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The Building Standards system in Scotland is established by the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 and the purpose of the system is to protect public interest. To ensure the aim of the system is not undermined, the above Act provides local authorities, through the verification process, the power where necessary, to take action to make buildings comply with the building regulations. The work of verifiers has two main elements; checking that building plans/drawings comply with building regulations when an building warrant application is made, and undertaking reasonable enquiry to verify that the actual building work undertaken complies with the approved plans/drawings, details etc and with the regulations
It is important that the Building Standards Team is informed about the commencement of building operations associated with a Building Warrant at least 7 days before work starting and at relevant key stages of construction as detailed in the CCNP.
Building Warrant applications submitted after 1st January 2013 will be issued with a "Construction Compliance Notification Plan" (CCNP). The CCNP will list the key stages of construction to be inspected by the Building Standards Surveyor.
It is the responsibility of the applicant (or duly appointed agent) to ensure that the Building Standards Team is contacted at the appropriate stages of construction to ensure the terms of the CCNP are met. The applicant is also responsible for advising the contractor(s) of the need to contact the Building Standards Team regarding the inspections associated with the CCNP.
When contacting the Building Standards Team for each aspect of the construction work identified within the CCNP sufficient time (48 hours) should be allowed to enable the Building Standards Team to programme the necessary inspections.
In order to meet the terms of the CCNP alterative evidence such as photographs, certification from suitably qualified professionals etc may be provided but these must be agreed with the Building Standards Team prior to the relevant stage of the project commencing.
Failure to notify the Building Standards Team of the commencement of the building work or at the relevant stages of construction detailed in the CCNP may result in disruptive surveys being carried out and a delay in issuing the Completion Certificate acceptance on completion of the project.
The inspection of building work in progress is an important part of the Building Standards verification procedure. However, it must be stressed that these inspections are to protect the public interest in terms of compliance with Building Regulations, not to ensure that all the work is constructed as the person paying for the work would want it.
Responsibility for compliance with the Building Regulations lies with the relevant person (usually the owner or developer). Therefore any checks made by the Council (in their role as Verifier) do not remove any responsibility from the relevant person. Once all work is complete, the relevant person is required to certify all the work as being in accordance with the approved Building Warrant and Building Regulations by the submission of a Completion Certificate to the verifier.
Building Standards surveyors cannot be, and are not, required to supervise or monitor every activity on a building project nor can they be present at all times. The supervision of building work is the responsibility of the building owner or developer who should appoint a building professional to supervise the work to ensure the standard of workmanship is satisfactory and meets the building regulations.
Further information is contained in the Scottish Government's "Verification During Construction Handbook."
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