BRegs Blog

A blog to debate the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations (BCAR): The BRegs Blog presents an opportunity for free expression of opinion on BCAR and their implementation. The blog is not representative of any professional body or organisation. Each post represents the personal opinion of that contributor and does not purport to represent the views of all contributors.

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

by Bregs Blog admin team

Look back here to earlier post last year in November on the Pyrite panel report and critical recommendations overlooked in the new building regulations

BRegs Blog


An initial €10 million of funding has been announced by the Government to repair homes damaged by pyrite. ( 16/10/13). Pyrite damaged homes are being rectified at taxpayer expense because there’s no ready system of redress for homeowners.

Although the stated objectives of the new regulations is to provide “traceability and accountability at all stages of the building process” (Minister Hogan 04/04/13), the consumer will be no-better off under the new regulations. A modified system of self-certification will continue and where the assigned certifier cannot be found, or the action for negligence fails , or the certifier no-longer has the means or the insurance to rectify the problem; it may be up to the taxpayer to once again step in and provide redress.

The best time to identify defects and remedy problems is during the construction, through a system of independent inspections. In 2012 The Pyrite Panel reported on the…

View original post 254 more words

Who should be a Certifier- Part 2: Architects?

by Mark Stephens


The following is an opinion piece submitted on 4th June 2014 by registered architect (UK and Ireland trained) Mark Stephens RIBA MRIAI.

In this second post on who should be Certifier I look at my own profession – Architects.

The RIAI in Ireland carries out a statutory function as the Registration Body and Competent Authority for Architects in Ireland and in it is a requirement that a person must be registered with the RIAI to use the title ‘architect’ in Ireland.

The European Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament sets out the legislation and clearly stated Standards regarding the ‘Training of Architects’ which could be used by all individuals eligible for admission to RIAI Membership and the RIAI Register for architects.

If we look at that legislation in a little more detail, in particular: Section 8, Article 46 ‘Training of architects’:

(a) ability to create architectural designs that satisfy both aesthetic and technical requirements.

This is the background that gives Architects the training, skills and experience to be ‘Designers’ under S.I. No.9 of 2014. The ‘RIAI Standard of Knowledge, Skill and Competence for Practice as an Architect’ which uses the European Directive as a framework outlines further that architects should have:

“Ability to develop in detail the design of a building or complex of buildings so as to satisfy client brief, and objectives: aesthetically, functionally, technically and in compliance with regulations”.

(k) adequate knowledge of the industries, organisations, regulations and procedures involved in translating design concepts into buildings and integrating plans into overall planning.

This is the background that gives Architects the training, skills and experience to be ‘Assigned Certifiers’ under S.I. No.9 of 2014.

The ‘RIAI Standard of Knowledge, Skill and Competence for Practice as an Architect’ makes it very clear that Architects should have “Understanding of the resources required to translate the design intent into production drawings and specifications and the realisation of the design in built form”.

The problem is that architects are at risk of being the ‘Designer’ (not in an S.I.9 sense) that puts the pretty face upon a building and it’s left to the engineers to actually construct the building. This was seen recently in the recent debate that Mick Wallace raised with Minister Hogan regarding Architectural Technologists ( see post here) and although the sentiments are correct (in that Architectural Technologists should have been included as persons able to fulfil the duties of ‘Designer’ and ‘Assigned Certifier’ under S.I No.9 of 2014 and it’s a serious injustice that they were omitted), it is important to be clear that it is not the case that ‘An architect’s primary job is to design’ as stated by Mick Wallace. An architects job is to fulfil ALL the functions required as an architect under Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament as described above from the design through to the inspection and certification of the construction of a building.

“Person qualified to design and supervise the construction of buildings”

Other Posts of interest:

Who should be a Certifier- Part 1: Architectural Technologists? – click link here

Architectural Technologists and BC(A)R SI.9: CIAT – click link here

Architectural Technologist – Platitudes, Head Nodding and BC(A)R SI.9. – click link here

O’Cofaigh letter to Mick Wallace TD – click link here

Opinion piece: Architectural Technologist and certification – click link here

Thoughts on a Register for Architectural Technologists – click link here

Audio Clip: Dáil Debate 27th May- Architectural Technologists & SI.9 – click link here

RIAI NEWS ALERT: Architectural Technologist Register – click link here

Message from Mick Wallace TD to Architectural Technologists – click link here

Architectural Technologists’ Petition – click link here

Phil Hogan TD to Minister Gormley on “premature” and “market distortion effects” of register in 2010  – click link here

Architectural Technologist’s personal letter to TD – click link here

An Architectural Technologist Dáil letter – click link here

Architectural Technologists’ Dáil QUESTIONS – click link here

RTÉ Radio: Pyrite Alert

by Bregs Blog admin team


In this alarming radio piece on the “This Week” programme from Sunday 8th June on RTÉ Radio 1, the recent warning concerning pyrite affected blockwork is discussed.  New and very recent pyrite affected buildings appear to have been brought to the attention of the Department and Minister over 2 months ago, but are only coming to public attention now after recent alerts by professional representative bodies representing engineers and architects (ACEI and RIAI).

Listen to RTÉ Radio 1 podcast- click here

It is being alleged that current problems center around pyrite affected blockwork, a potentially more serious issue than previously affected pyrite affected ground floor slabs. Pyrite affected blockwork may require entire dwellings to be demolished; pyrete affected ground floors could be removed while leaving the overall building relatively intact.

We believe pyrite affected blockwork may have been detected in new housing in Drogheda and at least one school (under construction) in the Leinster region. It is not clear how this recent pyrite manifestation will affect certification (and certifiers) and the new system of building regulation introduced in March 2014, and it remains to be confirmed how certifiers can issue guarantees for building materials (like blockwork) in the absence of an independently certified and inspected system of quarries or building materials.

The cornerstone of the new bulding regulations was to be accountability and traceability of all materials, workmanship and professional input. This was to to eliminate issues such as pyrite- the Minister stated a “Clear and auditable trail” would ensure effective eliminate of a re-occurrence of the pyrite problems that permeated boom housing around the country. These new cases are notable as they appear to be recently completed or projects currently under construction.

Building control authorities are actively involved, as they are responsible for inspection of sites and building materials. A report is awaited from the Department of the Environment.

More information will be posted as it become available.

Other posts of interest:

RIAI PRACTICE ALERT: Pyrite in blocks – click link here

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

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

Radio Clip- O’Cofaigh: self building, self-regulation & the consumer – click link here

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

Clear and auditable trail: consumer protection? BC(A)R SI.9 – click link here

Dáil: Proactive vs Reactive Building Control? BC(A)R SI.9- click link here

Legal perspective: consumer benefit? BC(A)R SI.9 – click link here



by Bregs Blog admin team



Dear BReg Blog Reader / Twitter Follower,

Following on from previous popular snap-surveys we note it is 100 days since the new Building Control (Amendment) Regulations (BC(A)R) were introduced. The purpose of this BRegs Blog survey is to gauge the impressions and experiences of our followers of BC(A)R after its first 100 days in operation. We would like you to complete our latest survey.

Link to survey: Assigned_Certifier_100_Days

It is a short survey and should only take a couple of minutes to complete. It has an in-built question logic (ten questions if you have been an Assigned Certifier and five if you have not). The data collected will be used to prepare future BRegs Blogs. Your assistance in completing the survey over a five working day period up to 17.00 hrs. on Friday 13th June 2014 is appreciated.

We undertake to publish preliminary feedback from the survey within one week of its closing.

Thanks from

the BRegs Blog  Team.

Other Posts of interest:

Building Control Officers: Survey  – click here

Breg Snapshot Survey: BC(A)R SI.9 – click here

Specialist Certifier 1- ENGINEER: questions and Answers – click link here

Specialist Certifier 2- ARCHITECT: Questions and Answers – click here

Specialist Certifier 3- SURVEYOR: Questions and Answers  – click here