Radio Clip- O’Cofaigh: self building, self-regulation & the consumer

by Bregs Blog admin team


Continued confusion concerning the new building regulations and concern for self-building and was discussed on Ocean Fm, Ireland’s fastest growing radio station, on Wednesday 16th April.

Listen to clip North West Today, Wed, 16th April by OceanFM- click here

The building control segment starts on 41.46.

In this segment, mother of five and self-builder Amanda Gallagher reiterates her concerns regarding the halting of self-building projects due to the Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014). She, and her family, planned to build their own house on her husband’s family farm. However due to the increased costs of employing a CIF registered contractor along with additional professional costs as a result of the new regulations, the cost of her planned house has spiralled beyond their reach- It will no longer be possible. She notes due to contradictory statements made by Minister Hogan and the Department, self-builders like herself and her family, have stalled commencement until the problems associated with the regulations are ironed out. She views the new law as being a restriction on civil liberties, unique in Europe. She notes, in contrast, that in the UK financial incentives were recently introduced to promote self-building.

Ex president of the representative body for architects (RIAI) Eoin O’Cofaigh, speaking in a personal capacity, comments on issues raised. He confirms Ms Gallagher’s concerns and specifically notes the SI.9 builder’s completion certificate must be signed by a principal of director of a building company only- a very clear requirement on the form. He confirms the problems with the new building regulations generally for consumers. He also noted that the RIAI had unanimously decided that si9 is not in the interests of the consumer, as passed at recent EGM. He notes, despite the best intentions of the Minster, that SI9 simply will not work.

Mr O’Cofaigh suggests a more effective, simpler system of local authority inspections would give consumers far greater protection.

This system successfully operates in the UK presently and a similar system pre-dates our current defective system of self-certification. He suggested that self-regulation has not worked in other areas; banking, finance, charity sector- why should it be expected to work here in the construction sector. After 20 years it has resulted in systems failures such as Priory Hall and the pyrite scandal. He confirms that the new regulations, unfortunately, will not stop construction scandals like these from re-occurring.