RIAI Complainee investigates IAOSB Complaint

by Bregs Blog admin team

Self Build 2

The following letter of complaint by the Irish Association of Self Builders (IAOSB) was posted on their website on Monday 29th September 2014 (click link here). It is a follow-up on an earlier complaint made last February regarding statements made on self-building under the new BC(A)R S.I.9 regulation by the CEO of the representative body for architects (RIAI). The letter is presented here without comment courtesy of IAOSB:


Letter from IAOSB to Robin Mandal, RIAI President

29th September 2014

Dear Mr Mandal,

Re: Self- Builder status under Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014)

I am writing to you on behalf of the Irish Association of Self Builders regarding the status of self-builders since the introduction of Building Control (Amendment) S.I.9 on 1st March 2014. Despite numerous written exchanges with the previous Minster for the Department of Environment Phil Hogan, correspondence to the Attorney General and the Law Society, the status of self-building still remains unclear. We have also written to the new Minster for the Environment, Alan Kelly T.D. but have not received a reply yet.

In February 2014 in our letter to you, on behalf of our members, we requested that the RIAI formally correct previous statements concerning the status of the self-builders made by the CEO of the RIAI Mr. John Graby . On 6th February 2014, in a radio interview on Ocean FM, Mr Graby stated that self-building was still possible under Regulation S.I.9. We believe these statements were misleading and bring the RIAI into disrepute.

Link to previous correspondence: http://www.iaosb.com/letter from iaosb to Robin Mandal, RIAI President

In reply to us on 23rd February 2014 you informed us that our formal complaint concerning Mr Graby was forwarded on to the Executive of the RIAI. We were surprised to hear that the Executive of the RIAI, the person dealing with formal complaints appears to be none other than Mr. Graby himself which makes a mockery of the whole system.

Can you please clarify what procedure has applied to this complaint, whether any statements of correction have been or will be made, and whether any steps regarding our complaint have been taken.

We would also be grateful to you as the President of the RIAI to confirm the current advice to your members on self-building, particularly in light of correspondence from the Law Society suggesting professionals should not certify self- builds.

The Law Society have confirmed a self-build owner will have to be willing to complete forms as indicated above and to find an architect, engineer or surveyor that is willing to undertake the task of acting as an assigned certifier – in most cases for a person with no experience acting as a ‘builder’. Doing so will clearly increase the risk for the architect, engineer or surveyor, and such professionals would be best advised not to undertake such a role in this sort of situation.”

We assume you have been in contact with the Law Society and their views have informed RIAI policy on the subject of self-building. See Law Society letter here: http://www.iaosb.com/law society of ireland – update on building control (amendment) regulations 2014.html

And finally, our members experience to date is that R.I.A.I. registered architects are unwilling to take on any certifier roles for self-builds at present under the new building regulations. This contradicts everything that was said by Mr Graby as a representative of your institute. If you and RIAI do not agree with this, we would greatly appreciate the names and contact details of all the Architects who are acting as certifiers for self builds.

Building Control (Amendment) Regulation S.I.9 of 2014 has failed and as one of the main stakeholders responsible for its introduction, you need to take action now.

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours Sincerely,

Shane McCloud
Irish Association of self Builders

Cc To all RIAI council members