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02/27/2014 12:00:00 AM


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Building Regulations Application

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Building regulations

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Environment

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application of

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Topical Issues\Building Regulations Application

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Building Regulations Application

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Environment\Building regulations, application of

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Deputy Phil Hogan

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Snippet Contents:

I do not know for how long or how often people have been refusing to listen and acknowledge that we are proceeding with new building regulations on 1 March 2014. The new regulations have been the subject of consultation with all of the people involved in the construction industry for the past two years. I am prepared to establish an oversight group, as suggested by Deputy Cowen, to monitor the implementation of the regulations. I concur with him that the implementation of a new regime inevitably gives rise to teething problems. Nevertheless, comprehensive consultation documents have been published, including a document strengthening the building control system, a document to inform public consultation on the draft Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012, which sets out the context in which the reforms will operate and their regulatory impact for building owners and industry stakeholders. This document remains available on the Department's website.
The arrangements being introduced for the control of building activity may result in some additional costs. Certification will be required if one proposes to build to a higher quality design or have a risk-based inspection system. It is not expected that single houses in rural areas will require many inspections. However, inspections will be required for blocks of apartments and commercial developments, as we know from the past. The costs will be modest compared to the outcome.
A register of builders will be established on a voluntary basis in 2014 and will be made statutory in 2015. I am proceeding with this measure, with which the Construction Industry Federation agrees.
Owners and developers who are worried about these matters, for example, draughtsmen, who tend to work in rural communities, will be able to proceed as present on a direct build basis. They will, however, be required to have an architect, building surveyor or chartered surveyor sign off the job to certify it has been done properly. This requirement has always been in place but was not always complied with. If individuals who do a good job want to register with the professional bodies, I appeal to them to do so. I have commissioned a report from the chairman of the architects admissions board, Mr. Garrett Fennell, to examine how to make it easier to register with the professional bodies. I will immediately implement Mr. Fennell's recommendations to enable people to become the assigned certifiers in respect of the regulations.
I assure Deputy Cowen that all of the nonsense on RTE this week is absolute misinformation to the extent that it is being claimed that the cost of building a house by direct labour in a rural area will increase by as much as €50,000. Additional compliance should cost between €1,000 and €3,000, depending on market forces and where the best deal can be secured. I encourage small business professionals, such as draughtsmen, to register with the professional bodies in order that they can act as assigned certifiers. I will careful monitor the position to ensure the regulations are implemented fairly.