S.I. 9 and Construction Products: Orla Hegarty MRIAI RIBA

by Bregs Blog admin team

OOH

 Orla Hegarty B.Arch. MRIAI RIBA is Course Director for the Professional Diploma (Architecture) at the School of Architecture, UCD and a Member of the RIAI Council 2014

In May of this year, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD said that the government “will not tolerate any more Priory Halls or pyrite housing estates” and that it has already “introduced new reforms that will prevent the mistakes of the past being repeated”. So, will the new building regulations sort out the pyrites as claimed? The BRegs Blog asked Orla Hegarty MRIAI who recently published a paper on the Construction Products Regulations to comment.

Opinion: A detailed look at the Construction Products Regulations (CPR) and the revised Part D of the Building Regulations indicates a significant area of potential liability for architects and other professionals.

S.I.9 calls for the Design and Assigned Certifiers to ‘certify’ that the building materials are fit for purpose and in compliance with the CPR. This means that the Assigned Certifier signs off on the building materials, even though he/she is not responsible for the procurement of the products or their installation.

Where pyrite or another defective (or fraudulent) material is later identified a Completion Certificate that ‘signs off’ of on  the  building will be a critical document in any future litigation. A recent landmark legal case in Canada (Link:) makes very interesting reading in the context of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014. In this case (under Canadian law), liability for a pyrite claim of CDN$200m (€134m)  was shared between the general contractors/ concrete formers, concrete mixers, the quarry and the geologist- all of whom had insurance to cover the risk. The supply chain in Ireland does not have these safeguards and S.I.9 is framed to place liability on the site inspector rather than the supplier or contractor.

An architect who has has no control over the supply chain, delivery or installation needs to be very careful.

Link to CPR paper:

 

 

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