RIAI EGM | Opinion: “…the liability we carry must be sustainable”

by Bregs Blog admin team

Open Letter RIAI

The following opinion piece was sent to us on 17th September 2014 by Michael O’Neill in relation to David McHugh’s piece earlier in the week.

I would like to commend David McHugh  on his recent post (link below) and for having the courage of his convictions both in relation to calling the EGM and publishing his views. I wholeheartedly endorse his position.

My background on this is as follows:

I am not a member of the RIAI yet, I am applying for Registration through Option C and am awaiting a call to interview. However, between 27th  June 1990 when I qualified from Bolton Street [now D.I.T.] and 1st May 2008 when the restrictions of the Building Control Act 2007 came in, I inspected and issued Opinions as an Architect for many buildings.

  • I have attended in Court as an expert witness in matters of non-compliance. I have undertaken remedial work for clients in conjunction with Building Control Inspectors and I have issued Opinions on the buildings I helped bring into compliance.
  • I have therefore a reasonably competent working knowledge of the legal system as it pertained to issuing Opinions – Prior to the current Building Regulations.
  • I do not recommend anyone issues Certification as either Design Certifier or Assigned Certifier under the current draconian Building Regulation system.

Even when this system is remedied, I would strongly advise consultant designers – architects, engineers, etc – to limit their Opinions to their design work.

I was one of those in the profession who did not welcome the inclusion of Main Contractors “certificates” under the Schedule A assurances in the Opinion wording. In my opinion, it opened up the Designers to being included in claims against contractors where the built work was not in compliance.

  1. I am of the view that designers should certify design only.
  2. Main contractors together with their sub contractors and suppliers should certify the built work.
  3. All Opinions and Builders Certification should be issued in the context of a properly insured and registered Sole Tradership or Limited Company.
  4. There should be a Statue of Limitations in force, not the current wide-open and eternal liability for Certifiers that is covering someone in a distant factory not assembling a hidden component correctly.

We should not be hounded into our graves nor our families’ beggared in our retirement.

The professionalism we practice must be competent and the liability we carry must be sustainable.

Other posts of interest:

Opinion: “the architectural profession is largely united in opposition to S.I.9” David McHugh

SI.9 Is Defective | RIAI EGM Consensus 

Friday Follow | Eoin O’Cofaigh FRIAI

S.I.9 and Employees: Eoin O’Morain FRIAI

S.I. 9 and Insurance Claims: Deirdre Lennon MRIAI

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

Vivian Cummins MRIAI: Are small architectural practices under threat from S.I.9?

Shrapnel and Spin – Caomhán Murphy MRIAI

Eoin O’Cofaigh: missed opportunity? BC(A)R SI.9

News Alert | RIAI EGM Report

Minister Hogan’s departure- Does this mean somebody can now shout STOP?