The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has welcomed the publication of the new building regulations saying they will help ensure the work of builders who maintain higher standards is recognised and rewarded.  The CIF also praised the Government for implementing measures aimed at improving confidence in the Irish construction sector.  

“Our Federation is committed to maintaining and promoting high building standards for the entire industry,” said CIF Director General Tom Parlon. “Irish builders had a reputation for excellence before certain developments tarnished the name of the entire industry. These regulations will help stamp out those projects that have blighted Irish construction, stopping any builders who try to cut corners. Builders who take pride in their work and maintain high standards of quality will have their worked recognised and that will bring the reward of further employment opportunities for them.

“These regulations will also help establish traceability and accountability for all the steps in the building process. The regulations will ensure that consumers are protected when they purchase a newly built property and that will help ensure stronger confidence in a sector that has struggled in recent years. Given the difficulties the sector has been experiencing the CIF greatly appreciates the Government’s role in encouraging confidence in the industry.

“There will be a cost involved for our members with the new regulations as they engage professionals to undertake specific inspection programmes associated with the regulations. However the CIF will shortly be bringing forward a range of training programmes for its members countrywide so they are all fully appraised of the new obligations pertaining to builders for certification of compliance.

The new process will add to overall costs in the engagement of professionals in the construction programme. Today, the all-in construction cost of many new buildings can exceed the open market value of these buildings. It is important that all other regulatory costs are critically examined so that other unsustainable regulatory costs can be minimised. We need to be reducing costs rather than increasing them in light of the below cost selling price of buildings that currently prevails.

“It is essential that Building Control Authorities have the required information technology systems in place prior to introduction of the new provisions so that a streamlined administrative process is available to manage the new obligations from the Building Control Authority, the builder and the Assigned Certifiers’ perspectives and responsibilities.

“It is also worth noting the regulations impose an obligation on all persons whether they are building their own house or an individual undertaking an office or retail development that they must appoint competent builders to undertake their building projects. Many people have been using black economy builders and these regulations should help reduce that type of activity.

“The CIF is currently working on proposals for a registration system to apply to builders. The system is being developed in conjunction with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government so that the consumer can engage competent builders from the register once it is established,” Mr. Parlon concluded.