Questions and Answers on Building Control (Amendment) S.I.9 of 2014
What is Building Control (Amendment) S.I.9 of 2014? According to Minister Phil Hogan, “the new Building Control Amendment Regulations which came into operation on 1 March 2014 will greatly strengthen the arrangements currently in place for the control of building activity by requiring greater accountability in relation to compliance with Building Regulations in the form of statutory certification of design and construction, lodgment of compliance documentation, mandatory inspections during construction and validation and registration of certificates.The new regulations are necessary following the widespread instances of failure by owners, designers and builders to comply with their statutory obligations under the Building Control Act 1990 to design and construct buildings in accordance with the building regulations. These obligations apply to all sectors of the housing market, including the self-build sector.” The Minister is referring to Priory Hall and Pyrite situation in which self builders had no involvement with and was caused mainly by developers and dodgy building contractors.
Will it effect self builders? Yes, this Amendment will cause severe restrictions on self builders and extra costs which could be as high as 10% of the overall cost of the build.
What is different for self builders now and prior to 1st of March 2014? As a self builder you now have to nominate:
A competent Design professional to design the house in accordance the Building Regulations.
A competent Builder to construct the house in accordance the Building Regulations.
A competent Assigned Certifier who will inspect and certify the build from start to finish.
You as the building owner also have to make sure that all the certifications are done according to the Building Regulations.
Can the Architect be nominated as the Builder? No
Can the Design Certifier also be the Assign Certifier? Yes
Can you nominate yourself as the Builder? According to the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government “yes”. However, there are still legal question that have got to be clarified as far as the signature on the undertaking by the builder form. More….
Is it legal for you to sign as the builder? According to the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government “yes”. However, we are still waiting for clarification on this matter from Attorney General. More….
Can you self build using Direct Labour? According to the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government “yes”. However, as the building owner you have to be satisfied that the contractors you have chosen are competent. More….
Do builders have to be registered? There is a voluntary registration of the building contractors through the website CIRI.ie until 1st of March 2015 when it becomes compulsory.
What is the definition of “competent” as far as this Amendment? According to the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, “the Building Control Authority has no role in checking or verifying the builder's competence – it is the owner’s responsibility.” . However, under the Code of Practice a competent person is; “a person is deemed to be a competent person where, having regard to the task he or she is required to perform and taking account of the size and/or complexity of the building or works, the person possesses sufficient training, experience and knowledge appropriate to the nature of the work to be undertaken” . More….
Would Assign Certifiers sign off a project done by self builders? You have to shop around as there are a lot of professionals who are not happy with the way this Amendment will hold them responsible should something go wrong.
Building Control (Amendment) Regulation S.I.9 of 2014, is it going to cost you more than before 1st of March 2014? According to Minister Hogan, as a self builder you will find an increase cost of between €1000 to €3000. It is not clear where this figure came from and what methodology minister is using. Industry estimates an additional 190 hours needed by professionals to certify under si9. This would suggest a cost of €15k per typical house but may vary. Should you wish to use a Building Contractor, you need to add an extra 10% to cover the cost. So on a €180,000 house, a contractor would charge around €18000.
Is the country ready for this Amendment? No. There are a lot of issues that need to be clarified for both the self builders and professionals. Through our own experience, the local Building Control Authorities themselves are still in the dark regarding this Regulation. The Minister has even rejected letters from RIAI President, Mr Robin Mandal asking for the deferment . More….
Are we happy as an Association about the introduction of Amendment S.I.9? No. While we welcome a tougher policing of the building industry, we believe that this Amendment will cause a lot of hardship on most self builders to the point that they will not be able to go ahead with their build. We also object to the system of registration of builders being set up by CIF. This system forces you to choose your contractors from a selected group who have been registered through CIRI by 1st of March 2015.