Thursday, 19 May 2022
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
Defective Building Materials
237. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government when the review of IS 465 is expected to be complete; and if the enhanced defective block remediation scheme can be open to applications prior to the completion of the NSAI review of IS 465. [25493/22]
I brought a Memorandum on an enhanced Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme to Government on the 30 November 2021 and it included an unprecedented suite of improvements to the current scheme. Government approved the enhanced scheme which it is estimated will cost approximately €2.2Bn.
Full details in relation to the changes announced are available at the following link: www.gov.ie/en/press-release/e365e-minister-obrien-announces-enhancements-to-the-defective-concrete-block-scheme/.
Following the Government decision on the enhanced scheme, the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) was tasked with delivering the program of work to address the following technical items:
- A review of the I.S. 465 Standard and its application.
- A review by NSAI Masonry Committee of the Irish Standard for Concrete Blocks (including aggregates).
- A review of the impact of pumped cavity wall insulation on cavity wall construction and within homes susceptible to or impacted by defective concrete blocks.
NSAI does not operate under the auspices of my Department, it is an autonomous body under the aegis of the Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, and as such detail issues in relation to committees, expertise, timelines etc., are matters for the NSAI.
However, an interagency Defective Concrete Blocks – Technical Matters Steering Group has been established to support and inform the NSAI Standardisation Program in relation to technical issues. The steering group includes representatives from NSAI, Geological Survey Ireland (GSI), Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), and representatives from my Department.
I aim to bring the required primary legislation to give effect to the enhanced Defective Concrete Block Grant Scheme before the Oireachtas in the coming weeks and arrangements for the implementation to the new scheme will be finalised in parallel with the development of the legislation. Applications for the new scheme are not dependent on completion of the review of the current I.S. 465 standard.