RIAI PRACTICE ALERT: Pyrite in blocks

by bregs blog admin team

2422009-damage-to-housing-estates-13-390x285 The following guidance was issued to RIAI practices on May 29th 2014 regarding the recent warnings from the ACEI concerning pyrite in some concrete blocks.

Here is an extract from the recent RIAI Practice guide:



A number of RIAI Practices have brought to the attention of the RIAI problems encountered on projects in the Leinster region with concrete blocks that contain pyrite. The problem, as identified, where concrete blocks containing pyrite are used structurally, is likely that the structural integrity of the block-work will need to be investigated, in particular where it is in contact with moisture/water.

RIAI Practices or Members, who have specified concrete block-work in recent months, and have used it in construction on site, may need to be prudent and establish the identification of sources of masonry and specific testing that has been carried on them. If a Consulting Structural Engineer was involved, they should be consulted, together with the main contractor. It is early days as yet for more complete information to be made available, however, the RIAI will be seeking to consult with various bodies to ascertain a better picture, and advise on how to deal with the problem.

ACEI have produced an alert for its members and the text is published below.

For link to ACEI advice click here


Extract as follows:

ACEI – Interim Advice Note RE: Masonry Blocks and Apparent Pyrite Content

Attention all members!

The Association of Consulting Engineers Ireland have published an Interim Advice Note RE: Masonry Blocks and Apparent Pyrite Content.

“It has come to the attention of the Association of Consulting Engineers that there have been recent instances of apparent pyrite content in concrete blocks provided by block manufacturers. In cases reported the affected blocks were noted to have a brown discoloration. The physical strength characteristics diminished over short period of time, particularly when exposed to moisture.

The ACEI are concerned about these occurrences and recommend all member firms request assurance from suppliers that materials are free of deleterious materials and that a representative sample of blocks be tested for pyrite content by chemical analysis. We will endeavour to keep members informed and would appreciate any feedback on members experience in relation to this matter.”

The Interim Advice Note, as published by the ACEI is available here:

ACEI – Pyrite in Concrete Blocks Advice Note 2014-05-13

.jpeg version of ACEI advice note:



Other posts on this topic:

Practical Post 16: Pyrite and certification? – click link here

The regulations ignore key recommendations of the Pyrite Panel- click link here

€10m Pyrite compensation pack agreed – Will anything change under the new regulations?- click link here

Assigned Certifiers facing jail? BC(A)R SI.9- click link here