Any avid reader of this blog will have seen the posts on the differences between Ireland and the UK regarding the pathetic Building Control system here. If you’ve missed them, here they are:
Well it looks as if Ireland may get a better Building Control system. It’s not that the Building Regulations are poor (they are in many ways better than the UK if not Europe), the problem is with ensuring compliance.
They’re only in draft form at the moment and they’re a consultation document for public consultation which closes on the 24th May 2012.
In summary, the draft regulations propose the following:
1. Building Regulation Compliant drawings & documentation to be lodged at same time as Building Commencement Notice
2. The client/building owner must appoint an “assigned” professional, at the above stage, to inspect and certify, at Completion Stage, that the building fully complies with the Building Regulations.
The list of “assigned” professionals includes (currently) registered architects, registered building surveyors or a chartered engineers.
3. The “assigned” professional doesn’t have to be the person submitting the compliance documentation at Commencement Stage, but the documentation/certification/inspection on completion must be by an “assigned” professional.
4. The Completion Certificate requires the “assigned” professional to take legal liability for compliance.
The RIAI has several issues with the proposed draft regulations which I’m not going to go into here but my opinion is that I welcome the change but still feel the only way to properly move forward is with an effective Building Control system along the lines of the UK either with Local Authority Building Control Officers or via Approved Building Inspectors.
This also means that although lodging the drawings is fine, there is still no check upon what is actually on those drawings; and it appears that the draft regulations serve only to assign blame upon completion when the proverbial shit hits the fan; a move not actually or truly helping build quality.
I’ll probably be adding to this post over time but comments as always welcome in the meantime…