Public sector projects- is SI.9 necessary?

by Bregs Blog admin team


The following opinion piece was submitted by a registered architect on Sunday 25th May 2014.

Public sector projects- is SI.9 necessary?

The Minister’s stated intention for the new Building Regulations is laudable. Something DOES need to be done about speculative housing and creating a paper trail is one part of the solution. My concern is not that some of the other essential elements have been left to ‘catch up’, it is the cost of the paper trail to the exchequer on public projects.

This year, Minister Ruairi Quinn’s Department of Education and Skills has a budget of €470m.

(Link to Minister Quinn’s press release concerning 70 major school projects here)

The additional cost of SI9  is clear; it goes in new administration, for ensuring those who do the work are competent, for keeping records of the designers and builders, for making a file of inspections and certificates, for insurance against defects. Minister Phil Hogan has said that the costs will be justified in improved standards.

But here’s the thing- the Department of Education & Skill already have ALL OF THIS INFORMATION. They pick the design teams and builders. They pay the bills. They already have contracts in place to fix defective work.

So why is up to  €10M  (over 2%) of the 2014 School Building Programme now to be spent of needless administration & paper-chasing when all evidence shows that in school building there is NO PROBLEM to fix? (Link to RIAI guidance to members on additional time for schools required for SIP here).

Surely this considerable sum of tax payers money would be better spent in actually fixing and extending more schools? Another €10m could go a long way.

Minister Quinn now needs to ensure that S.I.105, (the temporary derogation for school and healthcare projects) is made permanent.

Posts of interest:

RIAI: time needed for schools- BC(A)R SI.9 – click link here

RIAI: FAQ on Part deferral BC(A)R SI.105 – click link here

FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) Projects & BC(A)R SI.9 – click link here

Building Control Officers need help! BC(A)R SI.9 – click link here

Part Deferral of BC(A)R SI.9 – click link here

The extraordinary cost of BC(A)R SI.9 of 2014 – click link here