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.

Pyrite in Dublin Zoo?

by Bregs Blog admin team


In the following article in the, fears that Dublin Zoo, an award-winning state project from 2005 by the OPW, may be affected by pyrite are discussed. We wonder will the public restaurant be closed due to health and safety concerns in light of possible structural issues mentioned?

Inadequate market policing by Local Authorities and lack of additional resources allocated for quarry regulation by Minister Hogan and the Department of the Environment have sparked fears that recent incidences of pyrite re-occurring are widespread in the industry. Professional Certifiers are concerned that they may become liable for defective materials. Due to the State’s lack of action on pyrite many professionals fear they have been made the single-point of responsibility under the new building regulations for an area they see as being the remit of the Department and Government.

Many consumers and home-owners see no change to the regulatory system since the first examples of pyrite affected homes appeared over 6 years ago.

Dublin Zoo’s cracks spark pyrite fears, by Conor Feehan – 10 JULY 2014 12:00 AM– see link here


DUBLIN Zoo has engaged engineers to determine if worrying cracks in buildings at the site have been caused by pyrite.

The cracks were noticed in recent months in the zoo’s offices and Meerkat Restaurant area, and a decision was taken to call in experts to establish if they present any sort of indication of structural damage.

Specialist measuring equipment has been placed across a series of the cracks to see if they are widening over time or if they have stabilised.

A spokesperson for Dublin Zoo confirmed the tests are taking place, but added that the process would take time and results were not yet available to identify the cause of the defects.

“A routine check is being carried out in the office building and restaurant area of Dublin Zoo at the moment,” said the spokesperson.

“There are small cracks in the main office building and restaurant area which we are monitoring. “We are checking for all possible issues, including pyrite,” they added.

There are no reported cracks in the areas where animals are enclosed, and no threat of any escapes by potentially dangerous species. Neither is there any threat to the safety of people using the buildings being examined.

Pyrite has caused havoc to many buildings in recent years, at a huge financial cost.


The mineral, which has been found in some of the stones that are used in the foundations of buildings, expands slowly when it is exposed to the air, causing walls to shift and crack.

If it is found pyrite is the problem it could lead to expensive works to put things right.

Problems with pyrite first came to prominence in recent times in 2007 after the massive celtic tiger building boom.

Residents in some houses in estates in Drynham in Kinsealy, Myrtle in Balgriffin and Beaupark in Baldoyle were among the first to notice cracks in their newly-built homes.

Investigations led to the discovery of the mineral in the infill in their foundations which expands as it oxidises, and pushed up floors as well as moving walls.

It has been estimated that the ongoing cost of repair could be €70,000 for each house affected.

In 2012, pyrite was discovered in three national schools in Dublin, St Patrick’s in Diswellstown, Castleknock, St Canice’s Boys school in Finglas, and St Peter’s in Phibsboro, which was extensively refurbished in 2007.

Other posts of interest:

SI9- where do I start? click link here

Was pyrite discovered in concrete blocks in 2013?  – click link here

Pyrite & SI.9- what happens now? – click link here

Dáil Questions: Minister Hogan and Pyrite – click link here

Radio: Drogheda houses affected by pyrite – click link here


RTÉ News: Louth housing scheme to be demolished over pyrite – click linkhere

RTÉ Radio: Pyrite Alert – click link here




SI9- where do I start?

by Bregs Blog admin team


Updated by Bregs Blog on 12th November 2014

SI9- where do I start?

New to SI.9- Confused? Following on from an influx of new readers to Bregs Blog we received a number of comments like “help- where do I start?“. We have compiled a list of our most read posts with headings to guide readers. You can delve into each topic in depth as most posts have “other posts of interests” at the bottom. With over 680 posts since we started in November 2013 along with industry alerts, getting the specific information you need on one topic can be difficult at the best of times. Our “posts” page shown only the most recent 100 posts.

Type in a key-word search and relevant posts will pop up in reverse chronological order. We also have our “archive” posts that allow readers to scroll down through the each month of posts on Bregs blog from November onwards  (see end of list).

Don’t forget if you feel flooded by information you can configure bulletins to come to you daly or weekly, see post: Note to readers Bregs Blog on Post format. Sign-up to received daily or weekly updates, news and opinion pieces on the new regulations as events unfold. To follow us via twitter and facebook click here: Social Media | BRegs Blog Help + Advice

To sign up just click this link here.

Take your phone (or iPad air) down to the couch and browse through these at your leisure. Remember to log all reading as “STRUCTURED” CPD- nearly as informative as the RTE programme “Room to Improve”!


Where are all the source documents?

Where to find everything part 1? BC(A)R SI.9 

SI.9- Everything you wanted to know Part 2: WHO’S WHO

SI.9- Everything you wanted to know Part 3: ACRONYMS

How does Irish Building Control compare with other countries?

World Bank Report 2015 | UK v Ireland the real cost of “Dealing with construction permits”

World Bank Report 2015 | Ireland’s poor construction regulations are the biggest drag on our ranking

World Bank Rankings [2014], Ireland & SI.9 – Look Back 1

Are there one post I can look at to show all building regulation changes?

Summary of building regulations changes posts 

Is there anything to help me show clients how complex house permissions are now?

Architect’s Overview of Regulations for a Dwelling

Collins & O’Cofaigh | “the 38 steps” and the complexity of our regulations

I am a home buyer-what new protections will si9 afford me?

Legal perspective: consumer benefit? BC(A)R SI.9

Newstalk: BC(A)R SI.9 “is not a consumer protection measure”

10 steps to repairing your defective home under SI.9

What will SI.9 cost commercial and public projects?

SI.9 to Cost €168m in 2014 | Non-Residential Sector

Is SI.9 affecting public projects like schools and hospitals?

60 new schools delayed due to SI.9 |

I am a home buyer-what will SI9 cost me?

SI.9 costs for a typical house

How much is SI9 costing the consumer and industry?

If one of my projects has pyrite what happens now?

Pyrite: the spiraling cost of no Local Authority Inspections

Pyrite & SI.9- what happens now?

Are Design and Assigned Certifiers risking professional suicide with Pyrite and S.I.9?

Do you have any helpful documents?- A Surveyor’s view of BCAR SI.9

Registered Building Surveyor’s Inspection Plan (post 1 of 2)

Registered Building Surveyor’s Inspection Form (post 2 of 2)

Registered surveyor letter to TD’s: BC(A)R SI.9

What do we charge when we don’t know what services we will be providing?

4 things I am putting in my fee agreements

Is my project exempt? It’s only small…


Commencement notice problems | Does size matter?


ALERT | Owners may need Certifiers on porch extensions?

Practical Post 1: BC(A)R SI.9 Extensions & Refurbishments

Industry documentation- what’s involved and what are drafts like?

Engineers Ireland – Building Regulations Certificates 

7 posts all architects (surveyors + engineers) should read

BC(A)R SI.9 + Construction Product Regulations 2013

OK I don’t want to be a certifier- Are there any specialist certifiers who will do these duties separately?

Specialist Certifier 1- ENGINEER: Questions and Answers

Specialist Certifier 2- ARCHITECT: Questions and Answers

Specialist Certifier 3- SURVEYOR: Questions and Answers

Any tips? I’m a designer, specifier, contractor….

10 ‘must-read’ posts for Certifiers | S.I.9

4 tips for Assigned Certifiers…

4 tips for design certifiers

4 tips for sub-contractor ancillary certifiers

5 posts every builder should read

I am employee are there any implications for me?

3 must-read posts for employees

S.I.9 and Employees: Eoin O’Morain FRIAI

What’s the best guide for BCMS issued by Local Authorities for the new regs?

ALERT: Cork CoCo guide to BC(A)R SI.9

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE- Local Authority advice

BC(A)R SI.9- BCMS “must do better”

Is there a Q+A section for quick answers to practical questions?

Practical Post Series 1-20

BCMS Q+A: Part 3 | Process Issues 

Why are clients quoting me very low budgets for BC(A)R SI.9 duties?

Why did Phil Hogan think SI.9 would cost less than €3000 ?

Complaint to Minister: Fee fixing & BC(A)R SI.9

Practical Post 9: Fees & numbers of inspections? BC(A)R SI.9

Press piece: professionals “engaging in financial extortion” says Hogan

What are the legal implications of BC(A)R for all of us?

“The Assigned Certifier is the one in the lion’s den” Rory O’Donnell, solicitor

Summary of Legal Posts – BC(A)R SI.9

Friday Follow | Eoin O’Cofaigh FRIAI

S.I. 9 and Insurance Claims: Deirdre Lennon MRIAI 

What are spec builders and developers going to do now? 

How developers are “adapting” to the new Building Control regulations

Opinion: Are builders + developers off the hook with BCAR? 

Homebond | Assigned Certifier + defects liability policy for €2,000?

Tell me about CIRI the new register of builders?

Minister Hogan launches new construction register

What is the latest CPD advice on the new roles under BC(A)R SI.9?

Design Certifier | RIAI advise separate appointment

Engineers Ireland CPD 10th June

RIAI CPD July 2014: Design Certifier in the Design Process- SI.9

The Engineers Journal: how BC(A)R SI.9 works in practice

What do stakeholders think of the new regulations?

Engineers Ireland Journal | Jack Kavanagh- is SI.9 unjust to both engineer and society?

SCSI | “Highly unlikely Priory Hall would happen in Britain”- Look Back 4

SCSI: SI9 is “positive change”

RTÉ Radio 1 Clip: RIAI confirms call for deferral of BC(A)R SI.9

SI.9 Is Defective | RIAI EGM Consensus

Is BCAR affecting jobs? Are clients delaying projects?

Commencement Notices – Update | 22 October 2014

Residential construction down in 2014 Q1+ Q2: (CSO statistics)

A ‘perfect storm’ for housing? 

Commencement Notices | 6 months after S.I. 9

Irish Times: Dramatic fall in number of buildings being started

Minister Hogan rejects Irish Times Article

‘Recovery’ is Still Worse than the 1980s Crisis

I’m a self-builder why won’t anyone certify my build? Do I need to employ a main contractor?

IAOSB submission to DECLG

Building a house in Ireland- Irish Association of Self-Builders

RTÉ Radio: self-builders & RIAI past presidents Collins + O’Cofaigh

Self-builders write to Attorney General: BC(A)R SI.9 

Law Society response to self-builders

Senator Paschal Mooney, Minister Hogan and Seanad debate

Clampdown on self-building is stymying construction industry | Irish Examiner

I’m an architectural technologist what is going on? 

Dáil: CIAT & RIAI- 2 Architectural Technologist Registers

Have there been any industry surveys completed on BCAR SI.9?

Results | S.I. 9 Assigned Certifier Survey

Building Control Officers: Survey 

BRegs Blog 100 Days | Assigned Certifier Survey

CIF Construction Confidence Survey 


What are large forms doing?

S.I.9 | What large firms are doing 

Do TD’s, politicians or local representatives know about SI9?

3 County Councils ask Minister to Revoke SI.9 

Senators ask Minister to Revoke SI.9 (2 of 4)

Revoke S.I.9 – Fine Gael internal report to Phil Hogan in 2013 (3 of 4)

Dáil TD’s want to Revoke SI.9 (4 of 4)

Alert to TD about new regulations

How do we fix BC(A)R SI.9? 

How do we fix BC(A)R SI.9? 

How much would 100% independent inspections by Local Authorities cost?

Would like to read more- look at our archives…

BREGS Blog Archive 5- MARCH 2014 

BRegs Blog Archive 4 – FEBRUARY 2014

BREGS Blog Archive 3- JANUARY 2014

BREGS Blog Archive 2- DECEMBER 2013

BREGS Blog Archive 1- NOVEMBER 2013