Self-Builders demand answers from DECLG: BC(A)R SI.9
by Bregs Blog admin team
In a further letter from the representative body for self-builders (IASOB) to the Department of Environment requesting clarification regarding the status of self-builders under the Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014), one self-builder describes the experience of visiting a local authority last week.
This anecdote illustrates industry concerns regarding the recent building regulation SI.9 and subsequent SI.105. Key industry stakeholders the SCSI and RIAI (chartered surveyors and architects representative bodies) have both aired concerns regarding industry readiness and resources allocated to local authority building control departments to implement SI.9. Inadequate resources and contradictory guidance issued by the Department to date may result in differing interpretations of the regulation in different local authorities. The RIAI has written separately to Ministers Hogan and Bruton outlining the compelling reasons for deferral of SI.9.
At a time when the industry is scrambling to come to grips with the new regulation we see a subsequent statutory instrument SI.105 has been published on 7th March 2014. This is a part-deferral of BC(A)R SI.9 and provides for particular projects to be excluded from SI.9. There is a widespread belief in the industry that it is only a matter of time before SI.9 is revoked in its entirety as the difficulties associated with implementation become more apparent.
Extract off letter from IAOSB letter to Department:
“I personally decided to test this and visited my Local Authority and I would like to tell you what happened and maybe you can explain this to me as well in your reply.
I walked in through the doors as a self builder without any knowledge of how this Amendment could effect me and firstly came across the lady at the reception who knew about the Amendment but could not answer most of my questions as they were not informed. She finally gave up and asked the County Engineer to help me with this issue.
The following are my questions and his answers:
Can I Self Build? Yes
Can I use Direct Labour for my build? Only if they are competent and experienced
So, who decides if they are competent? You do
What else do I have to do? You have to choose a person to design and inspect the house for you and give you a certificate of commencement and completion.
Who else has to sign this? You as the building owner and the builder.
But I am the builder, so who signs the certificate? You do but if you are using the Direct Labour, they also have to sign the form.
But what is the procedure on that? On the commencement notice you have to name your labourers and we will be sending them an email telling them that you have chosen them as the contractors and they need to have all the necessary insurance and documentation.
Where do they sign? on the certificate of commencement and completion.
I have seen these certificates on line and in the place where the builder has to sign, it says (To be signed by Principal or Director of a Building Company Only) so where do I sign? Where it says to be signed.
But you are telling me to sign as someone who clearly I am not? Yes but it does not matter as we would not be questioning it.
Do you agree with me that by signing as the Principal or Director of a Company I would be breaking the law? Yes but that would be OK.
If I give you a legal document and ask you to sign as a Fireman even though you are clearly an Engineer, would you break the law and sign it? No way
So how do you expect me to sign it? We do understand that there is a big issue regarding this sentence and we accept that by signing this you will be breaking the law but it is ok.
What, to break the law? In a way yes as we would not follow on with it.
Can you please give me some paperwork with this information on it? No, everything is online. We have not been given anything to hand out. This is also knew to us and we have not got a lot of information on it.
So if someone who does not understand how to use a computer wants to know about this, what can they do? They have to ask for help from someone else.
If I write all that you mentioned above on a piece of paper, will you sign and stamp it for me? Ehhhh, yes
…I have also found out that there is a new Amendment out today to the Building Control which is S.I.105. You must understand our disappointment to find out that even though you do understand there is a major issue for the self builders in the amendment S.I.9, you still have not made any effort to clarify, explain and correct the situation for us.”
Link to complete letter here- “Letter from Iaosb to Mr Martin Vaughan, DECLG”: