Written answers

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Building Regulations

Photo of Barry CowenBarry Cowen (Offaly, Fianna Fail)
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186. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 29 of 24 May 2016, which cited the figure of €3,800 as the average cost for securing assigned certifier services for the construction of a multi-unit dwelling, if this is the estimated cost for the statutory certifier fees only and not an estimate of the additional average construction costs for a multi-unit dwelling that are incurred since March 2014 under BC(A)R SI.9. [14083/16]

Photo of Barry CowenBarry Cowen (Offaly, Fianna Fail)
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187. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government his estimate for all additional average unit construction costs for a multi-unit dwelling that were incurred since March 2014 under BC(A)R SI.9, including estimates for BC(A)R additional contractor and specification costs, BC(A)R Part L (fRsi/Wufi) certification costs, BC(A)R acoustic testing for Part E costs, multi-unit BC(A)R phasing costs, and Part V costs. [14084/16]

Photo of Damien EnglishDamien English (Meath West, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 186 and 187 together.

The key impact on costs associated with the implementation of the lies in the requirement for the appointment of an Assigned Certifier whose role, in conjunction with the builder and the project team, is to draw up and execute an appropriate inspection plan and to certify the building’s compliance with Building Regulations on completion. While fees for professional services are determined by market forces and are therefore outside the scope of my regulatory powers, as part of last year’s review of the first twelve months of the operation of the regulations, my Department prepared a Sample Preliminary Inspection Plan for a Single Unit Dwelling on a Single Development.

The cost calculations published to accompany the Sample Preliminary Inspection Plan demonstrated that the Assigned Certifier role could be achieved at an approximate cost of €3,800 inclusive of VAT. Where additional design work is required the combined cost of Assigned Certifier duties and additional design work will be of the order of €6,000 inclusive of VAT. These costs relate to the implementation of the inspection plan on a single non-complex dwelling; they do not relate to multi-units dwellings, such as apartments, where the costs may be considerably lower due to economies of scale. A copy of this plan and all other documents released as part of that public consultation are available on my Department’s website at .

During the public consultation, a number of respondents confirmed t hat the Assigned Certifier services could be secured in line with the Department’s estimates.

In general terms, the cost of delivering housing is dependent on the type, size and geographic location of the development concerned and on the contractual arrangements leading to its construction.

Fees for professional services, including those relating to acoustic and energy performance requirements in accordance with Parts E and L of the Building Regulations, are determined by the market place and are separate to requirements under S.I. No. 9 of 2016 as are contractor and specification costs and Part V obligations.

In the latter case, new obligations under Part V of the Planning and Development Acts have been introduced to balance viability and social housing delivery. In addition, revised planning guidelines on apartment standards, which are now on a statutory footing under the Planning and Development Acts, have the potential to significantly reduce the cost of high quality apartment building.

In accordance with the Programme for a Partnership Government, my Department is preparing a new Action Plan for Housingand will continue to liaise closely with other Departments and agencies as well as with industry stakeholders with a view to identifying any reasonable and appropriate measures that may be taken in the interests of reducing construction overheads to facilitate an increased level of housing output.


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