BREGS Blog Archive 2- DECEMBER 2013

by Bregs Blog admin team


Don’t forget our archives!

At time of writing on 29th June 2014 we have over 1,030 daily subscribers to Bregs Blog that have access to over 400 posts. For many recent readers our December 2013 posts will be a new source of information and background on the new regulations.

Click on the following link and scroll through the second month’s posts we published- many of these highlight some of the issues we are currently experiencing.

Click title: BREGS Blog Archive 2- DECEMBER 2013

Following on from a formal policy adopted by the representative body for architects (RIAI) in October 2013 at the largest ever EGM, on December 16th a petition was submitted to Minister Hogan signed by over 500 members of the RIAI requesting deferral of the new building regulations in the interests of consumer protection and industry readiness. This number represented over 25% of all registered architects in the Ireland. See PDF of letter here: 500 petition letter to Minister.

Given the recent re-occurrence of pyrite in the construction industry it would appear little has happened to regulate and stop this problem. In the post “The regulations ignore key recommendations of the Pyrite Panel” we listed key recommendations of the pyrite panel report, a report commissioned and endorsed by the Government, that were disregarded in the formation of the new regulations. See post here.

In this month we posted:

  • Priory Hall resident spokesman Graham Usher noted “As a former resident of Priory Hall, I read the proposed changes to the Draft Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012 with interest…After reading, I cannot help but feel Environment and Local Government Minister Phil Hogan and his department have failed utterly to learn the lessons of Priory Hall.” He added “…Incredibly, it would appear there will still be no inspections by the local authorities...In my opinion the aim of the proposed amendments is to ensure that the State succeeds in absolving itself of having to take any responsibility for potentially dangerous defects to peoples homes despite the funds they have and will continue to receive through large levies & stamp duty.” (see post here)
  • Deirdre Lennon architect and current council member of the representative body for architects (RIAI) in a personal opinion piece added to the widespread calls for comprehensive local authority bulding control inspections (see post here): “If the Minister is really serious about strengthening the Building Control System he can task the Building Control authorities to carry out independent inspection and review protocols similar to that operated in the UK. This system has been tried and tested and following review in 2012 has been confirmed to be the most cost effective solution for protecting the quality of the built environment. We would welcome it.”
  • In another opinion piece (see post here) the Irish system of Building Control was shown to be unique internationally. The Department of the Environment target of only one site visit to 12-15% of buildings was compared to 100% inspection rates of all dwellings in the USA and in much of Europe.
  • In a letter to the editor of the Irish Times 7 past presidents of the RIAI asked the question “New or same old building regulations?” (see link here)
  • Past president of the RIAI Joan O’Connor discussed the obligations of the State and consumer rights in a personal opinion piece. She concluded with a question Dare we look aim for a radical overhaul of the system to simplify the administrative aspects of building control to focus on essentials such as education, inspection and insurance?” Read post here.
  • In Government Reports & Professional Opinion Ignored in S.I.80 (see link here) we noted the multitude of recommendations and reports disregarded (like the pyrite report) in the design of SI9 (SI80).
  • The very cursory regulatory impact assessment (RIA) for the new regulations from 2012 was noted (see post here) in contrast to similar RIA undertaken in the UK in 2012. In the UK the comprehensive study was set to examine how to streamline the UK’s system of approved inspectors. We noted that “The UK report included the Irish system as a option: light-touch, low-cost (to local authorities), self-certification, but discounted this early on due to cost to the consumer and to the wider industry.
  • We also posted the first of many posts on the problems of self-builders: “Self-builders to be phased out under S.I.80” (click post here)

Previous Archive posts (click title):

BREGS Blog Archive 1- NOVEMBER 2013

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