The amended Act – Construction Law enters into force in Poland on 19th September 2020. The aim of a large amendment to the basic construction act is to simplify, organize and speed up the management of construction projects. Is it really going to be that way? I hope to get your opinions. The most important changes are listed below.

Design and construction project

  • Only the limitations in the organisation and development of the areas surrounding the designed object may be considered with regard to its impact – not odors, noise or other nuisances (Art. 3 item 20);
  • Information about the scope of the object’s impact is included in the plot or area development plan (art. 34 sec. 3 item 1);
  • The construction design consists of three parts (art. 34 sec. 3);
  1. a plot or area development project,
  2. architectural and construction design,
  3. technical design.
  • The architectural and construction design does not include construction and energy performance – these industries are included in the technical design (art. 34 sec.3 item 2);
  • The architectural and construction design does not include geological and engineering documentation and conditions for geotechnical foundation (they are included in the technical design). It only includes geotechnical opinion and information on the method of foundation (art. 34 sec.3 item 2);
  • The architectural and construction design contains information about the designed heating source for heating and domestic hot water preparation (art. 34 sec.3 item 2). Note! – the change of the heat source may be treated as a significant withdrawal from the building permit;
  • It is the investor’s duty to ensure that the technical design is prepared before the commencement of the construction works (art. 42 sec. 1);
  • The technical design must comply with the development design and the architectural and construction design (art. 34 sec. 3c). The designer is liable for coordinating the technical design (art. 20, sec. 1, item 1aa);
  • Any deviation from the technical and construction provisions can be granted not only before the issuance of a building permit, but also before the change of the building permit, i.e. during the investment (art. 9 sec. 2) (no derogation for unauthorized construction is possible).

Building permit

  • Cases of structures or construction works that do not require a building permit and / or notification have been catalogued and partially changed (art. 29, 29a);
  • The content of the declaration of construction works was revised (art. 30);
  • Basically all construction works within a building entered in the register of monuments require a building permit (art. 30 sec. 7);
  • We should submit a plot or land development plan and the architectural and construction design in the municipal office for approval of the building permit, without the technical design, in three copies, of which one will return to the investor sealed (art. 34 sec. 4a);
  • For the avoidance of doubt, a provision was added that in the case works are realized prior to obtaining a building permit, the office will refuse to grant such a permit (art. 35 sec. 5);
  • The model decision on granting a building permit is no longer applicable – when issuing the decision, the authorities will be bound by the guidelines of the Code of Administrative Procedure (art. 32 sec. 5 repealed item 3);
  • The Authority is obliged to transfer the building permit at the new investor’s request. If the new investor does not yet own the property (or has not taken over the perpetual usufruct rights), he / she shall attach the consent of the current investor with the application. (art. 40 sec. 1, 1a).
  • The building permit cannot be canceled if it has been valid for least 5 years (art. 37b).


Commencement and conduct of construction works

  • Chapter 5 of the old version of the Act “Construction and handing over the buildings for use” is divided into “Commencement and conduct of construction works” (Chapter 5), “Proceedings on the commencement and conduct of construction works in violation of the Act” (Chapter 5a) and “Completion of construction” (Chapter 5b);
  • The investor shall not attach any statements by the construction manager and by investor’s inspector with the notification provided to the construction supervision authority (and to the designer) as to the intended date of commencement of construction works, only their licences and a certificate of membership in a professional self-government (art. 41 sec. 4a);
  • With the notification addressed to the construction supervision authority as to the intended date of commencement of construction works, the investor shall also attach the statement of the designer and of the verifying designer on the preparation of the technical design (art. 41 sec. 4a item 2);
  • The amendment also involves the contents of the construction’s information board, as specified in the new act (not – as before – a separate regulation). The new version shall not involve the data of the contractor, supervision inspector and designer; it will only involve the data of the construction manager and of the investor (without addresses). The emergency phone numbers for the police, fire brigade or ambulance will not be indicated either. The letters should be 6 cm high (art. 45 b).


Significant withdrawal from the construction design or building permit

  • A significant withdrawal from the project is not a change in the plot or area development, as long as the change does not increase the impact area of the facility. (art. 36a sec. 5 item 1);
  • Exceeding the developed area by more than 5% or by more than 2% in height, length, width is a significant withdrawal from the approved design (Art. 36a sec. 5 item 2);
  • A significant withdrawal will involve any change of the heat source from a heat source powered by liquid, gas, renewable energy or from a heating network into a heat source powered by a solid fuel (Art. 36a sec. 5 item 7);
  • Any significant withdrawal from the technical design is allowed after the designer makes changes in the design and the changes are verified by the verifying designer, if such verification is required. The construction manager is obliged to present the current construction design at every request of the construction supervision authority (art. 36 b).

Handing the facility over for use

  • The technical design (including changes) shall be submitted to the construction supervision authority with an application for an occupancy permit (art. 57 sec. 1);
  • The new laws regulate the issue of obtaining an occupancy permit for the entire facility or a part thereof before the completion of construction works covered by the permit. Now the law stipulates directly that you can obtain an occupancy permit for an object or a part thereof, as long as it can function independently as intended. (art. 55, sec. 1a and 1b, art. 59 sec. 2 item 2a));
  • Equipment subject to technical inspection must be granted an exploitation permit before an occupancy permit is issued (art. 57 sec. 1 item 4a);
  • The building volume shall not be checked by the construction inspector during the mandatory inspection for the purposes of the occupancy permit (Art. 59a, sec. 2 item 2);
  • We are waiting for a new form of the mandatory inspection protocol for the occupancy permit, which will be determined by the ordinance of the minister competent for construction (Art. 59d sec. 3);
  • In the event of re-establishing the use of the facility before obtaining the occupancy permit is used, the construction supervision will impose penalties 10 times higher than before. Moreover, the supervision will carry out re-inspections with the option for the occupant to be punished again in the event of further violations of the act. Penalties may be imposed on the investor or the owner of the property (art. 59i);
  • The notification of the authority about the completion of the construction of a single-family house does not need to have the attachments such as a construction log, acceptance and inspection reports, and acceptance of the facilities connected, with the exception of the gas installation tightness test (Art. 57 sec. 1b);
  • The building permit cannot be canceled if it has been valid for least 5 years (art. 59h).

Other changes worth noting

  • Procedures in the event of unauthorized construction have been changed and rearranged (Chapter 5b);
  • It is not possible to have an exception from the technical and construction regulations for unauthorized construction (Art. 9 sec. 5);
  • During all periodic and ad hoc inspections of the condition of the existing building done for the purposes of its maintenance, the owner or its administrator will be obliged to draft protocols, the content and attachments of which are specified in the new act (Art. 62 a);
  • The amendment introduces many changes to construction objects built in the areas closed under the decision of the Ministry of National Defense, such as, for example, a reduced time to obtain a building permit, a separate register of administrative decisions for such facilities, the possibility of changing the designation, no need to obtain a demolition permit, and other facilitating provisions;
  • The new laws include provisions for the design and construction of electric car charging stations.

Development project management, construction project management will therefore be slightly different. Procedural simplifications are in favor of investors planning development projects: they facilitate real estate transactions and obtaining a building permit. Completing the construction of a single-family house will require less paperwork. The question is – how the changes will affect the volume (cost) of the design documentation – will the technical design be an additional development or will it replace the detailed design? As a professional running the construction projects, I positively assess all simplifications and clarifications. However, time will show which changes … will not require further changes.

I am very curious to hear your opinion. What attracted your attention? What will the amendment actually change in your work? Let us know in the comments.

In case of any questions, I will be happy to help.

You can find the entire act at this link: Jednolity tekst ustawy Prawo budowlane, 2020


Piotr Mike

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