Building control

Building control

Postby keating » Wed Mar 05, 2008 2:21 pm

Environment Minister John Gormley has made an Order to commence the first phase of the Building Control Act 2007.

Minister Gormley said: “As the Minister with responsibility for the national Building Regulations, safeguarding and improving building standards is one of my core commitments and I am, therefore, pleased to be able to announce today a range of new measures which will reinforce that commitment.

“With effect from 1 March 2008 the enforcement powers of local Building Control Authorities will be considerably strengthened by the commencement of relevant provisions of the Act.” The relevant provisions are:

*increase the maximum penalties for breaches of the national building regulations from £800 (punts) to €5,000 on summary conviction; with fines for ongoing offences from £150 (punts) to €500 per day after summary conviction; and from £10,000 (punts) to €50,000 on conviction on indictment;

*introduce the option for Authorities to bring summary prosecution for all building code offences in the District Court, rather than by way of prosecution on indictment by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the Circuit Court;

*provide for the recoupment of costs incurred by Building Control Authorities in taking enforcement action for breaches of the building code and to obtain the benefit of fines resulting from prosecutions brought by them.

*widen the right of building control authorities to seek an Order from the High Court or the Circuit Court to stop work on buildings where there is non-compliance with the building code

"I have no doubt that, by simplifying the prosecution process and increasing fines, we will see increased enforcement activity by local Building Control Authorities to ensure that Ireland's high building control standards are fully adhered to,” said Minister Gormley. “I regard these new provisions as a major consumer protection measure, in that the enforcement powers of the State’s 37 Building Control Authorities will be greatly strengthened.”


Question is whether the number of building control officers and inspections will increase. Compliance with Part L 2007 will be performance rated, Architects opinions of compliance may need to be radically changed or an alternative system of certifiying that builings if tested on completion will match the design specification or minimum regulation standard. Perhaps it will go the way of fire certs where outside consultants handle compliance.
keating
Member
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:09 am
Location: Tipperary

Re: Building control

Postby henno » Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:29 pm

i agree....

all the above is pointless unless the current aim of 10 - 15% of new builds visits is increased to at least 50%.

Building control resources in most counties is a joke, resulting in a necessity of action on a 'reactive' basis from public alerts rather than in a proactive manner.

Regarding 'external certification'... i can definitely see this as the way to go. architects opinion on compliance will eventually be restricted to 'planning' and the majority of building reg certification will be done by external certifiers.... ie Energy Regs, Disabled Access, fire regs, Ventilation regs, structure etc etc.
henno
Senior Member
 
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 12:07 pm

Re: Building control

Postby jackscout » Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:58 pm

"external certification" is already happening in the case of compliance with Part B of the Building Regulations on the larger developments where fire consultants are engaged. Of course Structural Engineers have for many years issued certificates for the structure of the building. With various different assessments/certificates required (and proposed), is it now the time we went along a similar route as the UK, where buildings are formally submitted to an adequately resourced Building Control Authority for assessment, rather then a hit and miss system, where some elements are submitted for approval and others are not.
jackscout
Member
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:56 pm

Re: Building control

Postby FunkyCoW » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:57 am

DoE inspections themselves aren't great in my experience. I was involved in snagging apartment blocks in a very large West Dublin housing estate where the DoE inspector became fixated by door opening widths on access routes (and rightly so) but failed to notice that gas boiler exausts flues were close to opening windows and air vents.

I don't know the type of training DoE inspectors get so I won't get all high and mighty - maybe someone can enlighten me?
FunkyCoW
Member
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:10 pm

Re: Building control

Postby PTD » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:43 pm

http://www.i-b-c-i.ie/index.html
They have an institute maybe they can help.Yes in my experience they are proactive rather than active. I'v one or two cases at the moment where warring neighbours are using the local authority's building control departments to hurl shit at each other. (Usually after a fallout over money or boundaries) When a complaint is made by one side about a possible UD the building control officer is sent out and
goes through the breaches of the planning permission (if any). Anyway in
these cases it has led to one side or the other having to lodge a retention application. I know of one county adjacent to Dublin where at i reakon at least 50% of the current planning applications are for retention.
PTD
Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:16 pm

Re: Building control

Postby onq » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:22 pm

I have found the Inspectors in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown competent and the BCO in Meath is exemplary, with much pro-active work done by John Sweeney prior to commencement.

ONQ.
User avatar
onq
Old Master
 
Posts: 1220
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:29 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Building control

Postby vca » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:52 pm

To ensure a satisfactory system the Building Regulation monitoring process should encompass all three procedures:

1. The submission of building regulation compliant drawings to the Building Control Authority for assessment and approval prior to construction.

2. Regular site inspections by Building Control officers during construction.

3. Certification on completion only by an architect who has prepared production drawings and supervised the construction.

This will ensure lots of work and fees for under-employed architects. It is time to end the ludicrous current system of meaningless 'waiver-qualified' certification that has only benefited developer contractors and lost vast amounts of work to architects and resulted in sub-standard construction for the end users and building purchasers.
vca
Member
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: Building control

Postby PTD » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:19 pm

I'v never had a BCO involved in any Job as a self employed practitioner. Except for the taking in charge process.
Perhaps I speak to soon.
I can only relate to domestic work and yes Meath CC are being more
proactive at Commencement Stage in the past year or so but it usually relates to such issues as 5 year occupancy agreements and development levies. Perhaps they need the money. Remember the cheque (€1M) from a developer that was left in a Drawer for a couple of years.
PTD
Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:16 pm

Re: Building control

Postby onq » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:56 am

I don't see specialist certs being supplied by people instead of the architect.

That is a retrograde step.

The correct way to assure purchasers is threefold.

1. Make it mandatory that all buildings must be certified by a competent architect - for this to be a logical follow-on all buildings must have an architect designing them from the start.

2. In order for this certification to be credible, make it mandatory to retain an architect to furnish tender and working drawings and to attend on site during construction for limited inspections and certifications, including interim testing by specialists as required [existing example - cube tests]

3. Make it mandatory that the architect must include all subsidiary and specialist certificates as part of his Schedule A Assurances. We already do this with Structural and Civil Engineers and Fire Safety Specialists. This should be increased to refer to the Safety File, the BER Cert and any Part L related Certs.

Otherwise we'll end up doing more kow-towing to the H&S brigade, where some people already only offer the archtiects certs as part of the safety file.
This is a nonsense IMO since safety is part of what an architect certifies - his work is not encompassed within it, its the other way round.

ONQ.
User avatar
onq
Old Master
 
Posts: 1220
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:29 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Building control

Postby shadow » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:31 pm

Actually the most appropriate thing to do would be to introduce determination into the regulation process. In other words fund it as it shoudl be with all drawings being submitted at the same time to the local authority for planning control, fire safety, envrionmental compliance and disability access. Following various discussions regarding all of the above planning is given and then to ensure building compliance regular inspections by the building surveyor from the LA at critical stages. No need for separate opinions of compliance (as they are only opinions), No need for penalties as strict compliance issues are caught firstly at applicaiton stage and then at execution. Not rocket science..... Also there is the confidence that the LA would then be the single aribter of interpretations......some consistency. And before everyone starts shouting about incompetence at LAs and a lack of ambition or innovaiton, if the Minister is interested or serious then it should be supported, funded and paid for. Planning fees and contributions would then have a trasnperent function as is required by the Local Government and Planning Acts.......
shadow
Member
 
Posts: 313
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2001 1:00 am

Re: Building control

Postby onq » Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:44 am

Shadow,

This sounds fine in theory, but its not going to happen.

Firstly, Planning and Building Regulations are separate strands of law.

Secondly the administration you suggest is simply not affordable at the present time.

As for being workable in principle - I sincerely doubt it can be done effectively or competently.

The proof of this is the new Disability Access Certificate - Building Control simply hadn't enforced Part M.

On the other hand employment legislation specifically supported persons with disabilities = an unavoidable collision.

ONQ.
User avatar
onq
Old Master
 
Posts: 1220
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:29 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Building control

Postby shadow » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:04 am

That is the very point. If something is important enough and systemic (to borrow the financial parlance) then it must be funded, therefore the fees associated with submissions for planning and regulation should follow the requirement. Also a central single authority supplementing the individual LA's would solve the efficiency problem. As for being separate laws, laws can be changed and even if left separate they could still have a single operational system which unties these two strands. For instance; at the time of planning the same documents could be submitted in parallel to a national agency that would carry out the assessment and analysis. This is not rocket science. Also our model of planning and building regulations is essentially the British system with tweaks. They have determination and inspections and enforcement, why take 70% of the system and leave the functioning 30% behind. By the way I am not a fan of the over specified, excessive red tape, constantly changing, conflicting and contradicting levels of legislation and guidance that currently defines the "system". (I am also aware that the English system is not working perfectly either and CABE was supposed to be the answer. Instead of fixing the system there they added a Quango to look after the deficiencies.) Enforcement is only one aspect of a thorough reformation of how and why we plan.
shadow
Member
 
Posts: 313
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2001 1:00 am

Re: Building control

Postby FunkyCoW » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:08 am

onq wrote:Shadow,

This sounds fine in theory, but its not going to happen.

Firstly, Planning and Building Regulations are separate strands of law.

Secondly the administration you suggest is simply not affordable at the present time.

As for being workable in principle - I sincerely doubt it can be done effectively or competently.

The proof of this is the new Disability Access Certificate - Building Control simply hadn't enforced Part M.
On the other hand employment legislation specifically supported persons with disabilities = an unavoidable collision.

ONQ.


and that gave builders encouragement to disregard Part M as well, or interpret it as they saw fit.
FunkyCoW
Member
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:10 pm

Re: Building control

Postby onq » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:30 am

FunkyCoW wrote:and that gave builders encouragement to disregard Part M as well, or interpret it as they saw fit.


Absolutely - no question about it.

ONQ.
User avatar
onq
Old Master
 
Posts: 1220
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:29 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Building control

Postby henno » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:40 pm

FunkyCoW wrote:and that gave builders encouragement to disregard Part M as well, or interpret it as they saw fit.


which is exactly what is happening with Part L... builders are still coming to terms with 2002 regs!!!

i had a builder in this morning who dismissed taping up windows and opes as a "complete waste of time and money"
henno
Senior Member
 
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 12:07 pm

Re: Building control

Postby onq » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:20 am

Yep. Complete waste of time and money. How will you open them [windows] or walk through them [opes] if they're taped up? Do you do the internal opes as well? the house must have great security, but I'll bet its hard to hoover.

ONQ.
User avatar
onq
Old Master
 
Posts: 1220
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:29 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland


Return to Ireland



cron