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Letter from Iaosb to Robin Manda, RIAI President

29th September 2014


Dear Mr Mandal,

RE: Self- Builder status under Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014)


I am writing to you on behalf of the Irish Association of Self Builders regarding the status of self-builders since the introduction of Building Control (Amendment) S.I.9 on 1st March 2014. Despite numerous written exchanges with the previous Minster for the Department of Environment Phil Hogan, correspondence to the Attorney General and the Law Society, the status of self-building still remains unclear. We have also written to the new Minster for Department of Environment Alan Kelly but have not received a reply yet.


In February 2014 in our letter to you on behalf of our members we requested that the R.I.A.I. formally correct previous statements concerning the status of the self-builder made by the Director of the R.I.A.I Mr John Graby . On 6th February 2014 in a radio interview on Ocean FM, Mr Graby stated that self-building was still possible under Regulation S.I.9. We believe these statements were misleading and bring the R.I.A.I. into disrepute.

Link to previous correspondence: http://www.iaosb.com/letter from iaosb to robin manda, riai president.html


In reply to us on 23rd February 2014 you informed us that our formal complaint concerning Mr Graby was forwarded on to the Executive of the R.I.A.I. We were surprised to hear that the executive of the R.I.A.I., the person dealing with formal complaints appears to be non other than Mr Graby himself which makes a mockery of the whole system.


Can you please clarify what procedure has applied to this complaint, whether any statements of correction have been or will be made, and whether any steps regarding our complaint have been taken.


We would also be grateful to you as the President of R.I.A.I to confirm the current advice to your members on self-building, particularly in light of correspondence from the Law Society suggesting professionals should not certify self- builds.


The Law Society have confirmed
a self-build owner will have to be willing to complete forms as indicated above and to find an architect, engineer or surveyor that is willing to undertake the task of acting as an assigned certifier – in most cases for a person with no experience acting as a ‘builder’. Doing so will clearly increase the risk for the architect, engineer or surveyor, and such professionals would be best advised not to undertake such a role in this sort of situation.”


We assume you have been in contact with the Law Society and their views have informed R.I.A.I. policy on the subject of self-building. See Law Society letter here: http://www.iaosb.com/law society of ireland - update on building control (amendment) regulations 2014.html


And finally, our members experience to date is that R.I.A.I. registered architects are unwilling to take on any certifier roles for self-builds at present under the new building regulations. This contradicts everything that was said by Mr Graby as a representative of your institute. If you and R.I.A.I do not agree with this, we would greatly appreciate the names and contact details of all the Architects who are acting as certifiers for self builds.


Building Control (Amendment) Regulation S.I.9 of 2014 has failed and as one of the main stakeholders responsible for its introduction, you need to take action now.


Look forward to hearing from you soon.


Yours Sincerely,


Shane McCloud
Irish Association of self Builders
www.iaosb.com


C.C. To all R.I.A.I council members


                                               –-–-–-–-–-–-–-–-—––-–-–-–-––-–-–-–-–-––-–-–-–-–-–-–-––-–-–-–-–-––-–-–-–-–-––-–-–-–-–-–-–-––-–-–-–-–-––-–-–-–-–-–-–-——–––-
From:
RMA

Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2014 9:36 AM

To: 'Irish Association of Self Builders'

Subject: RE: Self- Builder status under Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014)

Dear Mr. McCloud,


I have forwarded on your email to the Executive of the RIAI.


I trust that the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government will clarify the questions that you raise with them.


Kind Regards,


Robin Mandal

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From: Irish Association of Self Builders
Sent: 24 February 2014 19:16
Subject: RE: Self- Builder status under Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014)

Dear Mr Mandal,


RE: Self- Builder status under Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014)


I am writing to you on behalf of the Irish Association of Self Builders regarding the status of self-builders from 1st March onwards. Despite numerous written from Minster Phil Hogan to questions asked on our behalf by other TD’s the status of our members remains vague.


We have been informed by attendees that at an Engineer's briefing on January 17th 2014 the consensus view of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), Department of the Environment (DOE) and Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (R.I.A.I) representatives was that self-building would no longer be possible from 1st March onwards. Hubert Fitzpartick of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF Director of Housing) confirmed this position that self-building would end on 1st march (interview on January 23rd 2014).

Contrary to this in numerous written answers to TD’s Minister Phil Hogan has stated that self-building can continue as before under SI.9. We have also read recent Local Authority public guidance stating that an owner could elect to be the builder on commencement providing a competent builder sign the completion certificate.


The Director of the R.I.A.I Mr John Graby also stated that self-building was possible under BC(A)R SI.9 in a radio interview on 6th February 2014 on Ocean FM.


We have the unacceptable situation where we have a Minister at odds with his Department with different interpretations of the regulation, the CIF and the R.I.A.I also with different opinions (two key stakeholders) and finally local authorities who have issued different guidelines again on the status of the self-builder under BC(A)R SI.9.


Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 OF 2014) of course has not changed and the completion certificate for a builder states
"to be signed by a Principal or Director or of a building company only".


We at Irish Association of Self Builders, have sought independent legal advice on the status of self-builders under Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014). Our legal advisor confirmed that the sentence "to be signed by a Principal or Director or of a building company only" is the applicable section that has been signed into law. If that sentence is not removed or changed to include building owner, then the building owner may find themselves with legal actions taken by or against them should they go ahead and sign the certificate as the builder. The document Building Control (Amendment) Regulation SI.9 of 2014 was passed in to law by the Minister on the 15th of January 2014 and it can not be changed for individual cases.


On behalf of our members we request that the R.I.A.I formally correct previous statements concerning the status of the self-builder made by Mr Graby; we believe these statements are misleading and bring the R.I.A.I into disrepute. We will also be requesting a formal correction from Minister Hogan and the local authorities that have issued conflicting and misrepresentative advice on this matter also. Why we are not afforded the courtesy of a correct and legally accurate response and guidance to our one simple question “can self-building continue after 1st March”? What has been given up to now is not acceptable to our members and to the citizens of this country affected by this legislation.


Look forward to hearing from you soon.


Yours Sincerely,


Shane McCloud
Irish Association of self Builders
www.iaosb.com