The following opinion piece was submitted by a construction professional on June 10th 2014.
Builder’s Liability under S.I.9- part 5
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.
5. Main contractor acting as Assigned Certifier
Some architects are inserting clauses in the Preliminaries Bill of Quantities to require the contractor to act as Assigned Certifier. From the architect’s point of view, this has a lot to recommend it:-
- Contractor must assemble necessary ancillary and commissioning certificates etc.
- Timely submission of valid Completion Certificate becomes the contractor’s responsibility (and problem!)
- Reduces, if not removes, architect’s liability around Practical Completion
- Contractor (as Assigned Certifier) certifies entire construction.
It is difficult to see how to avoid this responsibility at tender stage without tendering contractors acting in a concerted manner and thus breaching Competition Law. The contractor needs to:
(a) price this workload and responsibility adequately. Given what we hear of RIAI members charging up to 5% of the build cost to act as AC, this gives an indication of the probable cost.
(b) Factor in a get-out clause. Do not submit a fixed price for acting as AC, and be able to charge more if the design and works scope changes.
The first post in this series may be viewed here: Builder’s Liability under S.I. 9 – Part 1
The second post in this series may be viewed here: Builder’s Liability under S.I. 9 – Part 2
The third post in this series may be viewed here: Builder’s Liability under S.I. 9 – Part 3
The fourth post in this series may be viewed here: Builder’s Liability under S.I. 9 – Part 4
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.