The cost of a Solution to BC(A)R SI.9?

by bregs blog admin team


As a follow-on to the Michael Collins and Eoin O’Cofaigh paper yesterday on a solution to BC(A)R SI.9, we look back on an earlier blog post that attempted to quantify the resources and cost of a UK-type system here of “approved inspectors”. Link to previous blog post:  how much for a proper independent building control inspectorate? Quote from post:

“…Let’s look at the costs of a good system of Building Control for a moment. The UK ranks 27th out of 182 countries for “ease of obtaining construction permit” according to the recent by the World Bank Report mentioned recently by Minister Richard Bruton. Their legal and system and building standards are closest to ours so they are a good precedent to look at. How much would it cost us to establish the similar system here?

There are over 3,000 local authority building control inspectors (source: Local Authority Building Control UK) with an additional 600 private licensed Approved Inspectors (source: Construction Industry Council UK). Approved Inspectors complete 20% of all building control inspections in the UK (source: World Bank). So we have a conservative total of 4,000 Building Control inspectors in the UK.

In the UK the current construction industry output for 2012 was €115Bn with Ireland at €7.5Bn (source: Bruce Shaw). Given our construction output is just 6% that of the uk the consequent number of inspectors required should be 270. In 2007 we had less than 70 for the entire country so by employing 200 new inspectors we should have coverage similar to the much praised system in the UK.

…The system would be self-funding, transparent and effective. 100% independent building control inspections throughout the country, real consumer protection. There would be plenty of well-qualified applicants for these roles and a separate simple register could be set up to monitor 200 professional inspectors.

No millions of euros in consultants fees needed to work out the feasibility or costs.”

Even being conservative and over-staffing by double all local authorities to bed-down the new regulation system, we would need 400 new inspectors, a fraction of the resources allocated to Irish Water.