Health and safety regs

Building Regulations (Part B – Fire Safety) Amendments 2024

On March 29th 2024, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, launched the revised Building Regulations (Part B Amendments) 2024, Technical Guidance Document B 2024 – Fire Safety – Volume 1 Buildings other than Dwelling Houses. The revision of the document is a culmination of a decade of research and public consultations, with input from across the construction sector. 

The document will come into operation on the 1st of May 2025. There will be a relatively lengthy transitional arrangement period, during which the Technical Guidance Document B – Fire Safety, dated 2006 can still be utilised. While the wording of the transitional arrangements part of the new document could be considered to be not 100% definitive; it would appear that the older document can be used if any of the following apply:

  • A Planning Application must be submitted by 30 April 2025.
  • A Fire Safety Certificate is granted by 30 April 2025.
  • A Strategic Housing Development grant decision will be received from An Bord Pleanála by 30 April 2025.
  • The structure of the external walls of the building will be erected by 30 April 2028.

A significant number of changes to the Technical Guidance are contained within the document.

Some of the most significant changes/additions are as follows:

  • The largest additions to the regulations include three new sections including smoke control systems, existing structures and sprinklers (Sections 6, 7 and 8). 
  • Notes relating to ‘dwelling houses’ have been removed, please refer to Technical Guidance Document Part B – Fire Safety- Volume 2 Dwelling Houses, for further information.
  • New definitions and specific scopes for purpose groups have been included such as a new definition for Care Facility, Assembly and Recreation, Industrial Normal Hazards, etc.
  • New requirements for fire performance to building facades.
  • The introduction of sprinkler systems within multi-storey Residential (Care Facilities) and the reduction of sprinklered compartment sizes of shops from 4000m2 to 2000m2.
  • New guidelines have been introduced in relation to site-specific hazards and associated fire protection requirements, such as within car parks and industrial high hazard sites. 
  • Section B5 has been amended with the removal of the reference ‘protection of property’ in keeping with the Building Control Act 1990 – 2020.
  • Provision for sprinkler systems and fire-resisting zones have been included in buildings with a topmost floor height of >15m.
  • New provisions for enhanced internal firefighter access to buildings, with a topmost floor height > 11 m, but < 20 m.

The publication of the Building Regulations (Part B Amendments) 2024, is the largest change to the Technical Guidance Documents in the last decade. The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage have cited the publication as a clear indication of the continuous commitment to achieving high standards within the construction industry.

Our Project Management team can inform new and existing clients of the implications of new amendments and the transitional arrangements, on their current and future projects.

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