Despite the special exemption (aka ‘derogation’) from Building Control Regulations for some pressing public sector building projects it would appear that S.I.9 is continuing to have an impact on capital budgets and programmes, particularly, on schools. See this recent Independent article here.
“the Building Section in the Department of Education and Skills has been under severe pressure over the past six months because of the new building regulations as have been architects, structural engineers and quantity surveyors, and that 60 new school building projects similar to the New Ross project have been stalled”
Earlier in the year TD’s like Kevin Humphries were particularly active in asking various Government Departments if any assessment had been made of the cost impact of S.I.9 on capital budgets at the time of its introduction in March 2014. Many did not reply. However the Department of Education was quick to get former Minister Phil Hogan to introduce a part deferral or ‘derogation’ for educational and health projects already in progress. Despite this, since its introduction on 7th March, only a handful of school projects have availed of the process, known as S.I. 105 as it is quite onerous and lengthy.
This will not come as welcome news to contractors and members of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF). We note delayed capital projects is normally a hot topic for the CIF, whose members turnover is affected by any delayed government capital spending.
Issues associated with the new regulations include additional construction costs and delays, vague and conflicting wording in the regulations, legal uncertainty, concerns regarding liability and consumer benefit, huge additional consultant and contractor costs, additional red-tape and industry readiness have beset the introduction and roll-out. Reduced residential output and falling commencement levels post-implementation have been masked somewhat due to the upturn in the commercial sector in Dublin. Two cohorts remain seriously affected by S.I.9: self-builders who are effectively banned under the new regulation, and Architectural Technologists whose income and livelihoods are seriously impacted upon by their exclusion from privately run statutory registers of professionals allowed to undertake new roles.
However for rural based contractors delays in public projects such as schools i.e. ‘bread and butter’ projects, will be of serious concern.
Other posts of interest: