Re: Re: visual inspections

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Just a note on certification and its implication – where we came from on this.

Back in the ‘Nineties when I started certifying and the RIAI new form of words came out I initially resisted the inclusion of Main Contractors and Sub-Contractors certs in my Schedule A appendices on a matter of principle.

I felt it was my job to certify the design was compliant according to visual inspection or limited inspection on site.

It was the contractor and sub-contractors job to certify the built works.

I felt that by including their cert in mine I was taking on responsibility for the built works that simply wasn’t justified by the money we were making out of it.

After all, they got the lion’s share of the profit for the built work – many, many multiples of our fees – so they should carry the can.

I was of the opinion that two separate booklets of certification should be issued, with the contractors certification being independently verified by Building Control.

Nobody wanted to listen – most Building Control people weren’t interested in stepping out of their offices unless it was to go to a career-enhancing seminar or course – and so I made the best of it in the following way –

ALL the contractors, sub-contractors and specialist suppliers had to offer their certificates for the built work before I would begin the final inspection.

These certificates would be included in my Schedule A assurances AFTER the design team and/or specialist designers (e.g. Fire Safety Consultants) assurances.

My file was backed up with site minutes, faxes and photographs from the appointed technical person in the office looking after the work PLUS my own site visits.

The “visual inspection system” worked well, used in that way.

However if the implications of the Coalport Saga hold true it has been totally abused in the decade since the end of the ‘Nineties. That suggests that in our most productive period of building in Ireland, the most egregious errors may have crept in through lax standards set by architects and no inspections by Building Control Officers.

However one local authority where credit is due on Building Standards (whatever about other issues on which I may be at loggerheads with them) is Meath Co Co. John Sweeney is the BCO there and runs a tight and efficient ship, with an amazing 100% inspections achieved in one year (2003)!$File/07_part_m.htm

This is how it should be done.

Both examples above show how compliant building standards could be set and achieved using available methods and staffing – no additional laws or new certs needed.

Now let’s see if the RIAI and Phil Hogan can recognize this fact and not make a dog’s dinner of imposing new legislation and Opinions that may be unnecessary.After all,

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