BRAB and BC(A)R SI.9- Look Back 3

by Bregs Blog admin team

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BRAB and BC(A)R SI.9- Look Back 3

Recent  readers may have missed some older posts that are still of interest post-implementation of SI.9 in our 500+ post archive. In our third “Look Back” Post we re-examine the role of Building Regulations Advisory Body (BRAB) in the formation of SI.9.

The BRAB was set up under the 1990 act to advise the Minister on matters relating to building regulations. The 5 year term of the last panel was up in 2012, and for reasons unknown was not re-convened. Over 20 separate groups had a presence on the board including consumer bodies. Following May 2012 these organisations no longer had any input into the new regulations. The Department consulted with a much smaller key stakeholder group comprised of members of the industry: representative bodies for chartered surveyors (SCSI), engineers (ACEI), architects (RIAI) and builders (CIF).

Remarkably BRAB never met after May 2012 to discuss the new regulations. Effectively there was no consumer representation in the subsequent formation of SI.9.

At around the same time the BRAB was suspended mid-2012, the reporting of Building Control inspection rates was also discontinued (see post “Building Control Officers need help! BC(A)R SI.9“)

At the EGM for the representative body for architects on 12 August a speaker from the floor confirmed that BRAB had been disbanded and he called for BRAB to be urgently reconvened to bring together the appropriate range of stakeholders and expertise to deal with the fallout of SI9.

The BRAB is a statutory board and the Minister of the Environment is supposed to make appointments. Former Minister Phil Hogan last referred to BRAB in November 2012 during a debate on pyrites when he confirmed that he had abolished it:

The Building Regulations Advisory Board was no more and no less than an advisory board, but the Government, on my recommendation, abolished it in recent days. The information matters that have arisen from this, from Priory Hall and other issues will form part of the solution in terms of future building regulations which I will bring to Government shortly. It is not acceptable that those who took money from consumers on the basis of a structural guarantee did not discharge their responsibilities, which is what HomeBond and Premier did. They were set up by the Construction Industry Federation to provide certainty to consumers about structural matters and they let everybody down in that regard. Professionals let people down. Unfortunately, those who were affected were the consumers. I am very much in the space of helping consumers to overcome the difficulties which were created through no fault of their own. I am pleased by the constructive approach of most members of the committee who are trying to find a resolution to this

Perhaps the new Minister will take action on this … and perhaps he might also take their advice?

The post below was first published on Breg blog on 14th March 2014.

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BRAB and BC(A)R SI.9

 
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The Building Regulations Advisory Body (BRAB) is set up under the Building Control Act to advise the Minister for the Environment on the building regulations. So, what does the BRAB think about the regulations brought in last March? Were they consulted about draft regulations in 2012? Presumably so. Do the BRAB think the 2013 regulations protect the consumer against future Priory Halls? Do they think the regulations protect businesses against the risk of intellectual property theft from all the drawings to be given to the local authority? Did BRAB discuss the possibility of independent inspections, which so many organizations called for in their submissions to the Minister on the draft regulations?

Presumably BRAB meets regularly and somebody keeps a record of what is discussed. There is no detail on the Department of the Environment website about this though. Presumably, too, all this information is available under an FOI request. Is there anybody with any information on when the BRAB last met – it must be since these regulations were introduced last March – who can offer any advice on this?

Link to BRAB – Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government

http://www.environ.ie/en/DevelopmentHousing/BuildingStandards/BRAB/

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extract from site:

BRAB (Building Regulations Advisory Body)

The Building Regulations Advisory Body (BRAB) is a statutory body appointed by the Minister, under Section 14 of the Building Control Act, 1990 to advise him on matters relating to the Building Regulations. Membership of the body includes representatives from the construction industry and regulators at national and local level. BRAB was originally established in 1992. The current BRAB was appointed for a five-year term by Ministerial Order dated 14 June 2007.

The DEHLG (Building Standards Section) provides secretarial services to the BRAB. The DEHLG develops proposals to amend the Building Regulations and related Technical Guidance Documents (TGD) in consultation with BRAB.

Members of the BRAB:

  • Mr. Jay Stuart, Chairperson, Integrated Sustainable Design Const.
  • Mr. Michael Brown, National Standards Authority of Ireland.
  • Mr. Brian McKeon, Construction Industry Federation.
  • Dr. Eugene Farrell, Home Bond.
  • Mr. Mark McAuley, Building Materials Federation.
  • Ms. Denise Germaine, Chartered Inst. of Architectural Technologists.
  • Mr. Gerard Grogan, Tánaiste’s nomimee
  • Mr. Jim Keogh, Electro-Technical Council of Ireland.
  • Mr. Jack Callanan  National Disability Authority.
  • Ms. Emer O’Siochru, An Taisce.
  • Ms. Maria Melia, Chief Fire Officers Associations.
  • Ms. Ann Mills, City & County Engineers Association.
  • Mr. Johnny McGettigan, Irish Building Control Institute.
  • Ms. Minka Louise McInerney, Royal Inst. of the Architects of Ireland.
  • Mr. Jimmy Keogan, City & County Managers Association.
  • Ms. Krystyna Rawicz, Society of Chartered Surveyors.
  • Mr. Gary Treanor, Irish Timber Frame Manufacturers’ Association Ltd.
  • Mr Sean Balfe, National Standards Authority of Ireland.
  • Ms. Sarah Neary, Senior Building Adviser, Building Standards, DEHLG.
  • Mr. Noel Carroll, Senior Housing Adviser, DEHLG.
  • Ms. Jacqui Donnelly, Architect, Heritage Policy & Architectural Protection, DEHLG.
  • Ms. Terry Prendergast, National Consumer Agency
  • Mr Cian O’Lionáin, Principal Officer, Private Housing Sector & Building Standards, DEHLG
  • Ms Edel Collins, Office of Public Works
  • Mr Kevin O’Rourke, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
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