satisfaction surveys. A similar statement will be included for completion certificate submissions but since the form is a Statutory Instrument it will be in the form of a flyer rather than a change to the form.
The second change to the building warrant form is the addition of Annex 4 – sustainability labelling for non-domestic buildings.