RTÉ Liveline clip: Thursday 27th February

by Bregs Blog admin team

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The conversation continues on day three on Joe Duffy’s Liveline. In this segment an established civil engineering consultant, 26 years qualified, with his own practice 21 years talks about the catastrophic effects of SI.9 on his practice and liveleyhood. A straw poll of similar professionals in his region suggests 17 out of 21 will be seriously impacted upon after March 1st. Based on this participants research hundreds of engineers will be affected.

Link: minute 59:20 to 01:18:59


A comprehensive survey of architectural practices in 2013 noted 60% of all firms in Ireland are sole-traders. The additional administration costs, projects delayed and deferred, additional hours worked as a result of SI.9 for all sectors of work, residential, retail, license applications, non-residential, schools projects, hospitals and healthcare- all areas will be affected by Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014).  Some established technically qualified professionals will no longer be able to inspect and certify works for the purposes of conveyancing if they are not on a register of professionals.

The SCSI, the representative body for Chartered Surveyors stated in the Irish Times on 27th February 2014 that self-building would no longer be possible after 1st March. This follows on from the architects representative body (RIAI) at a CPD event on Monday 23rd February stating the same view. On 17th January 2014 at an engineer’s conference organised by the engineer’s representative body the IEI the consensus was self-building would be deemed non-compliant with SI.9 from March 1st onwards.

For self-builders they well may be told by the minister and department that they can continue to operate as normal after 1st March. There have been numerous conflicting, misrepresentative and contradictory statements from various government and local authority sources to date. The problem will be that the consensus professional view, by the registered professionals, is that self-building is no longer permitted under SI.9 and the Code of Practice. Self-builders simply will not be able to get anyone to certify their projects unless they employ a separate established builder preferably registered with CIRI, the new private register recognised by the government and operated by the Construction Industry Federation.

Industry estimates 17% of all house starts per year will be abandoned by self-builders unable to bear the extraordinary extra costs to them of BC(A)R SI.9. Current output would suggest 1,800 house builds abandoned in 2014 alone. This has huge implications for an industry stuttering back to life. The issues mentioned by the participants in today’s segment are even more stark- they will no longer be able to provide significant services they are well qualified to do, and have done for many years. Effectively they will be out of business. The cost of SI.9 over 6 years could be €3bn or 30,000 jobs, effectively wiping out the initiatives launched on 27th February announced with great fanfare by ministers.

The above opinion piece was submitted by Maoilíosa Mel Reynolds on 28th February 2014.