Unregistered architect’s letter to Senator: BC(A)R SI.105

by Bregs Blog admin team


The following personal letter was sent to Senators in advance of a Senate debate on SI.105 by an unregistered architect. The author is a practice-trained architect of 33 years standing in the State.  He is not registered with the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (Limited). His livelihood has been undermined by Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014), as have the livelihoods of some 500 other self-employed professionals across the State.(This 500 figure is taken from an RIAI Ltd. letter to the Members of the Houses of the Oireachtas dated 18/11/2011.)

He has been self-employed for more than a quarter of a century and currently finds himself, as a result of BC(A)R SI.9, with limited career prospects. He has prepared a briefing note in regard to the Seanad debate (below and attached)


Seanad Debate : Thursday 10th April 2014

The Objective must be for Better Regulations:-

•Regulations which answer the Priory Hall & Pyrites issues: where, and without the ‘benefit’ of S.I.9 regulations, accountability is not a mystery and not the problem.
We have learnt that when statutory Building Regulations are breached, the significant issue is not that of establishing culpability, it is the securing of redress.

•Regulations which can be readily implemented:
e.g. through the Minister’s powers to make relevant regulations – as with S.I.80/2013 superseded by S.I.9/2014 which was quickly amended by S.I.105/2014.

•Regulations which promote competition, diversity and innovation:
i.e. support self-building, small local builders and a broad professional base (as advocated by the European Commission – see MEMO-13-839_EN.doc).

•Regulations that make common sense, are robust, simply monitored and of appropriate cost: i.e. Fit-for-Purpose.

The Mechanism

should not be devised around sectional interests nor tend to the making of a Closed Shop (which are significant failings of S.I.9 and S.I.105):-

•Revoke S.I.105 which simply papers over some of the cracks in S.I.9.

•Revoke S.I.9 because S.I.105 shows it is not fit-for-purpose.

•Make a new S.I. founded on State-compliant, Mandatory Latent Defects Insurance – no-fault building insurance (see for info. alone www.c-r-l.com/).
Avoid further State prescription – regulate incisively.
Let the approved insurers be responsible for dictating and managing their own inspection regimes and deciding who is competent to act as their inspectors and certifiers.

•Apply (and thereby test) these new regulations in a controlled manner:
i.e. initially on apartments (Priory Hall) and housing estates (Pyrites).

The Beneficiaries

will include:-

•The householder who will enjoy protection through no-fault insurance.

•The State which will be buffered by the approved insurers.

•The self-builder who will not be destroyed through blanket legislation.

•The small/local builder who will not become victim to a privately owned, self-regulation board (the CIF/CIRI builders’ register).

•The established, practice-trained professional whose local reputation will continue to be the first and best measure of competence.

Individual citizens and the public will see an essential drawing-back from State promoted self-certification and self-regulation in the building industry, delivering better security and stronger competition at every level.