11 May 2015
A comprehensive internal survey of Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) members was undertaken in October/November of last year. There were 627 respondents, 1/4 of the total membership of 2,500. Survey results were presnted at the Irish Building Control of Ireland (IBCI) conference in March by RIAI representative Paul Kelly, and confirms a strong preference by the majority of architects for independent building inspections. The survey asked questions like:
“How should compliance of design with building regulations be confirmed?”
The Survey concluded that 85% of Architects want independent inspection of design & 75% of construction.
The IBCI presentation also highlighted the need for inspections to ‘at arms length’ from developer-builders, and echoes past president Michael Collins confirmation of the international standard for various types of inspection (ISO/iIEC 17020: 1998(E)):
“A.1 The inspection body shall be independent of all parties involved.
B.1 The inspeciton body, and its staff responsible for carrying out the inspection shall not be the designer, manufacturer, supplier, installer or purchaser, owner, user or maintainer of the items which they inspect, nor the authorized representative of any of these parties.
C.1 The inspection body shall provide safeguards within the organisation to ensure adequate segregation of responsibilities and accountabilities in the provision of inspection services by organisation and/or documented procedures.”
Our current system of “reinforced self-certification’ under Building Control Regulations introduced last March does not meet the above criteria. Significantly certifiers can be direct employees of developers, a clear flaw in the current system. Professional Certifiers still get paid directly from owners, a clear conflict of interest. The lack of any new consumer protections under the new system despite spiraling costs has been highlighted by numerous consumer advocates and industry experts.
See IBCI presentation here: IBCI Paul Kelly Architects Perspective
The full list of IBCI papers now online: http://www.i-b-c-i.ie/conf.html
Such a strong response by the majority of members of this key stakeholder group should be of interest to the Ministers, who are undertaking a review of the Building Control Regulations at present.
Other posts of Interest: