10 September 2015
Journalist Michael Clifford continues his exploration of Ireland’s defective Building Control system and highlights recent building failures at Longboat Quay.
In this opinion piece “MICHAEL CLIFFORD: When will we address cracks in construction?” 8 September Irish Examiner, the lack of any new consumer protections in recent building regulations introduced in March 2014 SI.9 of 2014 are noted. Quote:
“One outcome from the Priory Hall debacle — which included major human suffering — was that new building regulations were introduced in 2014 by then environment minister Phil Hogan. The SI9 system was supposed to ensure that no building could be thrown up again with such glaring and dangerous deficiencies.
Yet, many construction professionals continue to be convinced that the new regulations are little more than window dressing on a self-regulation regime. Despite all that has happened, and the continuing discovery of other deficient and dangerous buildings from the building boom, there is little confidence in some quarters that the problems have now been addressed.”
In “Longboat Quay: Apartment owners may have to pay millions for remedial fire safety work”, all the symptoms of our self-certification Building Control system are present: a defective building on the brink of having residents evacuated, developer/ builder gone bankrupt and no longer liable for remedial works, residents left trying to pursue costs of redress with whoever is “last man standing”. The author tells of the story of how residents of a large modern residential development completed less than 10 years ago in Dublin city centre could now be on the brink of evacuation. Extract:
“Longboat Quay, which was built in 2006, is a 298-unit development of privately owned apartments on Sir John Rogerson Quay, for which the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) is nominal landlord…More than 600 people will be forced to leave their homes in Dublin unless remedial fire safety work is carried out immediately…
A management company spokesman said it “has been actively pursuing all parties involved to ensure that a safe building is delivered, and the cost of delivering that is borne by the parties who bear responsibility…
“We accept it is likely that some of the cost will be borne by the owners because the developer is in receivership,” the spokesman said.
The development was built by a Bernard McNamara company, Gendsong, which has gone into liquidation. Mr McNamara declared himself bankrupt in the UK in 2009 and is now reported to have returned to the development business…
…the fire brigade said a fire safety notice would be served by August 31 if a date and timescale for the works was not agreed. The letter went on: “Whether or not a fire safety notice is served, you are also advised that the owner or occupier of the premises above may be liable for prosecution by reason of contravention of Part III of the fire safety acts 1981 and 2003.”
- Link to Michael Clifford discussing this on Newstalk, Tuesday 8 September 2015, on the Pat Kenny Show 1st part from 5 mins onwards. Click here: Clifford interview with Pat Kenny 8th September
Other posts of interest: