Introduction to FAQ's
What's the difference between planning permission and building regulations?
The planning process is designed to guide the way our towns, cities and countryside develop. It covers the use of land and buildings, the way they look, landscaping considerations, highway access and the impact the development will have on the overall environment.
Building Regulations, set standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the health and safety of the people that use them and encourage energy efficiency and access for all.
What are Building Regulations?
Building Regulations ensure our buildings are safe, energy efficient and accessible for everyone who uses them or live, owrks in and around them. Building Regulations apply to new buildings and many alterations of existing buildings, even if its domestic, comercial or industrial.
What is an Approved Inspector?
Approved Inspector's (or AI's) are an alternative to Local Authority building control. Both AI's and LA building control are called 'Building Control Bodies'. You can choose which provider you wish to use.
What sort of work is RBC licensed to approve?
Our operating licence enables us to provide Building Regulation approvals in respect of all work to which Building Regulations apply.
Can RBC do domestic projects or just commercial work?
RBC can approve all types of building work, whether domestic, commercial or industrial.
Does a contract exist between Approved Inspectors and their clients?
Yes, in the same way as other construction professionals are contractually related to their clients.
Are RBC's Surveyors happy to answer ad hoc Building Regulation related questions?
Yes, we can answer Building Regulation queries very quickly, often over the phone or email. An experienced building control surveyor is always available in our offices during normal working hours to answer any questions you may have.
How do the fees compare?
RBC Ltd endeavour to match or be more competitive with Local Authority fees on smaller schemes, and fee savings may be available on larger projects. Our fees are keenly competitive and are often lower than those charged by Local Authorities.
Is RBC insured?
Yes, we have full professional indemnity and public liability insurance. This level of insurance cover is a legal requirement specified by central Government
How does RBC ensure that the quality of your service is good and consistent?
Each of our clients is paired with one of our surveyors who will see their project right through from the first contact to completion of the project. This ensures consistency and promotes good working relationships. A back up surveyor is also allocated to help when the lead surveyor is not available. All our surveyors are well qualified and experienced and the service delivered with a BS EN 9001 quality assurance scheme, which is independently audited.
How much notice is required to make an application to RBC?
A minimum of 5 working days is required to issue and have the initial notice accepted by the Local Authority. However, the earlier the application is made the better.
How quickly do RBC respond to applications?
We aim to reply to applications the same day and if we are extremely busy, then the following working day.
Is RBC able to receive plans and other documents electronically?
Yes, we can receive and read plans and documents sent to us electronically irrespective of their format.
Does the Local Authority have any involvement with the project?
No, as long as the initial notice is still in force. There are time limits on the effect of the initial notice when the works are completed or occupied.
Does RBC involve Fire Authorities when dealing with non domestic projects?
Yes, we consult with Fire Authorities on projects and discuss with them any concerns they may have. There is usually no need for any direct dialogue to take place between our clients and fire authorities.
Do RBC's Surveyors point out any over specification shown on plans?
Yes, if we see that Building Regulation requirements are likely to be exceeded we will point this out. This provides the obvious potential for cost savings to be made.
How does RBC make sure Building Regulations are followed?
Firstly, we work closely with your design team to ensure that plans and specifications reflect Building Regulation requirements. Our surveyors will then inspect the on-going work from time to time and when it is satisfactorily complete we will issue a Final Certificate.
How do I register a project with RBC?
Just give us a call and we'll let you know what information we need to proceed.