Industry Update: Make sure relevant documentation is available on site

Monday May 2 2016

Did you know it is essential to have key documentation, such as a copy of the building permit and one set of approved plans and specifications available for inspection at the site while building work is in progress?

In fact,  it is an offence under the Building Regulations 2006 (the Regulations) not to do so.  It is also an offence under the Regulations not to have a properly completed site sign on display before work starts (including demolition or removal of a building). The site sign must provide the registration numbers and contact details of the builder and building surveyor, and the building permit number and the date of issue of the permit.

What have we found?

The VBA's Proactive Inspections Program has identified that while most building projects have their site signs on display on the allotment in a position accessible to the public, most don't have available for inspection a copy of the building permit, and one set of approved plans, specifications and documents relating to that permit.

In a few instances documentation has been provided, however, it was not the approved plans, specifications and documents endorsed by the building surveyor.

What should be done?

There are some easy steps builders /owner builders can follow to ensure they comply with the requirements of the regulations:

  • Make sure the site signage is displayed on the site before any work starts. The sign must include the builder and relevant building surveyor's (RBS)name, registration number and contact details. Where the building work is being done by a volume builder, the name of the person who is responsible for the site should also be displayed.
  • Have a copy of the building permit and one set of any approved plans, specifications and documents relating to that permit available for inspection at the allotment during the entire construction process.
  • Ensure tradespeople are only working from the relevant building surveyor's endorsed approved plans, specifications and documents to avoid any confusion or risk.

When issuing the building permit, the RBS could provide information to the the applicant which details the requirement to have a site sign and permit documents on site. At the first site inspection, if the RBS notices that the site sign and plans are not on site, the RBS could remind the person responsible for the building work, whether they are a registered building practitioner or an owner–builder, of their responsibilities to provide these.

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