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Building Regulations

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 5 April 2022

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Questions (293)

Niall Collins

Question:

293. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will address matters raised in relation to building regulations in correspondence from a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17479/22]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Building Control Acts 1990 to 2020 set out the statutory framework for the regulation and oversight of building activity based on:

- clear legal requirements as set out in the Building Regulations;

- detailed Technical Guidance Documents to outline how these requirements can be achieved in practice;

- clear administrative procedures for demonstrating compliance in respect of an individual building or works as set out in Building Control Regulations

- the responsibility for compliance resting first and foremost with building owners, developers/builders and designers; and

- the responsibility for enforcing compliance with the building regulations resting with the 31 local building control authorities.

The Building Regulations 1997 to 2021 provide for the safety and welfare of people in and about buildings and apply to the design and construction of a new building (including a dwelling) or an extension to an existing building. The minimum performance requirements that a building must achieve are set out in the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations.

The overarching requirement under Part D (Material and Workmanship) of the Building Regulations requires that all works should be carried out:

- 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.

- With a proper standard of workmanship and the appropriate use of any material to achieve compliance with the requirements of the Regulations.

- By competent persons with sufficient training, experience and knowledge appropriate to the nature of the work he or she is required to perform and having particular regard to the size and complexity of such works so as to ensure a proper standard of workmanship.

The primary responsibility for compliance with the Building Regulations rests with the designers, builders and owners of buildings. Interpretation of the legislation is, ultimately, a matter for the Courts and implementation of the Building Control system is a matter for the 31 local building control authorities, who are independent in the exercise of their statutory powers.

Following a review undertaken by an independent fire expert, my Department published the 'Framework for Enhancing Fire Safety in dwellings where concerns arise' in 2017. The framework which is available on my Department's website at gov.ie/en/publication/2d9a3-framework-for-enhancing-fire-safety-in-dwellings-where-concerns-arise/ contains the following:

- an explanation of the statutory provisions in respect of fire safety and the respective responsibilities of owners, designers, builders, occupants, local authorities;

- a range of actions that may reduce risk and improve the level of fire safety where deficiencies arise in dwelling houses, apartments and /or the common areas of apartment buildings; and

- a fire risk assessment methodology for professional advisors to prioritise the remedial actions, if any, that may need to be carried out on a dwelling.

The Framework is intended to be used as a guide by the owners and occupants of dwellings where fire safety deficiencies have been identified, or are a cause for concern. In addition to owners and occupants, the Framework will also be of assistance to professional advisors both in developing strategies to improve fire safety and in developing strategies to enable the continued occupation in advance of undertaking the necessary works to ensure compliance with the relevant Building Regulations.

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