Wednesday, 29 January 2014
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Building Regulations Compliance
65. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in relation to capital building projects currently underway under the remit of his Department, and the building programmes planned for 2014, if he will outline the impact the new Building Control Regulations 2013 which will come into effect on 1 March will have on the costs of each specific project; if he will list the projects underway; the extra costs that will be incurred on each due to increase professional fees due to the increased supervision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4371/14]
The impact of the new Building Control (Amendment) Regulations, which come into effect on 1 March 2014, should strengthen and improve compliance with Irish Building Regulations.
A statutory certification of building design and site construction will be required for the first time. When one considers the problems encountered in well publicised non-compliant projects, the additional work needed to carry out the new statutory certification can be seen to be suitable and appropriate.
The new process will include certification of design and construction through the lodgement of compliance documentation, mandatory inspections during construction and the validation and registration of certificates.
The new statutory requirements apply to projects for which commencement notices are submitted on and after 1 March 2014. In this regard public construction projects which are currently underway or which are validly commenced prior to 1 March 2014 will be unaffected by SI No. 9 of 2014. Projects for which tender documents are currently being produced will be advertised having regard to the new statutory requirements comprehended by SI No. 9 of 2014 and the contract price will be determined by competitive tender in line with normal arrangements. Projects for which contractual arrangements have previously been entered into but which have not yet commenced will now have to take on board the additional requirements of SI No. 9 of 2014. The suite of public works contracts and conditions of engagement as set out in the Capital Works Management Framework, provides context for addressing the additional statutory requirements and the associated costs. As part of the competitive process for each project, the standard conditions of engagement require consultants to submit rates for time charges and these tendered rates are evaluated before appointment. The submitted rates will provide the basis for reimbursement for any additional services required from the consultants arising from the requirements of S.I. 9 of 2014. The additional cost arising for each project will depend on the particular specifics of that project.
The new measures should ensure compliance with minimum building control standards and significantly reduce the incidences of defective building works and the very significant costs that go with carrying out remedial works.
Where the OPW is undertaking the design and site supervision of projects through its own staff, there will be no additional cost to those projects.