There’s been a lot of comments floating around concerning “UK architects would kill to have the proposed Irish Building Control system”. Now I’m not going to say who said what, I’m simply going to give my personal perspective as a UK born and trained architect who’s now living and working as an architect in rural west Ireland:
The system of Building Control in the UK is a pain in the ****, you send your drawings in as a full plans Building Regulation application and then they come back to you for changes in order to ensure compliance. You send them back in and then they are returned with further clarifications to comply. At the time it’s incredibly frustrating. I can see why the Irish system would appeal to UK architects.
The system in Ireland is that there is no third party checking the drawings or the site during construction, The architect takes the full responsibility of ensuring the drawings and construction are compliant with the Building Regulations. If there’s anything missing it’s the architect who ends up in court. This system is unlikely to change under SI80, forget about the third party certificates from other consultants; it’s the architect on the main certificate and it’s the architect who will get hit first as it’s the architect with the Professional Indemnity Insurance. There are effectively no checks during construction by the Local Authority or an Approved Inspector. There is no back-up concerning foundation depth, clarification of compliance…etc The architect is on his own sometimes battling builders and owners doing his/her best to get a building constructed in accordance with the Building Regs.
Now I’ve worked under both systems and I know which one I’d prefer; I’d kill to have a UK system in Ireland.