Gas safety and Building Regulations (compliance certificates)
There is an overlap between HSE and Building Control when considering the installation of a fixed heat-producing gas appliance, which is defined as Building Work. Gas Safe Register’s Technical Helpline Manager Carl Banister sets out what you need to know and do.
This article was published in full in Registered Gas Engineer’s May 2021 issue.
Gas engineers know that gas installations must comply with GSIUR* for safety reasons. But certain installations must also comply with a broader set of requirements, as specified in the Building Regulations, including notifying the installation of heat-producing appliances in England and Wales.
Gas Safe Register provides gas engineers with the facility to notify work either online or by phone, and some manufacturers will also do this on your behalf.
Technical compliance is achieved by ensuring that your gas work meets the guidance outlined in the relevant technical guidance documents that support the Building Regulations. For example, during work inspections, Gas Safe Register assesses compliance with these technical documents, as well as checking that the gas work satisfies the relevant gas-related Normative Documents.**
For example, in addition to the gas boiler installation being safe and compliant with GSIUR and associated installation and maintenance standards, the new heating system it serves also must satisfy all the design and energy efficiency standards as specified in the relevant Building Services Compliance guide. Different regulations apply in England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland (see below).
If Gas Safe Register identifies work that does not fully meet the requirements that apply in their nation, it will ask engineers to revisit and upgrade their work to satisfy these requirements, similar to the way that incorrect gas work is dealt with. The customer will also be advised of any Building Regulations issues with the work.
Ultimately, where these items are not corrected, the relevant local authority will be informed so that they can consider what further actions to take to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations. There are two formal actions that the local authority can use to achieve compliance with Building Regulations, if informal routes are unsuccessful:
Prosecution: The local authority may prosecute those who carry out work that contravenes the Building Regulations. In a Magistrate’s Court, the fine can be unlimited, and prosecution may take place up to two years after the work has been completed.
Enforcement: As an alternative, or in addition, the local authority may serve an enforcement notice on the building owner requiring alteration or removal of work that is in breach of the Building Regulations (Section 36 of the Building Act 1984 for England and Wales).
The local authority has the power to undertake the work itself and recover costs from the owner, if they do not comply with the enforcement notice. A Section 36 enforcement notice cannot be served after 12 months have passed from the date of building work being completed. The householder is not liable for work covering the safety aspect of the installation of a gas fitting, but they are liable for work that is covered by the Building Regulations, as the procurer of the work.
What information do you need?
For note-perfect notification, make sure you have the following information to hand:
Your Gas Safe business registration number
The name of the engineer who completed the work
The date of the work
The property postcode where the appliance was installed
The make and model of the appliance.
What the regulations say
The installation, alteration or replacement of any heating system must comply with relevant regulations. All new heating systems should be notified to Building Control, as must any alteration to an existing system where a structural alteration is involved. This includes relocating an existing gas appliance such as a boiler to a new location in the property, for example, into a new extension. The requirement to notify applies to both domestic and non-domestic applications. Failure to notify when required to do so may result in sanctions being applied under Gas Safe Register’s Rules of Registration.
*GSIUR: Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 as amended **Technical Bulletin 999: The Legislative, Normative and Informative Documents List
Different regulations apply in England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland
England and Wales
Each of the 14 sections of the Building Regulations (England and Wales) 2010 has its own Approved Document, which sets out the relevant legislation and describes the means by which the regulations can be met.
Two Approved Documents are relevant and include ADL1 (new dwellings) and ADL2 (existing dwellings). They are supported by more detail in the Domestic Heating Compliance Guide. Schedule 3, Regulation 12(6)(b) makes notification a mandatory requirement.
New dwellings must comply with the Building (Scotland) Regulations as presented in their Technical Handbooks.
Requirements for conservation of fuel and power are given in the Domestic Handbook Section 6 (Energy). There is no mandatory requirement to demonstrate compliance via notification.
The relevant Building Regulations are the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000, specifically Regulations F3 and F4.
Provisions in Technical Booklet F1; Conservation of fuel and power satisfy the requirements of Regulations F3 and F4. There is a mandatory requirement to notify relevant works to include the installation of a new gas boiler if it involves a structural alteration, such as a flue/chimney installation, and a gas stove.
Isle of Man and Guernsey
Similar arrangements exist to England and Wales.
Work that requires notification (England and Wales)
Gas – the installation of:
Gas-fired condensing boiler up to 70kW
Gas-fired non-condensing boiler up to 70kW
Gas-fired condensing boiler over 70kW
Gas-fired non-condensing boiler over 70kW
Flue gas heat recovery device with a domestic gas condensing boiler
Gas-fired radiant heating system
Gas-fired water heater
Gas-fired warm air heating system up to 70kW
Gas-fired warm air heating system over 70kW
Flued gas cooking range/hot water boiler.
Heating and hot water – the installation of:
Flue liner/chimney system
Domestic hot water system
Heating controls for wet central heating or warm air systems (domestic)
Non-domestic hot water system
Heating and/or hot water system controls (non-domestic)
Unvented hot water storage system
Vented hot water storage system
Wet underfloor heating system
Complete heating system
Part or add to an existing heating system which alters the performance or requires re-commissioning of the boiler, eg, re-setting boiler input/output.
You do not need to notify the installation of a new gas cooker under the Building Regulations. You can voluntarily inform Gas Safe Register of conformity and the Register will send a Declaration of Safety Certificate, but this is not a regulatory requirement. Declaration of Safety Certificates can be used when installing appliances such as flueless gas cookers or hobs in every UK nation.
Under the Building Regulations, the local authority should receive notification of reportable work within 30 working days of the work being so completed. This means you should notify as soon as possible, within 25 working days. You can notify by logging into your Gas Safe Register online account, and notification costs £2.20 plus VAT per notification online or £3.50 plus VAT by phone. Up to six items can be notified per address in one transaction.
You can also notify via an approved third-party agent, such as through the appliance manufacturer directly, where they provide this service. The manufacturer will submit the data to be verified by Gas Safe Register and then will provide the certificate to the homeowner. In both circumstances, Gas Safe Register makes the notification to the relevant Local Authority Building Control department.
The Building Regulations Compliance Certificate should be received by the householder or nominated person within 10-15 working days of notification.
When you notify installations, you can now choose to have the Building Regulations Compliance certificate emailed to the homeowner or responsible person. After you’ve… Read Full Article
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