Minister Hogan defends BC(A)R SI.9 | look back 8

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Minister Hogan defends BC(A)R SI.9 | look back 8

In this post from one year ago, 2nd March 2014, the BRegs Blog posted the transcript of an interview on Morning Ireland RTE News where then Minister for the Environent Phil Hogan discussed SI.9, at that time shortly to be implemented. Regarding costs, Minister Hogan noted “It’ll cost about one to two thousand euro depending on what figure they negotiate with professionals…” It makes for interesting reading from our vantage point one year on.

Original post below:

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RTÉ Radio 1, Transcript: Minister Hogan defends BC(A)R SI.9

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Minister for the Environment defends new regulations. Released 28 February 2014 – Morning Ireland RTE News. Phil Hogan, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government discusses the new Building Control Regulations. Transcript of radio interview previously posted to follow:

“Cathal Mac Coille RTE News Morning Ireland

New Building Control Regulations come into force tomorrow, as Aisling was saying the first of March…now Environment Minister Phil Hogan spoke to me earlier and I asked him first what the legal position of people building their own homes will be under the new Regulations

Minister Phil Hogan

Well first of all we are bringing in these new Regulations Cathal because of all of the poor standards that we’ve seen which have been signed off by professionals in many instances over the last number of years which has resulted in cases like Priory Hall, unfinished estates and pyritic materials in buildings, but in relation to self build, I cannot understand the type of wild exaggeration that has gone on for the last couple of days in relation to this matter. There is no change in the technical performance standards in respect of a newly finished home. The people that engage in direct labour or self build will be able to continue to do so because there is no change in the Act and the statutory obligations under the Building Control Act 1990.

Well, what were doing here is that we’re expecting a professional to sign off on the work that it is actually done in accordance with the papers that are lodged and that it is up to a high standard.

Cathal Mac Coille

Mmmh you need a professional to certify the design and to inspect the works, and professional is defined as an architect, a building surveyor or a chartered engineer?

Minister Phil Hogan

Yes and eh we expect the highest standards and I would have thought that Amanda and her husband would expect the highest standards and I know that they want to have the best possible quality home and they’ll be able to do so by direct labour including our friend from Cavan will be able to continue to report through his architect or professional or through the owner of the particular property to continue as before by direct labour and build their home – their dream home. What they will require, for the first time in addition is a professional person that will have to sign off that the work is done and that will cost somewhere between one and two thousand euro and that’s a small cost to pay for making sure that things are done right for a home that might cost €100,000 or €150,000

Cathal Mac Coille

What do you make of the point made by Amanda’s husband there that it would be foolish for anyone building their own home to make it substandard?

Minister Phil Hogan

Absolutely foolish and what we are trying to do here is to make sure that people like Amanda and her husband would be able to get a guarantee that what is signed up for by a professional in the future means what it says – and that an architect or a building surveyor or a chartered surveyor that signs off on this will be able to say that this is what it has done, this is the whole chain of responsibility

Cathal Mac Coille

Yes but their point is

Minister Phil Hogan

It’s not just an opinion it actually means what it says and we’re empowering the professionals to stand over what they are signing off for.

Cathal Mac Coille

Yeah but that’ll be expensive for a house that you are building for yourself

Minister Phil Hogan

No it will not be expensive! All this exaggeration about thirty, forty, fifty thousand and that direct labour was going to be out the window or banned as a result of this is absolute nonsense. It’ll cost about one to two thousand euro depending on what figure they negotiate with professionals

Cathal Mac Coille

Now there’s also a particular concern as you’ve heard from Amanda there about this undertaking by builder document,  which you must sign. Now, legally they’re concerned that that will expose them to something – which is one thing for a professional builder or a professional contractor to do, but quite different for a homeowner who is just building a home for themselves?

Minister Phil Hogan

Well what we expect is that the consumer will get the top class standard that they should expect from building one of the biggest investments in their lifetime – a home, and whether you’re a self build assigned certifier or whether you’re a professional person we want to ensure that what people sign up for is actually what has happened along the chain of responsibility in the course of the construction of the home. It’s nothing more or nothing less than that. After two years of consultation in relation to this matter I’m surprised at people now like Joan O Connor are actually saying that we haven’t had enough time in order to look at this matter. Two years it’s gone on…two years of all of the various professional bodies have been engaged with the Department and the Local Authorities working out the first of March 2014 as the starting date and you know at the end of the day we want to ensure that we have top quality standards in our housing sector unlike the type of light touch regulation that we’ve had in the past.

Cathal Mac Coille

And yet when you hear the Royal Institute of Architects, who know something about this business, and when they say it’s not ready, things have not been clarified and issues for example like, legal responsibility which is a very serious matter – if they’re calling for a deferral why would you not listen to them?

Minister Phil Hogan

The Royal Institute Architects are not calling for a deferral. There is a small number of people within the Royal Institute of Architects that are calling for a deferral but the President of the Royal Institute Architects and the director Mr Graby – all of these people have written to us to say that they are prepared to comply with the regulations, they have engaged with the Department and with this process for the last two years. They’ve had training programmes for the last couple of weeks – a little bit belatedly, but they had their training in the last couple of weeks where over 1000 architects have been trained so people know that the 1 March 2014 is when these new regulations are coming into effect in the interests of the consumer and the interests of higher standards in the construction sector.

Cathal Mac Coille

There is of course a local election ahead. Are you clear in your mind that any prospective candidate from a government party can go out and say to people who are annoyed about this, worried about this, concerned about the legal position of what they are signing that there is no problem? …that the most this is going to mean is a fee of according to you between one and three thousand euro and that’s it there’s no other added difficulty or reason why they cant build their own homes. Are you sure that they can go and say that? And be believed?

Minister Phil Hogan

Well, all I’m asking people to do in these regulations is that there is nothing new in the regulations that prevents direct labour – I want to make that clear – owners are required to satisfy themselves that persons that they engage to carry out work are competent…and from the self build perspective the owner will as before assume the responsibility as builder for ensuring the building is complying with the regulations, but they must also satisfy themselves that anyone they employ to undertake work is competent to do the job. That’s all we’re asking them to do and I would expect that people who would be building a house by direct labour would require nothing less.

Cathal Mac Coille

That’s Environment Minister Hogan speaking to me earlier.”

Other posts of interest:

Christmas Past – What did you hope for from Santa in 2013? Look back 7

Ghost estates and public housing: BC(A)R SI.9 | look back 6 

Government Reports + Professional Opinion Ignored in SI.9 | look back 5

SCSI | “Highly unlikely Priory Hall would happen in Britain”- Look Back 4

BRAB and BC(A)R SI.9- Look Back 3 

Inadequate Regulatory Impact Assessment for S.I.9- Look Back 2

World Bank Rankings, Ireland & SI.9 – Look Back 1

BREGS Blog Archive 5- APRIL 2014

BREGS Blog Archive 5- MARCH 2014

BREGS Blog Archive 4- FEBRUARY 2014

BREGS Blog Archive 3- JANUARY 2014

BREGS Blog Archive 2- DECEMBER 2013

BREGS Blog Archive 1- NOVEMBER 2013

3 thoughts on “Minister Hogan defends BC(A)R SI.9 | look back 8

  1. Andrew Alexander MRIAI

    “Amanda and her husband would be able to get a guarantee that what is signed up for by a professional in the future means what it says – and that an architect or a building surveyor or a chartered surveyor that signs off on this will be able to say that this is what it has done, this is the whole chain of responsibility.”

    So there you have it.

    The Completion Cert amounts to ‘a guarantee’ and the signature of the professional ‘is the whole chain of responsibility’.

    Construction professionals are paying a high price for all those visits to the Galway tent.

    Reply
  2. Keith Graham

    In the midst of the other wording errors in SI9 (where “an” means “many”), have we forgotten the wording of the signature on the Builder’s Completion Cert ? “by a principal or director only” ?

    Or the guidance in the Code of Practice as to the definition of a competent builder – ie 3 years experience, etc ?

    Have any SelfBuild Completions been issued, does anyone know ?

    Are there ancillaries for design of electrical, installation, plumbing and all the paperwork required ?

    Reply

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