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Building Control Management System

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The Building Control Management System (BCMS) was introduced with effect from 1 March 2014 to facilitate building control authorities, building owners, builders and construction professionals in discharging their responsibilities under the Building Control Act 1990, as amended. The building control process includes a requirement, in certain circumstances, to lodge a statutory Certificate of Compliance on Completion (CCC) in respect of buildings, including dwellings. While this represents another useful source of data on residential completions, it also has a number of limitations in this regard.

Firstly, CCCs apply only to works commenced on or after 1 March 2014 so would not apply to homes completed at a current date which were subject to a commencement notice submitted prior to 1 March 2014. Secondly, self-build houses were given the facility to opt out of the statutory CCC process on and from 1st September 2015, so not all single homes constructed will appear in these returns.1

Prior to the BCMS becoming operational, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government carried out surveys of Building Control Authorities (BCA) in respect of the submission of Commencement Notices (CN). Figure 5.1 shows data from the BCAs for 2011 to February 2014 and from March 2014 onwards, data relating to Commencement Notices submitted onto the BCMS are displayed. It shows an increase of 33% in Commencement Notices in 2017 over 2016. All dwellings constructed in Ireland are required to submit a Commencement Notice and start work within 21 days. In a normally functioning housing market (i.e. outside of periods of substantial negative price shocks) one would expect that the ratio of commencements to completions would average close to 100% making a suitable allowance for the lag between the two phases.  

New dwelling completionsBCA+BCMS Commencement Notice

The time lag between commencement and completion can vary significantly by project. Figure 5.2 demonstrates that with a lag of two or three quarters, the ratio for commencements with the New Dwellings Completions series is between 80% and 120% for the last six years, with the exception of the period from Q1 2014 when the use of the BCMS to generate statistics on Commencement Notices replaced a dedicated survey of Building Control Authorities (BCA) conducted by the Department of Housing,Planning and Local Government which has caused a significant break in the data.2 

Two Quarter LagThree Quarter Lag
Q1 201381.323623902334582.48018847719
Q2 201386.036611323967680.8216262239251
Q3 201392.819266460450789.3062306672559
Q4 201386.754098360655791.8251366120219
Q1 201491.945606694560783.0334728033473
Q2 201495.072697899838588.7520193861066
Q3 2014168.92729663723588.4463648318617
Q4 2014150.163102573396162.957593330917
Q1 2015136.462467644521142.985332182916
Q2 2015127.335869025963130.775591202249
Q3 201556.7405632115039115.338526063511
Q4 201579.831001523756852.4726416401164
Q1 201694.792732855680773.7333674513818
Q2 2016101.22670987154385.742390926976
Q3 2016113.08257484373395.9206053295318
Q4 2016113.777105395865104.004034291478
Q1 2017108.539996270744105.174342718628
Q2 2017113.801702639952100.111789491788
Q3 2017109.989924823684102.565294892661
Q4 2017112.67478886889198.2417278139277

Certificates of Compliance on Completion up 76% in year 2017

The trend shown in Figure 5.3 is in line with the New Dwelling Completions series. However the volume is significantly lower which is to be expected as since September 2015 the owners of new single dwellings may declare their intention to opt out of statutory certification, which requires the submission of a Commencement Notice but does not require the submission of a Certificate of Compliance on Completion. Thus, similar to the BER, the BCMS is subject to under-coverage as it does not capture all new dwelling completions.

The addition of some limited geo-location data for dwellings subject to either CN or CCC is only a very recent and partial development. Whilst a welcome improvement to the BCMS, only a full transition to the early assignment of Eircodes would enable the required level of linking units through the development process.

New dwelling completionsCompleted Units - CCC
Q1 20161968424
Q2 201623951195
Q3 201625111229
Q4 201630411973
Q1 201727791667
Q2 201732981855
Q3 201737851969
Q4 201745842994

1Building Control (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2015 (PDF)

2Whereby the behaviour of project developers changed as many projects were registered under the old system prior to the introduction of the new system in March 2014. In the early months after the introduction of the BCMS the levels of documents submitted were accordingly very low.

Go to next chapter >>> Other Relevant Housing Data