Survey results indicate overwhelming approval from construction professionals to the latest revisions of the Building Control Regulations (SI.365)
According to the latest BRegs Blog survey, a massive 90.06% of respondents have expressed approval for the recent proposals by the Ministers at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG) to increase the involvement by Building Control Officers in the supervision of construction through more extensive independent site inspections. Almost 80% (79.3%) also indicated support for the proposal by the Ministers to “set inspection targets for Building Control Departments with quarterly reporting to Government by each Local Authority”.
The survey was conducted over a week between 9th and 16th September 2015 and followed the announcement of major revisions to Building Control Regulations on the 1st September 2015 by Ministers, Mr. Alan Kelly T.D. and Mr. Paudie Coffey T.D. These revisions came about in response to widespread concern in the construction industry by those tasked to implement the previous Building Control (Amendment) Regulations (aka SI.9) introduced 18 months ago by their predecessor, Phil Hogan. These concerns related to excessive costs, delays in delivery of housing stock, excessive bureaucracy and liability and the impacts on Foreign Direct Investment of SI.9. In the survey fewer than 1 in 5 of the respondents said that SI.9 could be considered a success with two thirds stating clearly that it was not.
The survey findings, taken mainly from construction practitioners who have to implement Building Control legislation, are in stark contrast to the reaction from the five official stakeholder organisations (ACEI, CIF, EI, RIAI and SCSI) in the industry who were responsible for drafting the previous legislation (SI.9) in conjunction with DECLG officials and who continue to support it in the face of widespread criticism from their own professional members, expert legal opinion and consumers. Some of the professional groupings have gone so far as to encourage their members to advise against adopting the recent reforms. There are concerns that this interference appears defensive suggesting introverted professional groups with narrow vested interests and may warrant further examination by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
The survey’s findings are good news for Ministers Kelly and Coffey and make it clear that their efforts to reform a defective self-regulated system that leaves the inspection of construction entirely in the hands of the industry and to prioritise consumer protection are to be welcomed.
Approximately 25% of BRegs Blog followers completed the survey across several sector categories with locations evenly distributed throughout Ireland. We are very grateful for your ongoing support and will post further results from the survey in the coming days.