The following opinion piece was submitted by a construction professional on June 10th 2014.
BUILDER LIABILITY UNDER S.I.9- part 1
Builders are reasonably well protected as regards their potential liability under the 2014 Building Control (Amendment) Regulations. As the claims manager for a medium sized contracting company, I would find the situation generally satisfactory. However, contractors should be very careful at certain stages, as follows.
1. How has the builder’s/contractor’s liability been limited under S.I 9?
Under the article 9 of the Building Regulations:- “Every works or building to which these Regulations apply shall be designed and constructed— (a) in accordance with the appropriate requirements set out in the Second Schedule, and (b) in such a manner as to avoid the breaching of any other requirement of that Schedule.”
The builder has a statutory duty to build per the building regulations, no matter what instructions the engineer or architect may issue. Under S.I. 9 however, the builder does not need to certify that he has built in accordance with the building regulations. The actual text of the “Certificate on Completion” reads:-
I certify, having exercised reasonable skill, care and diligence, that the building or works as completed has been constructed in accordance with the plans, calculations, specifications, ancillary certificates and particulars as certified under the Form of Certificate of Compliance (Design) and listed in the schedule to the Commencement/7-Day Notice relevant to the above building or works…..
Reliant on the foregoing, I certify that the works are in compliance with the requirements of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations insofar as they apply to the building or works concerned.
So the builder certifies that he is relying on the documents which the Design Certifier has lodged. The Design Certifier “carries the can”. The CIF negotiators have done a good job in depositing the liability for compliance with the Building Regulations firmly onto the architects and engineers.
Other posts of interest:
Post 1: Architect’s Ancillary Cert (Design & Completion) – click link here
Post 2: Architect’s Ancillary Cert (Inspection) – click link here
Post 3: Ancillary Completion Cert – Inspection (by others) – click link here
Post 4: Ancillary Certs Design – commencement & completion (by others) – click link here
Post 5- Addendum to RIAI Contracts – click link here
Post 6: Draft Client Agreement (architect) – click link here
Post 7: Client & Assigned Certifier agreement (architect) – click link here
We hope this information may be useful to professionals implementing the new building regulations. If there are any registered engineers with similar concerns on ACEI documentation we would be interested in hearing these issues also. At time of writing there are no SCSI/CIF (representative bodies for surveyors or builders) draft documents available to their members. We suggest professionals or contractors contact their respective professional or representative bodies with concerns or queries.