THE MINISTER FOR the Environment Phil Hogan has released new proposals to strengthen building controls that he says will ensure the failings in building quality “which have been a regular occurrence for homeowners and tenants in recent years” will not be repeated.
The proposals, Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012, would see the introduction of mandatory certification and submission of drawings. Anyone commissioning relevant building works would be required to:
- Submit drawings or documentation demonstrating how the works will comply with the Building Regulations at commencement and on completion of the works
- Assign a competent person to inspect the works during construction and to certify the building on completion
Hogan said the wording of the certificates will be “clear and unambiguous”: the certifier will have to confirm works have been inspected in accordance with a code of practice and that the completed building is neither defective nor contravenes the requirements of the Building Regulations.
The certifier will also be required to accept full legal liability for the certification they provide.
The Minister said the regulatory changes were being introduced at the same time that his Department, in conjunction with the City and County Managers Association, was taking steps to ensure “more meaningful local authority oversight of building activity and improved functioning of building control authorities”.
He urged all stakeholders to engage with the public consultation process taking part over the coming six weeks, stating:
It is clear to me that there is a mood for change within the industry and a consensus that the status quo is no longer good enough. Members of the public and industry stakeholders alike should now take the opportunity open to them to have their say in relation to this vitally important matter.