Opinion Piece: Duck and Drakes

by Bregs Blog admin team


The following opinion piece was submitted by a registered architect on 3rd May 2014

Opinion Piece: Duck and Drakes

Architects and Design Teams who are being put under pressure to accept appointments as Certifiers (sometimes for nominal fees) might be tempted to remind their clients, in the words of the Minister, that:

“the regulations may result in additional design, inspection, certification and, possibly, insurance costs which must ultimately be borne by the building owner. Such additional costs would be justified by the enhanced quality and standard of design and construction of the building project concerned” (1)

In cases where a government department, agency or local authority is asking a consultant architect or engineer to sub-contact out the Certifier services themselves (as in recently highlighted case from Department of Health link)  they might also remind their clients that it is the legal responsibility of the Building Owner to make this appointment and to ensure that this person they appoint is competent:

“The Assigned Certifier is the person assigned by the Building Owner as is required under the Building Control Regulations. They undertake to inspect and certify the building works on completion. They may or may not be a member of the design team” (2)

At the end if the day, the new rules that put clear legal responsibility and accountability on owner/developers apply equally to government departments, agencies and local authorities and it is they (and not the Certifiers) who can be prosecuted for non-compliance. Public sector employees who sign the new documents should be cautious.

“The owner of the building, and the builder who carries out the works is responsible, under law, for compliance with Building Regulations and Building Control Regulation” (3)

(1) http://www.kildarestreet.com=Phil+hogan+building+owner

(2) http://www.donegalcoco.ie CodeforInspectingCertifyingBuildingWorks.pdf

(3) http://www.wicklow.ie/BCAR-FAQ’s.pdf