Letters to ACEI, SCSI & RIAI: BC(A)R SI.9

by Bregs Blog admin team

670px-Account-for-Cost-of-Goods-Sold-Step-2 Self-builder Amanda Gallagher has written to the representative bodies for engineers, surveyors and architects (ACEI, SCSI and RIAI respectively) whose members are registered to act as certifiers under Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014). Amanda Gallagher recently set-up an online petition to highlight the plight of self-builders who have bee adversely affected by the new regulations “Online petition- Self Build in Ireland- BC(A)R SI.9” Specifically she is requesting, on behalf of all self-builders and farmers, what advice has been issued by the ACEI, SCSI and RIAI to their members regarding the status of self-builders. We have noted in previous posts the conflicting and contradictory guidance issued by both professionals, the Department and Minister Hogan “Self builder confusion: BC(A)R SI.9“.

The most recent statement from Martin Vaughan in the Department would suggest self-building is possible, but this is at odds with the SI.9 Builder’s Completion Certificate and other legal interpretations of BC(A)R SI.9 to date. As we have previously noted the Builder’s Certificate states “to be signed by a Principal or Director of a building company only“. Copy of Certificate is attached.

The representative body for self-builders (IAOSB) has written for clarification on the matter to the Attorney General, see previous post “Self builders write to Attorney General: BC(A)R SI.9” A recent Law Society advice (discussed here) poses the question will members of these three professional bodies assume certifier roles for self-build projects?

The IAOSB also have previously written on 23rd February 2014 to Robin Mandal president of the RIAI requesting clarification of status of self-builders (Link Here: Letter from IAOSB to Robin Mandal). In this letter they complain about statements made by the director of the RIAI John Graby in a radio interview about self-builders on 6th February 2014. They suggest his advice on self-builders, which was in agreement with the Minister, was contrary to RIAI policy as noted in a Engineers Ireland CPD event on 17th January 2014. RIAI CPD keynote speaker Orla Fitzgerald on 24th February 2014 confirmed, to 500 architects at an RIAI briefing event in the Aviva stadium, that self-building was no longer possible after 1st March 2014 (see post here).

The IAOSB also have complained to the Department about similar contradictory advice. Here are the letters sent to the representative bodies for architects, engineers and surveyors (RIAI, ACEI and SCSI respectively) by Amanda Gallagher.

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RE: Important Letter for Mr Robin Mandal (RIAI- representative body for architects)

Dear Robin,

My name is Amanda Gallagher and along with my husband, Raymond, we were hoping to ‘self build’ our new family home in Co. Sligo.  We were featured along side you on the Six One News on Friday, February 28th last.  We were absolutely devastated on Saturday, March 1st when Minister Hogan went ahead with implementing the Regulations. Naively, we thought the Minister may just listen to us and defer  – I know you also asked him to defer, albeit for different reasons, and for this I thank you.

The reason I write to you now is if you could kindly let me know if you are advising your Members on the issue of self-certification under SI 9 and if your are advising them if they should work alongside ‘self-builders’ or not? You asked the Minister for clarification of what the self builders role would be under SI 9 and as of yet we have not had a definitive statement as to what this role is. Despite the Minister and his officials ‘reassurances’ to the Nation that self build / direct labour can continue as before under these laws – I am sure, as are you I presume, that this is total nonsense.

I understand that the Irish Building Control system has failed in the past with the high profile Priory Hall epitomising everything that was wrong with our system. But Robin any ordinary person can see that the SI 9 are in no way a solution to that faulty system of Building Control. We, as self builders, will be fighting the SI 9 until they are put into the shredder! We will be calling for a sensible solution to them – an Independent Building Inspectorate. – a system that could include the self builder.

I await your reply Robin, as I would love to hear the truth regarding the RIAI’s advise to its members regarding self certification under SI 9.

Thanking you,

Amanda Gallagher

Co. Sligo

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RE: Important Letter for Anne Potter (ACEI- representative body for engineers)

Dear Anne,

My name is Amanda Gallagher and along with my husband, Raymond, we were hoping to ‘self build’ our new family home in Co. Sligo.  We were featured on various RTE Radio & TV Shows in the week preceding Saturday, March 1st last.  We were absolutely devastated when Minister Hogan went ahead with implementing the Regulations. Naively, we thought the Minister may just listen to us and defer these laws until a better solution could be worked out – and since then I have learned that a more sensible solution to the SI 9 had been put to the Minister but of course he chose to ‘close his ears’ – a thing he does quite alot I’ve come to realise.

The reason I write to you now is if you could kindly let me know if you are advising your Members on the issue of self-certification under SI 9 and if your are advising them if they should work alongside ‘self-builders’ or not? Despite the Minister and his officials ‘reassurances’ to the Nation that self build / direct labour can continue as before under these laws – I am sure, as are you I presume, that this is total nonsense. I believe at the Engineers CPD on January 17 – a unanimous decision that ‘self build is over’ under SI 9 was reached between yourselves, the CIF and the Mr Martin Vaughan from the Department.  Mr Vaughan astonishingly, has now issued a statement that self build can continue under SI 9 – the contradictions and confusion surrounding SI 9 is staggering.

I understand that the Irish Building Control system has failed in the past with the high profile Priory Hall epitomising everything that was wrong with our system. But Anne, any ordinary person can see that the SI 9 are in no way a solution to that faulty system of Building Control. We, as self builders, will be fighting the SI 9 until they are put into the shredder! We will be calling for a sensible solution to them – an Independent Building Inspectorate. – a system that could include the self builder.

I await your reply Anne, as I would love to hear the ACEI’s advice to its members regarding self certification under SI 9.

Thanking you,

Amanda Gallagher

Co. Sligo

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Important Letter for Kevin Hollingsworth (SCSI- representative body for surveyors)

Dear Kevin,

My name is Amanda Gallagher and along with my husband, Raymond, we were hoping to ‘self build’ our new family home in Co. Sligo.  We were featured on various RTE Radio & TV Shows in the week preceding Saturday, March 1st last.  We were absolutely devastated when Minister Hogan went ahead with implementing the Regulations. Naively, we thought the Minister may just listen to us and defer these laws until a better solution could be worked out – and since then I have learned that a more sensible solution to the SI 9 had been put to the Minister but of course he chose to ‘close his ears’ – a thing he does quite alot I’ve come to realise.

The reason I write to you now is if you could kindly let me know if you are advising your Members on the issue of self-certification under SI 9 and if your are advising them if they should work alongside ‘self-builders’ or not? Despite the Minister and his officials ‘reassurances’ to the Nation that self build / direct labour can continue as before under these laws – I am sure, as are you I presume, that this is total nonsense. Kevin there is so much confusion surrounding these Regulations and I feel the very least the Minister can do along with the Professional bodies is be truthful with the Citizens.

I understand that the Irish Building Control system has failed in the past with the high profile Priory Hall epitomising everything that was wrong with our system. But Kevin, any ordinary person can see that the SI 9 are in no way a solution to that faulty system of Building Control. We, as self builders, will be fighting the SI 9 until they are put into the shredder! We will be calling for a sensible solution to them – an Independent Building Inspectorate. – a system that could include the self builder.

I await your reply Kevin, as I would love to hear the SCSI’s advice to its members regarding self certification under SI 9.

Thanking you,

Amanda Gallagher

Co. Sligo

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Builder’s Completion Certificate (extract from BC(A)R SI.9): SI9 Builder's cert

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