Disability Access Certificate
As many of you will be aware now at this stage on October 1st 2009 the Department of the Environment made changes to the Building Regulations – 'Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2009'. Under these regulation changes there will be the implementation of the Disability Access Certificate (DAC), mandatory for all public premises from Jan 1st, 2010.
There is much confusion out there about these amended regulations, so hopefully we can address any queries you may have in relation to DAC:
1. What is a DAC?
A DAC will certify compliance at design stage with the requirements of Technical Guidance Document M 2000 of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations 1997 to 2008. It means your building will be accessible for persons with varying disabilities.
2. How do I know if I need a DAC?
If your building is used by members of the general public, then you will need to apply for a DAC. You should apply along with your Fire Safety Certificate Application at design stage.
By 2015 all Public Bodies will be required to have their buildings compliant, which is likely to mean re-fitting to many older buildings (excluding historic / heritage buildings).
3. How do I get a DAC?
A DAC should be applied for through your Local Authority and it will be Best Practise to apply for it along side your Fire Safety Certificate Application (FSCA). Why? As any design changes necessary for an FSCA can be quickly and easily implemented into your DAC application, saving you time and money.
4. Who accesses DAC applications?
Depending on the Local Authority a DAC application will be assessed either by the Fire Prevention or Building Control Authorities.
5. How much will it cost?
Flat rate of €800 per application, made payable to the Local Authority.
6. I have Planning Permission & a granted Fire Safety Cert (FSC), do I require a DAC?
Yes. If your Planning & FSC are granted before 01/01/10, but you haven't commenced work on site yet, then you do need to apply for a DAC.
7. I will be sending in my Commencement Notice to the Local Authority in Jan, do I require a DAC?
Yes, you will. All Commencement Notice's from 01/01/10 will require the details of a DAC. If you proceed works without a DAC you will be ordered by the Fire Prevention or Building Control Authorities to apply for a DAC retrospectively.
8. I currently have a premises frequented by the public, do I need a DAC?
If you are compliant with your granted Planning Permission & Fire Safety Certificate then you do not require a DAC, at this point in time. However, if you make material alterations to your premises after 01/01/10 then you will be required to apply for a DAC, as well as a Fire Safety Certificate Application.
Please watch out for more Fire Safety related blogs in the near future.