Irish Examiner: BC(A)R SI.9 to cost 5-10%

by Bregs Blog admin team

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In the following article a Kerry County Council discussion on Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014) is noted. A local councillor and builder is supportive of the new regulation and confirms the additional cost range associated with the new measures of between 5 and 10% . The new regulations have been widely criticised for increasing costs across the board for the construction sector while not improving standards.

Link to Irish Examiner: Fianna Fáil councillor confirms costs BC(A)R SI.9:

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/fianna-fail-councillor-backs-new-building-rules-261637.html

Targeted at the “build for sale” speculative residential sector the broad-brush measure affects a huge range of buildings; private residential, retail and industrial buildings, retail fit-outs, state projects, agricultural buildings and offices. Recently a deferral has been introduced for some categories of state projects specifically to mitigate on delays and costs of the new regulations to Government projects. Under SI.105 hospitals and school projects can apply to a new board for deferral of the regulation.

The Minister has confirmed that BC(A)R SI.9 will not improve or change the regulations. On RTÉ Radio 1 Minister Hogan 28 February 2014 ”  There is no change in the technical performance standards in respect of a newly finished home. ” Link to radio clip here:

http://www.rte.ie/news/morningireland/

Unfortunately many, such as self -builders (and farmers) find themselves the subject of unintended consequences of the regulation. If this councillor is correct (official industry estimates agree), SI.9 may increase normal building costs by between 5 and 10%, with categories like agricultural and self-building paying over 20% more to employ established main contractors. These are huge costs for no increase in technical standards. Many commentators have suggested BC(A)R SI.9 may just add an additional layer red-tape on many non-residential projects which already have a full-service professional design team. Industry commentators and stakeholders have noted that the recent part-deferral SI.105 introduced may be discriminatory to other classes of buildings.

Extract from article Irish Examiner article:

“Environment Minister Phil Hogan has introduced the Building Control Amendment Regulations 2013 to prevent the recurrence of badly constructed dwellings and structures breaching fire regulations left “as a legacy of a poorly regulated housing boom”.

The initiative has drawn mixed reaction, with claims that it will add to building costs and act as a disincentive to the recovery of the construction industry.

However, Fianna Fáil councillor John Brassil maintained that the regulations would benefit people and would help eliminate “horrors” which had happened in the past. “If someone is building a house now, they can be assured there won’t be cracks, or subsidence,” he said.

“If something like that happens, they will be covered because someone will have signed off on the work and it will be the responsibility of those people to put things right. If people have to pay 5-10% extra they will be assured that if anything goes wrong it will be dealt with.”

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