Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012

Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012

Postby wearnicehats » Fri May 11, 2012 2:28 pm

seriously - it's nuts. read it and make a submission.

http://www.environ.ie/en/Legislation/De ... 907,en.pdf
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Re: this is knee jerk insanity

Postby Zygnoth » Mon May 14, 2012 10:50 am

This really should have a lot more comments - it affects all of us and needs an appropriate group response.

In the irishtimes today: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 65469.html
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Re: this is knee jerk insanity

Postby gunter » Mon May 14, 2012 1:22 pm

O’Cofaigh might be a bit excitable, but he is right about this, legislation like this is not designed to improve actual construction standards, it’s designed to have someone to hang it all on whenever the next thing goes wrong.

The solution to bad building practice is a good, competent, professional, local authority inspection regime. Nothing scares the living daylights out of the dodgy builder/developer like an unannounced inspection by a couple of humourless officials with laminate badges.

When you’re dealing with a determined corner-cutter, like at least half the builder/develops I’ve ever dealt with, you find out very quickly how little influence the architect has, and resigning achieves nothing in terms of the building standards on the project and it just hands the bastard a bit of extra profit in the form of a couple of grand saved in unpaid fees.

On one job a couple of years ago, I had to pretend that we were subject to a random building inspection by the Corpo, just to get proper DPCs put into the window opes, very basic stuff, and even then the ‘builder’ nearly followed the official [actually a double-glazing salesman] to his car, probably with the intention of slipping him a few quid in preference to actually fixing the defect.
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Re: this is knee jerk insanity

Postby teak » Mon May 14, 2012 1:49 pm

On one job a couple of years ago, I had to pretend that we were subject to a random building inspection by the Corpo, just to get proper DPCs put into the window opes, very basic stuff, and even then the ‘builder’ nearly followed the official [actually a double-glazing salesman] to his car, probably with the intention of slipping him a few quid in preference to actually fixing the defect.

A good example of off-the-cuff creativity by an architect.
Unfortunately, there's a few architects whose creativity somehow became a bit less positive with the onset of of a mortgage . . .

Back on topic, I agree that either Dept of Env or the local authorities ought establish an inspectorate for the task of building control, at least for certain types of buildings.

But this brings me to the role of Clerk of Works.
I'd've thought that these people would fulfil the bulk of this inspection role in cases where the owner was separate from the contractor.
Now, for a project as big an investment as Priory Hall, I'd have expected that the CoH should be called to account for himself . . .
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Draconian Measures in the Proposed Building Regulations?

Postby onq » Mon May 14, 2012 2:58 pm

Looks like some members of the institute aren't too happy about having to stand over their certs...

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 65469.html
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Re: Draconian Measures in the Proposed Building Regulations?

Postby onq » Mon May 14, 2012 5:50 pm

The Minister does not seem to be aware of the division of roles on a building project between -

(i) the Design Team - who certify the design of the building or works and

(ii) the Main Contractor, Sub-Contractors, Suppliers, and Tradesmen... who carry out the building or works.

Furthermore he does not appear to understand the limitations of inspections and the interleaving of the booklet of certification and guarantees, all bound up with the Architects Schedule A Assurances.

I would be happy to advise him, but having met him once before on the matter of Registration, and having seen his performances in relation to the Septic Tank Registration Fee Household charge, I'm not sure which part of him I should appeal to.

His mind seems set in stone, but he has shown some leeway concerning the septic tank issue which may point to a soft heart.

The Minister should be briefed as to the tried and tested roles and how certification *should* work, as opposed to how one or two people have abused the system.

-------------------------

The Minister of course may see things differently.

From another point of view this is the logical consequences of the restriction of certification to persons registered under the Building Control Act 2007.

What should have happened was a corollary registration and assessment of building companies and tradesmen, who carry out the build work.

-------------------------

None of this addresses the lack of commitment by local authorities to enter into joint inspections in order to move matters forward and improve assurances to the public.

One thing is certain, unless Phil Hogan and Enda Kenny get a clue about what they are doing, between hamstringing the building industry at the same time as they are imposing unimaginative and relentless austerity, their government will not last jig time.

I have posted about this on Facebook also

https://www.facebook.com/michael.oneill ... _id=121652
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Re: Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012

Postby wearnicehats » Mon May 14, 2012 11:07 pm

Why was the title of this thread changed?
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Re: Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012

Postby onq » Tue May 15, 2012 9:15 am

I imagine Paul merged two threads - pity we have a relatively boring title fronting for what is shaping up to being a vibrant subject for discussion.
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Re: Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012

Postby DOC » Tue May 22, 2012 3:07 pm

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Re: Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012

Postby onq » Wed May 23, 2012 9:12 am

It was posted on Facebook Here

https://sites.google.com/a/andrewjudge. ... tions-2012

I'm developing a very jaundiced opinion of thsi present government, particularly Phil Hogan. I think he and they need to be taken out.

My reason for wanting the government out and someone like Sinn Féin in is as follows:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... fF1SgPp9nw

The other, more targeted reason is as follows -

This draconian, inappropriately framed law is Fine Gael putting the boot into our profession, a profession that sits at the head of the Building Industry, an industry which is seen as a Fianna Fáil stronghold.

The longer this recession continues, the more people there are out of work in the building industry, the more likely it is they will emigrate and cement the power base of Fine Gael. And of course with no resurgence from an economic sector that supports a lot of unskilled labour and people who may only work every now and again, Fine Gael might be forgiven for thinking that this could affect Labour and Sinn Féin as well.

Under other circumstances it might. But people here are fighting back in many ways, striving to survive in their own land. This government may only last another year, if what I hear on the ground is goign to happen. The truth will be seen in this referendum.
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Re: Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012

Postby onq » Thu May 24, 2012 3:27 am

Mr. Phil Hogan TD
Minister for the Environment Community and Local Government,
Custom House, Dublin 1

RE Draft Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012

A Chara,

I refer to the proposed wording to be imposed on certifiers of built work by the subject document

"Notwithstanding the responsibilities of other person/s or firms/s in relation to the works, I accept responsibility and legal liability for the inspection of all works as necessary to ensure that they are neither defective nor contravene any requirements of the Second Schedule of the Building Regulations".

This measure as put forward by the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan with specific regard to certification by professionals is exactly the wrong strategy to achieve compliance in the built work. This will make a difficult situation worse.

I submit that the following is a reasonable means of achieving widespread compliance.

=================================

1. Only a competent person should issue opinions of compliance with Building Regulations in relation to buildings. In this we are all agreed and I applaud steps taken by the Minister to make this customary practice. However issuing opinions must rest on adequate levels of inspection and reflect proportionate liability for the elements being certified. Certification in law cannot and at the moment does not imply ultimately liability rests with one person. The Ministers Bill fails to place an onus on persons commissioning or procuring a building to retain professionals at all stages. Worse, there is no role for the local authority. The former makes it unworkable. The latter is mere convenience for local authorities. Neither is good for the public in terms of either the giving of assurances or the quality of the built work.

2. For buildings designed for people to carry out their various activities (as opposed to structures or automated manufacturing facilities) the architect is normally the leader of the design team, from whose designs flows the basis for the work of others. IN some specialist buildings where processes or functions are the focus of the accommodation as opposed to people, the Engineer is the head of the design team. The worked example below assumes the architect is the design team leader as is normal for must buildings built in the State.

3. The correct certification of buildings arises from (i) the design and (ii) the built work being compliant with the requirements of the building regulations. The architect’s Opinions are used as the basis for the booklet of certificates. Competent design professionals certify the design. Competent contractors, sub-contractors and specialist suppliers certify the built work. Their several certificates form an unbroken quilt of responsibility and liability under the auspices of the architect’s Opinion and are listed as Schedule (A) Assurances therein.

4. Each specialist professional takes responsibility for those parts of the building designed by his/her firm. Services are designed by an M&E, structure by a Structural and Civil Engineer. There may be specialist Fire Engineering and External cladding solutions that also involve elements of design co-ordinated by the architect, who does not design or specify them in detail. Each professional involved in design should issue Certificates stating that his/her element of design complies with the relevant building regulation(s) affecting that element. The architect co-ordinates the design and issues an overall Certificate [The Opinion] which confirms overall compliance.

5. Each specialist sub-contractor takes responsibility for those parts of the building built or installed by his/her firm. Services are installed by plumbers, electricians, lift suppliers, heating suppliers, sprinkler system suppliers, lighting suppliers, Fire Detection and Alarm System suppliers, security system suppliers etc. There may be specialist Fire Engineering and External cladding solutions. All of these specialist sub-contractors are supported by attendances provided by the main contractor, who co-ordinates their work with his own but, who does not build or specify them in detail. Each Sub-contractor involved in design should issue Certificates stating that his/her element of work complies with the relevant building regulation(s) affecting that element. The Main Contractor co-ordinates the built work and issues an overall Certificate that confirms compliance of work not covered by sub-contractors or suppliers certificated.

6. The architect issues the Opinion accompanied by the Health and Safety File and supporting documentation in respect of the built work such as guarantees, commissioning certificates and installation manuals.

=================================

The benefit of this method is that the people responsible for each element issue their own certificate and are held liable to that extent. Each company or firm therefore knows that it is liable in law for doing its work competently, whether it is design work or building work. This keeps them on their toes and each monitors the others. The only element of design that is not covered by a competent Design Professional or Contractor is work done by artisans or craftsmen.

The RIAI Yellow and Blue forms of contract (With and Without Quantities respectively) reflect this system of building production and accommodate it. Other forms such the Short Forms, GDLA, FIDIC, GCCC and JCT Contracts can also be used depending on the nature of the building and programme.

We have recently seen a Register introduced for Building Professionals to offer increased assurance to the public - this is to be welcomed.
However, there is no similar register for Main Contractors – anyone can claim to be a contractor. Given the over-arching responsibility of the main contactor in the building programme, this needs to be addressed.
Worse, there is no obligation on a developer to retain competent design professionals to design the building or competent contractors to build it.
Finally there is no obligation on local authorities to inspect all developments or approve all proposed details.

Instead of Minister Hogan creating registers for contractors and making it law to retain adequate professional oversight at all stages of a building project, enumerating the responsibilities and liabilities of each design professional and contractor to ensure that they all play their part, he has done the opposite. The responsibility rests solely on the architect (or engineer) for all other professionals and all the contractors and suppliers. No longer will each look to their own and ensure their work is competently done. The architect (or engineer) carries the can.

This will lead to serious injustice, especially where there is no obligation for the developer and builder to accept the architect’s instructions or even to appoint a competent and adequate team of professionals to assist him and competent contractors to build the building.

=================================

For example, ten years ago a pre-cast concrete stairs collapsed in a multi-story building under construction injuring workmen. As this appeared to be a structural failure, the trial centred on the structural engineers role. It was held that he had designed the stairs and its support system competently. The focus then shifted to the sub-contractor who supplied and fitted the stairs. It was found that the stairs was fixed using an inadequate number of bolts and that those used were also too short. The engineering firm who supplied the stairs was found liable for the collapse. The engineer was not.

The proposed bill would now seek to place this entire burden on the architect, which is clearly not appropriate since a specialist, the engineer, designs the element. Where instead the engineer is held liable, he now has no defense in court under the proposed Bill, which would be a travesty of justice and denies well-established precedent. The proposed Bill will be counter-productive since no-one except the certifier carries legal responsibility. The rest will duck and weave.

=================================

Responsibility and liability should not rest solely with the private sector. Oversight must be maintained by the relevant local authority for all jobs being carried out within its area of control. This involvement should start prior to commencement of the built work to insure that the ground is properly surveyed and assessed and resources are pooled to identify and address all potential sources of hazard. It should continue with unannounced spot checks during the job in tandem with the Health and Safety Authority and continue after completion to ensure the building is fully commissioned and completed. This is no longer self-certification, but co-certification.

It is clear that the present Bill is not drafted to give the level of assurance required. In fact by placing the entire burden of responsibility on one person it erodes what levels of assurance exist at present.

What should occur is that all persons or firms should continue to be responsible for their areas of expertise and competence. Persons commissioning building should be required by law to employ competent registered contractors to carry out the works and to retain competent design professionals to design, inspect and certify them before during and after completion. Local authorities must ensure that the law is being complied with and supply information in their possession regarding both environmental conditions and services. Only by this comprehensive approach can good governance be achieved and quality in the built work be attained.


Is mise le meas,

Michael O'Neill for
O'Neill Quigley & Associates
Planning & Design Consultants
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Re: Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012

Postby onq » Fri May 25, 2012 12:28 pm

Mr. Phil Hogan TD
Minister for the Environment Community and Local Government,
Custom House, Dublin 1

RE Draft Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (3) Insurance Cover

A Chara,

I refer to the proposed Bill, my previous correspondence herein and note hereunder further comments for your file.

No Insurance Provider will cover any competent professional for the extent of personal, professional, indemnity, contractors, sub-contractors and specialist suppliers cover required for the liability that would be imposed by issuing any Certificate with the below wording.

"Notwithstanding the responsibilities of other person/s or firms/s in relation to the works, I accept responsibility and legal liability for the inspection of all works as necessary to ensure that they are neither defective nor contravene any requirements of the Second Schedule of the Building Regulations".

I have formed the opinion that this is a thinly veiled attempt by this government to undermine the correct functioning of the building, insurance and legal sectors in Ireland.

Is mise le meas,

Michael O'Neill for
O'Neill Quigley & Associates
Planning & Design Consultants
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Re: Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012

Postby DOC » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:02 pm

Just wondering if anybody has heard of any updates on this?

Have not heard of, or seen a word written on this, since submissions were made to the DOE back in May?
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