Dear RIAI Colleague, vote BRegs Reform in Council Elections @BRegsForum

Dear RIAI Colleague

It was good to meet some of you at the recent SI80 CPD in Galway on Monday and I am sure some of you may be worried about voting for BRegsReform candidates in the forthcoming RIAI Council elections:

The RIAI has done great work under the current system in trying to effectively implement the unfortunately seriously, flawed new legislation, however the purpose of a strong BRegs Reform Council is to continue and evolve that work so that:

• We will work with RIAI members (should SI80 be implemented) that they understand fully the logistics of how the inspection and certification system works.

• In the background we will continue the BRegsForum work to the end goal of:

– Full involvement of the Local Authority (or independent authorised inspectors) to inspect every site throughout the entire construction process; under SI80 architects will effectively be taking full responsibility for the works (forget about the nominated certificates; any court case will inevitably go after the person with PI first & that’s the architect). And the Local Authority continues to take zero responsibility. This full LA plan check & inspection is what happens in NI/mainland UK and is very effective. I cannot understand why this was immediately dismissed as all our evidence is showing that it works. It is also incorrect to say that the UK has moved away from Local Authority Inspections and has approved inspectors in a similar vein to that under SI80. The UK system is entirely different to that proposed; the approved inspectors in the UK are independently licensed and approved; with SI80 an Assigned Certifier can be employed by the builder so that the likes of Priory Hall could happen again.

• Mandatory Latent Defects Insurance

A list of registered contractors is (in its current, proposed format in my opinion) not the way to go forward (as it prohibits self-building); it’s interesting to note that not all members of the BRegsForum agree on all the issues; all that we are asking for is the opportunity to debate further a way of implementing a better Building Control for Ireland and a starting point for this is to postpone the implementation of SI80 in March.

– Also in the background (should SI80 be implemented in March) we will build bridges with ACEI/SCS (Chartered Engineers & Surveyors Institutes) and explain the problem to them regarding liability; if we have a problem with this issue then so will they; then we will present this information as a unified group to Minister Phil Hogan. This work has already started and will continue.

Therefore, I am writing to you seeking your vote in the upcoming council elections.

My role in the BRegsForum has been in the team that implemented and manages the BRegsForum web site and social media channels.

About me:
Stephens, Mark BA(Hons) DiplArch ARB RIBA MRIAI Conservation Accredited (III)

I have been in business nearly 25 years in several sectors as well as architecture, I graduated as an ARB/RIBA architect from Oxford Brookes University in 1990. Prior to forming Mark Stephens Architects in County Mayo in 2005 I headed the UK & Ireland’ leading CAD/BIM consultancy to high-profile architects, landscape architects, interior, product and exhibition designers and was a part time lecturer at several UK universities and colleges.


I support the BRegs Forum and the Reform Group – A Manifesto for Change. I will work to unite the membership behind a common aspiration and to fully represent all of the Western members. In particular I am committed to the implementation of an independent, inspection system of construction information/sites by approved inspectors.

I am keen to address the difficulties rural practices in the West of Ireland are currently facing and will give a voice to all Western region members and it would be a privilege to receive your vote and represent the Western Region on the RIAI Council. I propose that the new council review the removal of the hardship rates and seek savings elsewhere I also believe it is critical that the RIAI facilitates discourse among all members, regardless of location. To this end I am committed to establishing an online members’ forum.

In a previous business I wrote and delivered CPD to architects and I understand what architects need in terms of relevant and effective CPD and I will work to ensure that you get the CPD you need at the lowest cost possible.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments,

Yours faithfully,

Mark Stephens