| S.I. 9 | Are consumers being conned? | Brian Rochford

by Bregs Blog admin team

Brian Rochford

Brian Rochford is a Passive House Designer and Architectural Technologist

Either SI 9 does or does not impose untenable liabilities on Assigned Certifiers. If it does then all must resist it. Engineers or surveyors will not rush into a space where architects will not. I think that if architects showed leadership then the rest would follow.

If architects do not lobby for laws that will actually deliver better buildings for society then who will? Politicians ? Civil Servants ? CIF ? Consumers Association? This is a crucial societal role for architects and they must expect that they will not make friends but enemies in that process – initially. In due course respect will be earned if the course is stayed.

Architects are now held in contempt by the Department of the Environment and architects have to address that reality. The former Minister, Phil Hogan T.D., has said things like architects must take their share of the blame for bad buildings, that they are gouging their clients (thus the AT register initiative) and that he was “empowering” architects – everything except respecting architects.  So architects have nothing to lose there.

However the case against SI9 is bigger than just how it impacts architects. Architects need to hammer home via every communication outlet that they can find that consumers are being conned. They need to point out that SI 9 will not prevent another pyrite or Priory Hall disaster. When that lack of prevention and enforcement is highlighted, consumers will realise that the state has further distanced itself from their plight.

In the bigger picture, the societal case against SI 9 has got nothing to do with architects and everything to do with Joe and Josephine homebuyer. We need to learn from other groups e.g. teachers who only ever lobby for their own pay and conditions “for the sake of the children”.