Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Questions (329)

Matt Carthy


329. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage his views on whether the development of log cabins should form part of the overall housing stock; his plans to remove the barriers to the development of this type of housing, including the difficulties in securing mortgage finance for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33455/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

All new dwellings must comply with building regulations, the aim of which is to provide for the safety and welfare of people in and about buildings, and in addition achieve a 60-year durability for all key elements. The building regulations apply to the design and construction of a new building (including a dwelling) or an extension to an existing building as well as for material alterations and certain material changes of use to existing buildings.

The minimum performance requirements that a building must achieve are set out in the second schedule to the building regulations. These requirements are set out in 12 parts (classified as Parts A to M).  Building regulations are performance based and technology/material neutral.

Part D (Materials and Workmanship) requires that all works should be carried out in a workmanlike manner using “proper materials…which are fit for the use for which they are intended and for the conditions in which they are to be used” to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations.

The primary responsibility for compliance with the Building Regulations rests with the designers, builders and owners of buildings.

For new innovative products or systems, not covered by existing standards, compliance with the Building Regulations can be demonstrated by 3rd party certification by an independent approval body, such as National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) Agreement. My Department does not have an approval function and does not approve or endorse products for compliance with the building regulations or standards.

I.S.440: 2009+A1:2014 Timber Frame Construction, Dwellings and other Buildings is the Irish standard on timber frame construction (as referenced in Technical Guidance Document A 2012 and Technical Guidance Document B Vol 2 2017). I.S. 440 refers to responsibilities, materials, design, manufacture, construction details, site work and services.

Manufacturers of timber frame buildings are assessed under an approval scheme operated by the NSAI for compliance with I.S. 440 requirements including Factory Production Control (FPC). A register of compliant manufacturers is available on the NSAI website at https://www.nsai.ie/certification/.

Issues in relation to mortgage finance are a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Finance.