BRegs Blog

A blog to debate the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations (BCAR): The BRegs Blog presents an opportunity for free expression of opinion on BCAR and their implementation. The blog is not representative of any professional body or organisation. Each post represents the personal opinion of that contributor and does not purport to represent the views of all contributors.

Tag: building

BCMS Guide – Update: Mark Stephens MRIAI

by Mark Stephens


Earlier this year I wrote a short guide to the Building Control Management System (BCMS); the online system of lodging commencement notices under S.I. No.9 of 2014 and this post gives an update following my first Building Commencement lodged yesterday:

A critical step missing from the previous post concerns the nomination of roles (Nominate Roles tab); this is where the Owner(s), Designer, Assigned Certifier & Builder are specified:


Two important comments regarding these nominations:

• You will not be able to download or upload any Statutory Documents or Supporting Documents until these roles have been nominated AND accepted via the email that you’ve specified during nomination. This system change has occurred only in the last few weeks. The screen-grab below shows the email from BCMS via indicating the acceptance of a role:


• It is the ‘Nominate Roles’ that flags to the Local Authority Building Control Department if any of the roles are the same; it is proposed (in recent CPD) that additional Building Control inspections would occur if the Owner and Builder were the same person for example.

Other key aspects of the system include:

• Secure payment via credit card for the Commencement Notice cannot occur until ‘project details, roles, assessments and documentation are complete.’

• When the payment has been made, the Commencement Notice is then forwarded to the relevant Local Authority for validation:

• The Local Authority then validates the Commencement Notice and confirms this via email:


Due to the time span involved (Commencement Notice was lodged at 9pm and validation occurred at 9.30am the following morning) it does not appear that the Local Auhority is undertaking any further validation (other than that handled online by BCMS) or at this stage any Building Regulation compliance which would not be part of the validation procedure in any case.

Other posts of interest:

No checks of Designer, Builder or Assigned Certifier on #BCMS

Engineers Ireland CPD 10th June

BCMS: Data protection or tax collection?

BC(A)R SI.9- BCMS: “must do better”

ALERT: Cork CoCo guide to BC(A)R SI.9

BReg Blog ALERT: Data Protection & BCMS

Building Control Officer issues: Conference April 2014

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

Self-Builder Amanda Gallagher on RTE One Morning Edition #BloodSweatandTears

by Mark Stephens

Self-builder Amanda Gallagher explains why she is now unable to self-build her own house for herself and her family.


BRegs Blog: have your say!

by Bregs Blog admin team

The BRegs Blog is welcoming ‘Opinion Pieces’ by those who will be affected by the proposed Building Regulation Amendments. Whether you are a self-builder, engineer, building surveyor, building control officer, architect, architectural technologist, contractor or an ordinary citizen. Whether you are for or against the Amendments – we welcome your opinions.

Please email text only to

UK focusses on Irish Building Regs in @GeoffWilkinson article for Architects Journal

by Mark Stephens

The following article is published today in the Architects Journal. Written by Geoff Wilkinson, Managing Director of Wilkinson Construction Consultants the article summarises the proposed Building Regulation Amendments under SI No.9 (formerly SI80) and voices the concerns of Irish architects concerning increased liability. Click on image to download pdf (180Kb):


“severe risk of a hiatus in the construction industry” #bregs #Morning Ireland #JoanO’Connor

by bregs blog admin team

download (1)

Interview with Joan O’Çonnor on Morning Ireland: ‘RIAI call for postponement of Building Regulations’ 

Podcast at: feed://

Listen back at:

“What is needed is a system that prevents defects from occurring in the first place”

by bregs blog admin team

Article in today’s Irish Times on Building Regulations

What is PI Insurance?

by bregs blog admin team


PI (Professional Indemnity) Insurance is taken out by those providing a professional service to provide cover against claims for error or negligence. Generally, PI covers the legal fees involved in defending a claim and the cost of ‘righting the wrong’ if the professional was found to have been at fault.

PI is to protect the professional against a claim, if he makes a mistake. It is, sometimes mistakenly, considered as future warranty for the building owner available to fix anything that goes wrong with the building. This is not the case, as there is no certainty that the professional was at fault or that a claim will be upheld in court.

There are two important points about PI:

Firstly it is on a ‘claims made’ basis.  The claim must be made during the policy, so a 2013 policy covers claims made in 2013, regardless of when the problem happened in the past. This is not like motor insurance- if you crash today and cancel the policy, a future claim will be valid once insurance was in place on the date of the accident.  This poses a problem for professionals and consumers alike; because in order to provide redress, PI insurance would have to be kept in place until the statute of limitations applies.

Secondly, in Ireland there is ‘joint and several’ liability. This means that even if a professional is 1% liable, the entire claim can be made against him as the ‘last man standing’.

A Rural Perspective #bregs #VivianCummins

by Mark Stephens

Vivian Cummins -  RIAI Eastern Region

Rural-Based Architect versus the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2013

While I was reading the forty questions about the BC(A)R 2013 that the RIAI Past Presidents put to the current RIAI Council last week I was wondering about how many of them related to my own business and to rural dwellers in Ireland. I was particularly interested in Question 32: Where are the supports for architects [as recommended by the National Standards Authority of Ireland]?

With a small rural-based practice on the Kildare/Carlow/Laois borders I have a mixed bag of work. For the last five years it has morphed from medium scaled commercial work to mostly residential with fortunately lots of legal due diligence work that has helped to keep the wolf from the door.

My biggest challenge with residential work has always been justifying a reasonable fee when measured against a local unqualified ‘planning permission practitioner with pencil’ (aka Architecture-Lite). This is someone who does planning applications for a house, all in, say for €999 and does not charge VAT. It is a lonely, uphill battle to try and explain to potential clients the level of expertise now required in the increasingly regulated business of architecture from Building Regulations to Health + Safety requirements. The poor person trying to build their new home will be faced with so many new paperwork and bureaucracy costs that they are very likely to make the mistake of skimping on the most important part – having a suitably qualified architect from the outset who will produce compliant designs.

If these onerous regulations are imposed it is regrettable that there are no agencies being provided simultaneously that will provide guidance, help to improve standards and iron out problems such as currently exist with the food, farming and site safety sectors. I will be left to appear like the fuss-pot with all my ‘essential’ paperwork whereas ‘planning permission practitioners with pencils’ and their clients can continue to ignore all of that and self-build to their hearts content. They can seemingly disregard all legislation without any risk of censure from statutory authorities. Will this change in any real way with the BC(A)R 2013?

I am always proud to introduce myself as an architect when I first meet people. I am not so sure that ‘assigned certifier’ will have the same ring. I am not looking forward to 2014 and having to explain, on my own, yet another major raft of unnecessarily complex legislation to a largely unsuspecting public.

Vivian Cummins, B.Arch. (Sc), Dip. Arch., Dip. Arch. Tech., MRIAI
Nominee for the Eastern Region member of the RIAI Council 2013.

€10m Pyrite compensation pack agreed – Will anything change under the new regulations?

by bregs blog admin team


An initial €10 million of funding has been announced by the Government to repair homes damaged by pyrite. ( 16/10/13). Pyrite damaged homes are being rectified at taxpayer expense because there’s no ready system of redress for homeowners.

Although the stated objectives of the new regulations is to provide “traceability and accountability at all stages of the building process” (Minister Hogan 04/04/13), the consumer will be no-better off under the new regulations. A modified system of self-certification will continue and where the assigned certifier cannot be found, or the action for negligence fails , or the certifier no-longer has the means or the insurance to rectify the problem; it may be up to the taxpayer to once again step in and provide redress.

The best time to identify defects and remedy problems is during the construction, through a system of independent inspections. In 2012 The Pyrite Panel reported on the reasons for the failure to prevent defective material (containing pyrites) and recommended that “the system of independent inspections, carried out by the building control officers, should be strengthened to complement the mandatory certification process for buildings”

In the event of ‘latent’ defects (defects that are not evident or have not developed at the time that the building is complete) a mandatory system of Latent Defects Insurance would give the building owner immediate redress for pyrites and other hidden problems without having to go to court. From the Pyrite report: “More generally, from a public policy perspective, systems should be put in place that would provide protection for the public, in the case of urgent and serious problems (such as occurred in relation to pyrite in dwellings), without having to resort to prohibitively expensive, time-consuming and uncertain legal actions having to be taken by individuals.”(The Pyrite Panel Report 2012)

Commissioned by the government, The Pyrite Report Panel carried out a thorough investigation into the problem of pyrite in homes and completed its report in 2012. The report was endorsed by the government and published. If SI80 (the proposed amendment to the regulation) is a response to the problems of Pyrite in homes, it is remarkable that one of this report’s key recommendations: independent inspections by local authorities, is not an integral part of the proposed changes.

Download the 2012 Pyrite Report Here

What is Pyrite? 

Surveyors welcome €10m Pyrite Remediation Scheme Pledge but say the problem is not over. See SCSI press release here

Continue the debate on this Linked-In group on the Building Control Amendment Regulations…

by Mark Stephens

If you’re on Linked-In then why not also join this separate Linked-In group discussing the Building Control Amendment Regulations:

The social media campaign has started…

by Mark Stephens

The BRegsForum is now ‘social-media’ active:

CLICK HERE FOR TWITTER – please follow-us


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