Advice - Building Warrant: Application Process

Building Warrant
Once planning is granted, the architect will develop the planning drawings into a Building Warrant package and make a submission to the Building Standards department of the relevant local authority in order to obtain a Building Warrant.

The granting of a Building Warrant confirms that the local authority has assessed the design of the project and is satisfied that it complies with the requirements of the Building Regulations.

Architects do not normally provide structural design information and therefore rely on engineers to provide the structural design.

The structural design can be undertaken by engineers who either practice under the SER Design Scheme (like McGregor McMahon), or independently.

When an SER Design Certificate is not provided as part of a warrant submission the engineer’s calculations must be submitted to the local authority for checking. It is our understanding that this is normally a simple arithmetical check which may not identify any errors in the basic principles of the structural design.

In contrast, before an SER Design Certificate can be produced the engineer’s design must be checked in-house in accordance with procedures set out by SER Ltd. SER undertake regular audits of our projects to ensure that the requirements of the scheme are met. The SER scheme is therefore a quality assurance system for structural design.

SER Design Certification
As SER Certifiers, if the project involves works to an existing property we must assess the existing structure and certify all of the works relating to the proposed alterations. We would therefore require to visit the site and inspect it’s construction as part of the design process. In some instances it is necessary to undertake physical investigations such as trial pits or the removal of finishes to expose parts of the structure.

When we have obtained sufficient information we then prepare a design and issue drawings in support of the architects submission. These structural drawings are covered by an SER Design Certificate which in simplistic terms confirms that the design has been prepared in accordance with current standards. The SER Certificate eliminates the need to submit calculations and therefore speeds up the warrant approval process.

For a new build project we will normally require a site investigation report to provide information on the ground conditions so that an appropriate foundation solution can be developed. We can procure a site investigation report from a specilaist consultant on behalf of the client if required.

If you have a property that you would like to build, alter and/or extend, please feel free to contact us to discuss our involvement so that we can provide you with a fee quote for undertaking the structural design.