Engineers Ireland responds to the reforms of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations S.I. No. 9 of 2014

In a statement released on its website, Engineers Ireland (EI) says that it is disappointed with the outcomes of the Review of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 9 of 2014) facilitated by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG).

The tighter building controls introduced by SI no 9 of 2014 were necessary proactive measures to address the light touch inspection regime that had evolved in the construction sector and which led to a number of high profile failures. EI played a significant role in the development of the amendments to the Building Control Regulations, along with our fellow institutions and the Department of Environment, with the final amendments being signed into law in August 2013.

EI welcomed the one year milestone review which was promised as part of the original consultation process. Having had sight of the proposals developed by Ministers Kelly and Coffey we expressed concern at the recommended changes to the Regulations and called on the Government not to dilute the amendments that were agreed and already in place.

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In April and May EI submitted strong feedback to the most recent consultation. Based on the reforms announced and the documentation published by the DECLG (Friday, 31st July) it appears that Ministers Kelly and Coffey have not taken on board its recommendations and those of the other professional bodies in the BC(A)R Working Group i.e. the experts in the sector who were unanimous in their commitment to improving standards.

The DECLG has indicated that the consultation process is now closed and they will not be engaging in any further discussion on the Building Regulations.

We have identified a number of areas on which further detail is required in relation to the role and competencies of engineers in the ‘Review of Building Control Regulations’ document.

Engineers Ireland states that it will be writing to the DECLG to seek clarification on the reforms that are proposed to take effect on the 1st September 2015 and will update members as soon as further information is received.