Written answers

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Building Regulations Compliance

Photo of Finian McGrathFinian McGrath (Dublin North Central, Independent)
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901. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he will support proposals (details supplied) regarding improper regulations and the effects on the consumer and the environment. [37641/13]

Photo of Phil HoganPhil Hogan (Minister, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government; Carlow-Kilkenny, Fine Gael)
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The Building Regulations in general provide for the safety, health and well-being of persons in and around buildings. The regulations are reviewed on an on-going basis and any proposed amendments are subject to a full regulatory impact analysis and detailed public consultation prior to their being signed into law. The concerns expressed in the correspondence supplied extend beyond the scope of the Building Regulations and into matters such as the regulation of trade, consumer protection and environmental protection, which are addressed elsewhere under national and EU law.

In particular, the relationship between a property owner and the supplier of any goods or services to the property is a matter of contract law between them, including consumer law. In this regard, it is to be assumed that a property owner would have a well-founded right of claim against any supplier who supplied products or services which are defective or which fail to perform to specification.

The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2013, which I signed into law on 8 March 2013, will come into effect on and from 1 March 2014. The new regulations will strengthen the current arrangements for the control of building activity by requiring the following in relation to all significant building works:

(a) drawings and particulars used for the purposes of construction to be submitted to the local building control authority;(b) design to be undertaken and certified by competent professionals prior to works commencing;(c) owners to formally assign a competent builder to undertake and certify the works;(d) owners to formally assign a registered professional (to be known as the 'Assigned Certifier') who will be tasked with (i) preparing an appropriate inspection plan for the building or works during construction (ii) carrying out inspections and overseeing inspection works by other parties in accordance with the inspection plan and (iii) certifying the works for compliance with the building regulations on completion;(e) statutory certificates of compliance from designers, builders and assigned certifiers to confirm compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations and accepting legal responsibility for their work.

I am satisfied that the reforms now provided for, including the lodgement of drawings, inspection by registered professionals and statutory certification will result in the necessary improvement in the quality of buildings and ensure that homeowners in particular are delivered the quality of homes they expect and deserve.

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