Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (504)

John Curran

Ceist:

504. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if there are targets in place to increase the use of timber in the construction of houses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49092/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The aim of the Building Regulations is to provide for the safety and welfare of people in and about buildings. The Building Regulations apply to the design and construction of a building or to an extension or material alteration of a building. These regulations set out the minimum performance requirements that a building must achieve. Building Regulations and procurement processes are performance based. As such there cannot be a target set for specific construction materials. The requirements of the Building Regulations are set out in 12 parts classified as Parts A to M. In support of these the department has issued Technical Guidance Documents (TGD A - M) which provide technical guidance on how to comply with the building regulations in practical terms.

TGD D (Materials and Workmanship) requires “proper materials”. This means materials that are fit for the use for which they are intended and for the conditions in which they are to be used, and includes materials which comply with an appropriate Irish Standard.

The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) have issued the Timber Frame Dwellings Standard, IS 440, which sets the requirements for construction of timber frame dwellings. TGD A (Structure) recognises and takes account of the IS 440 timber frame standard for dwellings. NSAI facilitates industry standards committees in the area of timber construction materials.

The Office of Public Works is leading an action of the Climate Action Plan to develop a roadmap to promote greater use of lower-carbon building material alternatives in construction. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is leading a range of additional actions to work with industry stakeholders to increase the use of low carbon materials, taking into account international best practice.