Bank of Ireland | Confusion over S.I.9 Building Regulations
by Bregs Blog admin team
by BRegs Blog on 12th September 2014
Bank of Ireland has produced a new mortgage form in relation to the draw down of stage payments for house building projects. It is labelled “Assigned Certifier’s Report (Architect’s / Engineer’s Report). It seeks to address the new operating procedures following the introduction of S.I. 9 but seems to be as impractical as its pre-S.I.9 version. It appears to have been prepared in conjunction with the Law Society who were not involved as a stakeholder with the drafting of the S.I. 9 legislation. There does not appear to have been any involvement with the approved professional groups, ACEI, EI, RIAI and SCSI, which is a lost opportunity for anyone who is attempting to implement this legislation.
The new Bank of Ireland ‘Assigned Certifier’s Report’ (copy below) is probably intended as an update under S.I.9 but it might cause more problems than it solves as:
- Non-registered professionals who were previously permitted to do stage payment ‘sign off’ are now excluded, even though there is nothing in law to justify this. (To add to the confusion they are still listed on the form even though they cannot be Assigned Certifiers for the Building Control Authorities).
- Architectural Technologists and others are being excluded from work that it is perfectly legal for them to do so. The bank may be challenged on this by customers who have already committed to building.
- Assigned Certifiers (who are specialist experts in technical compliance) are asked to estimate costs, even though this is not part of their defined responsibilities;
- Assigned Certifiers are required to sign a declaration that “I will SUPERVISE construction at all stages”, even though Professional Indemnity Insurance does not cover site supervision of the builder;
- It makes no allowance for the Assigned Certifier’s fees.
- The wording of the new document is contradictory and suggests that unregistered persons may be acceptable to sign off as an ‘Assigned Certifier” in breach of the new regulations.
In previous posts (link) we have discussed the problems for Architectural Technologists and others who do not qualify as registered architects, registered building surveyors or chartered engineers under the new regulations. Before 1 March 2014 the lending institutions accepted ‘sign off’ for drawing down payments during a house build from a range of professionals. In agreement with the Law Society this included:
- Persons who are on the Register of Architects
- Persons who have been in practice as architects or engineers on their own account for 10 years
- Qualified Engineers practicing in the construction industry
- Qualified Building Surveyors practicing in the construction industry
- Persons from another jurisdiction in the European Union whose qualification is entitled to recognition in Ireland under the Architects Directive.
Clearly the role of Assigned and Design Certifier need to be separated out from the role of project manager/architect/engineer on their standard documentation to avoid confusion. Otherwise owners may be in the unenviable position of having a completion invalidated if unregistered project managers start occupying the new roles under S.I.9. This is a matter that the Bank of Ireland and the relevant professional groups need to address immediately (other banks please note).
PDF of form: Works Report