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Topic Title: Irish Building Regulations
Topic Summary: Self certification with a light touch.
Created On: 04 July 2012 08:37 PM
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 04 July 2012 08:37 PM
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Last night I watched a TV programme (currently on the iPlayer ) presented by Stacey Dooley, she has made a series of TV programmes about the world economic recession and how it is affecting young people around the world. Last night Stacey was in Ireland and she toured some unfinished housing estates started in the Irish property boom, then she went onto some blocks of apartments where people had been living in some cases for over five years. However the Irish authorities had stepped in and condemned these apartments because they are considered unsafe to be occupied, the people who purchased these apartments are now living in Council provided housing at the tax payers expense, however this support may stop soon, but the owners are still having to pay their mortgages as the banks see no reason for them to stop paying and face the prospect of no where to live as they have to cover the debt unable to get out of the situation they are in as the developers have become bankrupts and there does not sound to be a organisation such the NHBC to sort out the mess with warranty insurance cover.

All this has come about apparently because "BUILDING CONTROL in Ireland relies on "self-certification" by architects, engineers, surveyors or builders that new buildings comply with statutory requirements - a light-touch regulatory regime introduced in 1990 by then minister for the environment Pádraig Flynn." to quote the Irish Times

I had not realised Building Control had become so relaxed in Ireland, here in England and Wales self certification is overseen "independent bodies such as Gas Safe, NICEIC, NAPIT, OFTEC and such like so there is a monitoring system in place for those self certifying Building Control work with matters such as fire safety left in the hands of LABC.

If the Irish Building Control system is in such a mess due to self certification with a light touch then perhaps we need to learn a lesson from what has happened.

 04 July 2012 09:40 PM
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Have a look at this:

what a system!

Domestic extension:
"As regards the building regulations, the obligation is to carry out the works in accordance with the relevant building regulations.

However there is no third-party involvement in this process and so it is highly unlikely that the works will be checked or inspected by the local authority.

But if you are borrowing money to do the works or if you are selling the property on, you will be asked to provide a certificate of compliance with the building regulations.

Theoretically you could bring in a professional to provide a certificate on completion of the works as such certificates are often purely based on a visual inspection.

But it is obviously much better to seek professional advice early on and seek clarification as to what the relevant building regulations are and to have the works inspected periodically so that there is no ambiguity or uncertainty over this.

For example if a professional looks at a finished floor, they will assume that insulation has been incorporated, as the actual responsibility is on the builder to incorporate this, but it is not possible to see this in a final inspection. If periodic inspections are being carried out, one of them could and should be inspected before the floor is laid."


Edited: 04 July 2012 at 10:17 PM by sparkingchip
 05 July 2012 01:25 PM
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I think during the boom years there may also have been a light touch on the type of properties built, and where they were built.
Some horrible modern buildings went up in nice old provincial towns, out of scale and style with surrounding buildings.
On balance I think the 'Celtic Tiger' probably did more harm than good to Ireland, and now they are in a worse position than before it started.
 05 July 2012 11:24 PM
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I was just discussing this with a Politics graduate and his take is the government wants to introduce self certification in many areas of business relieving the burden on government and councils, however the graduate said it is better to place the irresponsibility for monitoring those self certifying with business rather than with government and councils as they will cut back on supervision and introduce a "light touch" on the grounds of reducing costs, however the businesses will generally fulfil their brief to supervise the self certification as they do not want to put themselves out of business.

 05 July 2012 11:40 PM
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Originally posted by: sparkingchip

I was just discussing this with a Politics graduate...

I wouldn't be that easily impressed Sparkingchip...

You'll be telling me next barristers make good politicians

S George
 06 July 2012 12:32 AM
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Impressed? There aren't many politicians or legal practitioners who impress me at the moment, the powers that be lost their way some years ago and are way off course.

I suspect we are going into another period where it is considered that "Greed is good" the trouble is total removal of checks in any environment brings greed to the surface and allows it to over take all other considerations.

Going back to my original post, who would have thought that self certification for Building regulations would lead to young people buying their first home ending up homeless and in debt with the only way out being declaring themselves bankrupt and hoping that they can retain their place in social housing with tax payers support?


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