Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (231)

James Browne

Question:

231. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the school building projects which are delayed; the longest at stage 2b; when a design team was appointed in each case; when a replacement design team was appointed if applicable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44641/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Stage 2(b) Detailed Design is arguably the most complex and detailed of all the stages in Architectural Planning.

In the majority of school building projects, this stage includes the planning application, the application for Fire Cert and Disability Access Cert and the pre-qualification of contractors. It also includes the preparation of complex and detailed tender documents.

There are currently 75 major school building projects in advanced architectural planning and a continuous throughput of projects moving into Stage 2b and onwards towards Tender Stage and Construction. 10 of these projects have been progressing through the stage for 5 years or more of which one project had a full Design Team replacement and three others had one Design Team member replaced. A table is provided at the following link for the Deputy’s convenience.

Where projects take longer than expected to progress through Stage 2b , they have generally experienced planning difficulties due to a complicated or detailed planning application, appeals to An Bord Pleanála, complications around decant arrangements or site issues. In other cases, there have been unavoidable changes to the brief or scope of the project.

Furthermore, in completing Stage 2(b), Design Teams are now required to upgrade design details to ensure that new school buildings are Near Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) in compliance with the 2017 amendment to Part L of the current Building Regulations. In many cases this has involved a second planning application to allow for the installation of photovoltaic panels on the roof following receipt of the initial planning permission.

The status of large scale projects being delivered under my school building programme is regularly updated on my Department’s website ww.education.ie

School Building Projects