Iaosb letter to SCSI regarding Building Control (Amendment) S.I.9 of 2014
Dear Ms. Daly,
Re: Building Control (Amendment) Regulation S.I.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.
This Regulation has had a major impact on house building in Ireland and has stopped many self-builders from building a home for themselves and their families.
Irish Association of self Builders has made numerous requests to DECLG to clarify the situation as far as the self builders are concerned but up to now we have not had any correspondence that would explain the legality of the certifications involved and the consequences that it might have on the house owner who have assigned themselves as the builder.
SCSI was one of the main stakeholders who had a role in the policy underlying the regulations and the process of the forms required. Your members are one the professional groups who have been chosen to act as a Design and/or Assign Certifiers. It is their job to accept the required role in a project done by a self builder and sign on the certification needed to confirm the house was built according to the Building Regulation.
However, looking at the past 11 months since the Regulation S.I.9 came into effect, The majority of your members are rejecting the roles if the project is being done by a self builder. I would like to point out that there has been a handful professionals who have taken up this role but they can not cover the whole country. Many of your members are refusing to be an Assigned Certifier as they have not had any reassurance from the DECLG and yourselves on their position should something go wrong with the project.
I am enclosing a copy of correspondence between one of our contacts who is a professional and can act as a Design and an Assigned Certifier and the Law Society for your attention.
According to the Law Society, “Breaches of the Building Regulations may well amount to criminal offences, but only those concerned with actual design and construction of the building in question would appear likely to be subject to prosecution”.
Surely if this is correct, you as the President of SCSI can see why your members are refusing to take up these roles on a self build project. And by not accepting this role, it leaves self builders who are taking the direct route with a project that they can no longer go ahead with and complete. Self-builders are actively looking to engage your members so it is surprising that you are not prepared to work with us for a solution?
It is the duty of your organisation to go back as one of the main stakeholders and ask Minister Alan Kelly and his department to review this Regulation as soon as possible and correct the injustice that has been done to the self builders and the professional members of your organisation through Building Control (Amendment) Regulation S.I.9 of 2014.
This Regulation has been a huge mistake and needs to be revoked or revised before it is too late.
Look forward to hearing your comments soon.
Irish Association of self Builders
Reply from SCSI Re: SCSI members and S.I.9 of 2014
2nd February 2015
Dear Mr. McCloud,
Thank you for your correspondence in relation to the S.I.9 of the Building Control
The SCSI welcomes the new Building Regulations in general as they will improve building standards in the industry. We also recognise that the new Statutory
Instrument (S.I) applies additional obligations on the owners of self-builds where direct labour is chosen for construction.
However, it is not the Society’s role to advise members on what projects to work on and it is up to each SCSI member acting as Assigned Certifiers to decide whether to accept an appointment in a self-build situation.
Building Surveyors, like their architectural and engineering colleagues must assess each potential client on a case by case basis and critically determine the competence, capacity and willingness of each "self builder" in relation to the risks associated with constructing the dwelling, extension or works in accordance with the Building Control Regulations and Building Regulations.
Ultimately, it is a commercial decision for each Building Surveyor to make and not for the Society to determine.