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Planning and BERs

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,292 ✭✭✭RKQ


    No6 wrote: »
    Cheers!!!:D
    In theory its a good idea but in Practice... Nice Juicy Worm anyone!!!:D I'm just glad I don't do any work in Kilkenny!!!!.

    My personal opinion is that you will find that as Development plans are being revised in various counties more and more little things that cost money are now being required and the planning fees for dwellings are also being looked at so while The dept may not be able to prohibit one off housing for political reasons they can do their best to make it very very expensive and difficult..... now wheres that pretty little grassy Knoll till I go shoot me a ....??? !!!:D

    Excellent post No.6, the best of 2009! ( Expect afew email!:D)

    Brothers there speaks a man with his finger on the pulse! :)


  • Subscribers Posts: 41,589 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    Just got a reply back from kilkenny co co after a request for clarification..

    heres the main gist....


    Kilkenny County Council has decided to include this Item on our Planning Application Form principally as a method of advising clients of their obligation to comply with the Building Regulations in relation to BER.

    Question 12 (b) of our Planning Application can be answered by either YES or No.

    * If the answer is Yes, you are directed to the www.sei.ie website
    from which you can complete the “Statement of Intent” – no fee
    applicable, and submit same with your planning application. This
    “Statement of Intent” is different to the “BER Certificate” which can only be carried out by a Registered BER Assessor (complete list of
    Assessors available from the sei.ie website).
    * If the answer is No, you can submit your planning application as
    previously.

    The Planning Department’s only role/input with BER (at this time) is to bring this matter to your attention. You should direct further queries to Rory McConnon Energy Agency Manager,


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,489 ✭✭✭No6


    And here was I under the impression that there was a standard planning application form countrywide!!! :rolleyes: I must find this statemnet of intent on SEI's website.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,483 ✭✭✭ManFromAtlantis


    wow..........thats what i thought, its not their ( co co )role. i know someone who has had to get a 'not quite a ber cert but something close or what ever youre having yourself statement' as requested by the local authority in question.........€200 for this. co co dont care its only money . waste of time . glad someone brought this up.

    why pick out one build reg. if so what more can you say except ' will be built in acc with building regs' no point in re writing all of the regs to show this.


  • Subscribers Posts: 41,589 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    wow..........thats what i thought, its not their ( co co )role. i know someone who has had to get a 'not quite a ber cert but something close or what ever youre having yourself statement' as requested by the local authority in question.........€200 for this. co co dont care its only money . waste of time . glad someone brought this up.

    why pick out one build reg. if so what more can you say except ' will be built in acc with building regs' no point in re writing all of the regs to show this.

    how does it cost them €200????

    according to the email its free on the sei website.... i think someone is screwing them over....

    although i havent a clue where it is on the sei website either.. and i have made every effort to find it!!!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭sinnerboy


    It is simply civil servants protecting their own jobs by expanding their own workload .

    What a nice existence . No product to deliver or wealth to generate .

    Another "issue" to hang an invalidation/RFI/CRFI on - nothing else .

    Why not look for Statement of Intent for

    Radon prevention measures
    Structural calculations
    Part F/J/K/M compliance .....

    Wait a minute - sounds like the UK Building Control Application process !

    ....... except it isn't that


  • Subscribers Posts: 41,589 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    sinnerboy wrote: »
    It is simply civil servants protecting their own jobs by expanding their own workload .

    What a nice existence . No product to deliver or wealth to generate .

    Another "issue" to hang an invalidation/RFI/CRFI on - nothing else .

    Why not look for Statement of Intent for

    Radon prevention measures
    Structural calculations
    Part F/J/K/M compliance .....

    Wait a minute - sounds like the UK Building Control Application process !

    ....... except it isn't that

    it cant result in an invalidation.... its a supplementary question... which i know many la's have now included on application forms, there supplementray questions about rural housing, commercial applicatona and agricultural applications...

    and as the reply states you can simply say no... now i dont know what the fallout is if you say no... but it is an option....


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,483 ✭✭✭ManFromAtlantis


    sydthebeat wrote: »
    how does it cost them €200????

    according to the email its free on the sei website.... i think someone is screwing them over....

    although i havent a clue where it is on the sei website either.. and i have made every effort to find it!!!


    when they rang the co co in question, they did not know exactly what was required as part of the planning application, they suggested that they get a ' something close to a ber cert' but said that it didnt have to be a full? cert. anyways they said to go to a ber assessor for a report on intent ???? upshot €200 part of the prob sorry the real prob was that the planners themselves didnt know what they wanted.

    actually it was the reason for an rfi. after stating that a ber cert blah blah blah would be got eh, as u are supposed to get.....eh.....like every other build reg will also be complied with.......................ah........meh.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭sinnerboy


    sydthebeat wrote: »
    it cant result in an invalidation.... its a supplementary question... which i know many la's have now included on application forms, there supplementray questions about rural housing, commercial applicatona and agricultural applications...

    and as the reply states you can simply say no... now i dont know what the fallout is if you say no... but it is an option....


    Syd , I don't buy it . Have to wait and see how it pans out in implementation but I have a funny feeling ......


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,292 ✭✭✭RKQ


    Thanks for the clarification Syd... but I have to agree with No.6, Sinnerboy and ManFromAtlantis. Its not County Council remit - BER is Building Control!

    This is IMO a slippery slope, an unnecessary complication that will cause confusion, involve extra paperwork and probably increase invalidations (no-one will be sure so if in doubt then invalidate!)

    BER is here, its well known about and IMO the Council don't need to have a method of advising clients of their obligation to comply with the Building Regulations - as Building Regulations have been law since 1992.:D


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭topcatcbr


    RKQ wrote: »
    Thanks for the clarification Syd... but I have to agree with No.6, Sinnerboy and ManFromAtlantis. Its not County Council remit - BER is Building Control!

    This is IMO a slippery slope, an unnecessary complication that will cause confusion, involve extra paperwork and probably increase invalidations (no-one will be sure so if in doubt then invalidate!)

    BER is here, its well known about and IMO the Council don't need to have a method of advising clients of their obligation to comply with the Building Regulations - as Building Regulations have been law since 1992.:D

    Technicaly you are right it is a matter for BC and you are also right that it is well known about but as a BER assessor I have heard many times "I am not going to worry about this until i am asked to produce it". The general feeling is that nothing is being done so there is no need to comply.
    With the BCO being under resourced before this new regulation I cannot see them making any impact. I do know SEI we asked during the workshop at the energy show last year to contact the local authority to ask for this during planning. It is certinly a more effective propersition than to wait for the BCO to ask for it.
    Maybe they did.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,292 ✭✭✭RKQ


    topcatcbr wrote: »
    Technicaly you are right it is a matter for BC and you are also right that it is well known about but as a BER assessor I have heard many times "I am not going to worry about this until i am asked to produce it". The general feeling is that nothing is being done so there is no need to comply.

    This won't help BER Assessors in any way!
    I am asking for the BER rating and documents confirming this!

    All my clients are given a list of registered BER Assessors and asked to contact one to work with me. I will not sign a future Certificate of Compliance, without a BER Cert and a copy of the Assessors PI.

    I need pliminary advise at design stage - options, cost etc. (I like passive ideas. All my designs are orientated around the path of the sun etc)

    I will need details and specifications prior to tender. I advise all Client to "copper fasten" the BER Cert during planning - giving them 8 weeks to research, cost and decide on construction type, heating, ventilation etc.

    (How come Planners don't query position of disabled access ramp? It is a Building Regulation - TGD M. Seems we'll have a new Certificate for disabled Access soon!)
    I'm affraid BER, airtightness and other construction improvements are going to have to be policed by us, the Certifiers. Wish we had some National support now.

    One things for sure - non compliance with Building Control Act is not an option.:D

    (House Sellers seem informed about BER - maybe Solicitors are advising them of the requirement - I have had numberous enquiries.)


  • Registered Users Posts: 564 ✭✭✭fishfoodie


    RKQ wrote: »
    (House Sellers seem informed about BER - maybe Solicitors are advising them of the requirement - I have had numberous enquiries.)

    Hmmm, have you looked at Daft lately ?

    There is an almost total absence of BER ratings in advertisements on the website.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭topcatcbr


    As for enquiries dont get me started. The amount of enquiries i have got asking for different types of houses on free email accounts or private phone no. I am convinced these were mostly other assessors trying to establish a price guide for themselves. Ask them to leave a phone no and they loose interest. The anoying thing is my price guide is on my website for all to see if they only bothered to go and read it.

    You have to answer them though just in case. :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,546 ✭✭✭✭Poor Uncle Tom


    RKQ wrote: »
    I'm affraid BER, airtightness and other construction improvements are going to have to be policed by us, the Certifiers....

    This is the point.

    Making BER part of a planning application is just giving the planners
    another stick to beat us with.

    BER is part of the Building Regulations.....treat it that way.....end of.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,489 ✭✭✭No6


    I'd say we're all getting a bit of that topcatcbr, theres some innovative pricing / advertising out there, I just found one using google addwords which is 169 for an assessment, untill you go into the site and look at it its 169 for a studio apartment, ie a bedsit!!! everything else is dearer and more in line with other prices!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,292 ✭✭✭RKQ


    Kilkenny County Council held a meeting last friday morning, to discuss their Ber requirement, on their planning application form. Architects, Technicians, Agents, BER Assesors etc attended.

    The form can be completed by the applicants Agent by using SEI DEAP calculator and does not need to by done by a BER Assessor. Alot of the points raised on this forum were raised at the meeting.

    Failure to fill in the BER question will not invalidate the application however the information may be sought as an FI.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,489 ✭✭✭No6


    RKQ wrote: »
    Kilkenny County Council held a meeting last friday morning, to discuss their Ber requirement, on their planning application form. Architects, Technicians, Agents, BER Assesors etc attended.

    The form can be completed by the applicants Agent by using SEI DEAP calculator and does not need to by done by a BER Assessor. Alot of the points raised on this forum were raised at the meeting.

    Failure to fill in the BER question will not invalidate the application however the information may be sought as an FI.

    Did I miss something or are we not supposed to have a standard planning application form through out the country? I havn't seen any questions relating to BER's on it.

    That aside what is the point in this approach by Kilkenny Co Council, if anybody can fill it in it's meaningless, just another piece of paper for the planners to tick a box on. If you say you are going to build an A rated house is that going to be conditioned as part of the planning permission or do you just have to comply with the building regulations? A much easier way to encourage / enforce BER's is to put a condition on planning that a copy of the published BER be submitted prior to first occupation (therefore meaNing you cant comply with planning unless the condition is fulfilled!!)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,292 ✭✭✭RKQ


    I agree with you No.6.
    I feel that requiring a BER cert from a BER Assessor would also be unfair, as it would be an extra expense on a Client that may not get planning permission.
    As said above it would be better to have a requirement for BER at commencement notice stage or Certificate of Compliance stage, once permission is granted and all construction decisions and tender documents have been finalised.


  • Subscribers Posts: 41,589 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    No6 wrote: »
    Did I miss something or are we not supposed to have a standard planning application form through out the country? I havn't seen any questions relating to BER's on it.

    That aside what is the point in this approach by Kilkenny Co Council, if anybody can fill it in it's meaningless, just another piece of paper for the planners to tick a box on. If you say you are going to build an A rated house is that going to be conditioned as part of the planning permission or do you just have to comply with the building regulations? A much easier way to encourage / enforce BER's is to put a condition on planning that a copy of the published BER be submitted prior to first occupation (therefore meaNing you cant comply with planning unless the condition is fulfilled!!)

    all the valid points raised in this thread were raised at the meeting.

    The end result of this policy is

    1. The ideology behind it is to focus developers and applicants onto renewable energies and building reg compliance at design stage.

    2. They are not bound at all at incorporate what is included in the assessment

    3. all that is required is a screen grab of the results page from the DEAP calculations which should show compliance.

    4. It is agreed and understood from the planning section that compliance with building regs is wholly the remit of building control.

    5. this cannot invalidate an application, but if its not submitted you can be fairly sure it will be requested at FI.


    Now, i know what all of you are thinking.......
    This will just become a desk exercise in your office prior to submission, one which you wont get paid for.
    As its just the screengrab thats required, whatever is put in the assessment is generic


    personally, i think the only positive to come from this initive is to eduate 'certifiers' as to what THEY HAVE TO do in order to certify compliance with part L. In my opinion, all certifiers should have to do a training course to actually use the software, as its not the easiest to navigate, and some mad assumptions are made. But thats not going to happen. Any certifier who hasnt done the training course should practise, practise, paractise and use the manual at all times.


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