Minister Alan Kelly, right, Regina Moran, Fujitsu Ireland CEO and president of Engineers Ireland, and John Power, director general of Engineers Ireland, arriving at the conference in Killarney
The following article from 15th May 2015 in Engineers Journal reports on the recent Engineers Ireland (EI) conference in Killarney. For full article see here.
Minister for Environment, Community & Local Government Alan Kelly spoke at the Engineers Ireland annual conference ‘Engineering and Technology’ in the Malton Hotel, Killarney, yesterday. Quote: “Kelly acknowledged the positive engagement from the engineering community on the building regulation legislation. While he did not divulge details of the review, he did warn the engineers to expect further changes in the final report.”
EI Director John Power said: “Engineers Ireland supports any review of the system to ensure the smooth running of the certification process. However, we firmly believe that the mandatory requirement to comply with the building regulations for self-build properties, single dwellings or extensions to existing dwellings should remain in place…Engineers Ireland does not believe there is a valid case to broaden the pool of professionals to undertake these [Certifier] roles.”
Due to collapsing commencement levels for once-off or self-built houses, the current BC(A)R S.9 review has focused on prohibitive costs for this sector. Industry estimates the cost of the building control regulations is over €30,000 for a typical house, and up to €60,000 for a self-built dwelling (see post below).
In an effort to address these costs and the consequent sharp fall-off in output for this sector, a number of proposals are under consideration: extending the pool of available professional certifiers and introducing exemption from provisions of SI.9 for once-off housing. Key professional industry stakeholders and EI have come out in opposition to both of these proposals. Both the representative body for architects (RIAI) and EI organisations have issued advice to members on fees which appears to pour cold water on the Minister’s target maximum SI.9 professional Certifier fee of €3,800 per residential unit.
In an earlier post we noted recent advice issued by Engineers Ireland (EI) to engineers on BC(A)R SI.9:
“If acting as Design Certifier, Assigned Certifier, Ancillary Certifier or participating in any Inspection Plan, engineers should be paid appropriately. All engineers should be aware of the additional obligations and inform and educate clients appropriately. Clients need to appreciate all the additional requirements and accept the costs. Proper and fair remuneration is essential for the new roles and for professionals to fulfil all of the additional duties under the new regime to have the desired effect”
‘Don’t dilute legislation on building control regulations’, conference warns minister
Ireland is once again experiencing growth in the construction industry and it is critical at this time as more projects begin development that there should be no easing of compliance with the building regulations, Engineers Ireland director general John Power tells its annual conference.
The director general’s comments come in the final days of the building regulations review, which is under way by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.
Speaking at the 2015 Engineers Ireland annual conference in the Malton Hotel, Killarney, Power said: “Engineers Ireland supports any review of the system to ensure the smooth running of the certification process. However, we firmly believe that the mandatory requirement to comply with the building regulations for self-build properties, single dwellings or extensions to existing dwellings should remain in place.
“Currently, to ensure the highest standard of quality and protection for building occupiers, the certification roles of assigned and design certifier are limited to chartered engineers, registered architects and chartered building surveyors.
“The nature of these professional titles means they are the most competent people to do so. Engineers Ireland does not believe there is a valid case to broaden the pool of professionals to undertake these roles.”
Addressing Engineers Ireland delegates, Minister Alan Kelly recognised the significant role engineers play in planning and delivering sustainable infrastructure in Ireland. “It is important we learn from mistakes of the past to help promote sustainable growth in the future,” he said.
The minister spoke about the new national spatial framework and promised “it will be developed to respond to the needs of communities around the country, not by political motivations”.
Kelly acknowledged the positive engagement from the engineering community on the building regulation legislation. While he did not divulge details of the review, he did warn the engineers to expect further changes in the final report.
The Engineers Ireland annual conference titled ‘Engineering and Technology: Delivering Tomorrow’s Ireland’ will see more than 200 industry leaders gather in Killarney, Co Kerry, to discuss issues affecting the development of Ireland from an economic, social, industrial and educational standpoint and how engineering can help tackle the challenges facing the nation.
Regina Moran, chartered engineer, president of Engineers Ireland and CEO of Fujitsu Ireland; Michael McNicholas, Ervia CEO; Jerry O’Sullivan, ESB deputy chief executive; Dr Edmond Harty, Dairymaster CEO; and economist Colm McCarthy are among the speakers contributing to the debate.
Other posts of interest: