Building Control Institute and Pyrites- 2008

by Bregs Blog admin team

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The Blog team have been looking through the archives recently. Here is an interesting and very relevant presentation from 2008 on Pyrites by Joe Boyle to the Irish Building Control Institute (IBCI) Conference.  Link to presentation here; Pdf:Pyrites the Building Control Experience – Joe Boyle

In the presentation the author noted that pyrites first came to the notice of Building Control Authorities in early 2007. It was noted that the pyrite problem could pre-date this back to 2004. Some notable extracts:

“…Source quarry, CIF, Insurance underwriters & DoEHLG were notified of pyrites problem and asked to warn specifies, designers & builders of this hazard.”

Building Control proactive preventative policy much more satisfactory than legal enforcement action.

That the problem is much greater than currently known – Independent inspection evaluation process needs to be put in place. Followed by long-term insurance compensation supported by the property insurance industry…”

In the presentation the following recommendations were made for future action:


1. Building Control can best serve the industry by controlling the pyrites at the quarry source.

2. Quarrying activity should be matched by a corresponding testing of materials to satisfy compliance with the amended NSAI S.R.21 Clause

3.4.2 Total sulphur < 1% by mass of aggregate & Annex E which advises that a detailed mineralogical examination be carried out by a suitable experienced petrographer.

3. Control can be managed by checking that hardcore delivered to sites is properly certified

This presentation is in agreement with the Pyrite Panel 4 years later in June 2012: “In relation to inspections carried out by building control officers, the Panel considered that it was unreasonable to expect that the unprecedented issue relating to pyrite in hardcore could have been identified by building control officers or other building professionals during normal inspections of construction sites“.

See Pyrite Panel Report 2012 here: PyriteReport pdf

Have we learned anything since this presentation was made 6 years ago? Were the recommendations of Building Control Officers on the matter considered by the Department of the Environment?

Other posts of interest:

The €64,000 question: How big is the pyrite problem?

Pyrite & SI.9- what happens now?

Building Control Officers: Survey

Building Control Officers need help! BC(A)R SI.9

The regulations ignore key recommendations of the Pyrite Panel

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

Government Reports & Professional Opinion Ignored in S.I.80