5 What makes a good quality building warrant application?
Understanding the principles
- The principle of a pre-emptive system is that proposed building work will comply with building regulations.
- The building regulations are expressed in terms of mandatory ‘functional standards’. The functional standards are presented within the Technical Handbooks and are supported by guidance on possible ways of complying with each standard. In most cases, designing in accordance with the guidance will show that the standards will be met. Example below:
‘Standard 2.13 – Every building must be provided with a water supply for use by the fire and rescue service.’The verifier or certifier is checking a design against the mandatory functional standard and will decide whether or not other solutions fulfil the requirement.
- The information submitted with a building warrant application must show compliance with the building regulations. Guidance on how to meet the building regulations is given in the current version of the Technical Handbooks.
- The verifier carries out an independent check of the information to confirm that the design meets building regulations, it is not their responsibility to tell you how to meet the standards.
Complete and co-ordinated design – It is important that a building is fully designed* before submitting a building warrant application to ensure the verifier can assess the proposal in its entirety. Ensure that the design is fully coordinated, for example, architectural and structural drawings must be coordinated. Making design changes throughout the building warrant process will lead to longer assessment times.
*This doesn’t apply if you are submitting a staged application. See section 7 of this guidance.
Full submission – All information required to show compliance with the building regulations should be submitted at the same time. This will avoid the verifier asking for further information as this will increase assessment times.
Submission content – The checklists in annex B and annex C provide guidance on what should be considered when submitting a building warrant application. It is essential to provide the right amount of correct information to the verifier to allow them to undertake a thorough assessment.
Timescale – When planning a project, it is important to allow enough time for the building warrant process. Consider the following:
- Note that assessment times will be longer for incomplete applications.
- Allow enough time for the building (or stage) to be fully designed and specified before submitting an application.
- Verifiers will carry out an initial assessment of the submission and issue a first report where further clarification is necessary.
- Allow time for revising and resubmitting updated information to the verifier in response to their report.
- Consider whether you require specialist design input, such as a structural and/or fire engineer.
- In some cases where a structural and/or fire engineered design solution is used, the verifier may have to seek an external assessment of the design and assessment times may be longer. It is important to discuss with your verifier who can advise you of timescales.
- If there is doubt about the design proposal and a Ministerial View has to be sought, this will increase the assessment time.
- If the proposed building is of a complex nature or is high risk, allow enough time before submission to hold a pre-warrant meeting with the verifier.
eDevelopment is the Scottish service that enables users to apply online for planning permission and building warrant to their local authority. eBuilding Standards, part of the eDevelopment Service, is the fastest and most efficient way to submit a building warrant application. You can easily complete the form and upload supporting documents online through the portal.
When uploading documents and drawings to the portal, you should consider the following:
- Ensure the correct description and drawing number is used for each document/drawing.
- Drawings/documents should be uploaded individually, e.g. do not combine multiple drawings into one large file for upload.
- When submitting revised documents/drawings via the portal ensure that the title and reference/number is the same as the original submission, with only the revision reference changing.
Response to verifier’s first report
Once the verifier has reviewed your application, where further clarification is necessary, they will issue a first report. This will list the standards and clauses where the verifier considers that the design does not demonstrate compliance and where further information is required. The report will be broken down into procedural and technical aspects; noting the relevant standards and clauses of the technical handbooks.
When responding to a first report, there is specific information that will make the verifier’s second assessment more efficient.
- Submit a covering letter which responds to each point raised in the report. Clarifying what has been changed and where the verifier will find the change. This response letter will not form part of the approved warrant. See example response below.
Point raised in verifiers report
Point 1 4.2 Access within buildings
Please provide dimensions of clear opening widths to doors
Response: Dimensions added to floor plan.
Refer to drawing L(0)001.
Point 2 6.2 Building insulation envelope
Please provide u-value calculations for all insulated elements of the proposed.
Response: Refer to enclosed u-value calculations.
- Highlight revisions to drawings, perhaps with a revision bubble around the part that has been revised, and note a clear description of the change on each drawing.
- Where the same note is used on more than one drawing, ensure that all drawings are updated.