Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (386)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

386. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the reason he did not implement the pyrite report recommendations on the building regulations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15345/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The new Building Control Amendment Regulations which came into effect on 1 March 2014 are in line with the principles of the relevant recommendations in the report of the Pyrite Panel. The Panel recommended the development of a mandatory certification system which would recognise the importance of inspections, product certifications and site supervision taking proper account of the risk associated with design, materials and construction. The Panel also recommended that the system of independent inspections, carried out by building control officers, should be strengthened to complement the mandatory certification process

The Building Control Amendment Regulations 2014 now require greater accountability for compliance with the Building Regulations in the form of statutory certification of design and construction, lodgement of compliance documentation, mandatory inspections during construction and validation and registration of certificates. I am satisfied that these measures are appropriate and will ensure a greater emphasis on competence, professionalism and quality in our construction industry thereby ensuring that homeowners and construction clients can rely on getting the high quality homes and buildings they expect and deserve.

A new online Building Control Management System (BCMS) which has been developed by local authorities came into operation on 1 March 2014 in line with the commencement of the new Regulations. The system will provide a common platform for clear and consistent administration of building control matters across the local authority sector; it will facilitate the risk analysis of all projects for which commencement notices are received which will inform each building control authority's own inspection arrangements thus ensuring that available inspection resources are used to optimum effect.

The enhanced professionalism and accountability arising from the arrangements under the new Regulations will lead to improved quality and reduce risk within the construction sector. This will in turn lead to market conditions more conducive to insurers and a wider availability and use of latent defects insurance. However, I have undertaken to explore the potential for latent defects insurance on construction projects as part of the wider reform of building control arrangements.

Questions Nos. 387 and 388 answered with Question No. 372.