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Sun May 31 2020

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Engineers Ireland criticises plan to ease building regs

6 Aug 15 Engineers Ireland has said that proposed changes to Ireland’s buildings regulations would dilute safety measures that were introduced two years ago following a series of high-profile failures.

The professional body for engineers and engineering in Ireland was responding to reforms of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations SI No 9 of 2014 facilitated by the Department of the Environment, Community & 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,” it said. “Engineers Ireland 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.”

Engineers Ireland 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,” it said.

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It said that it appears that ministers have not taken on board recommendations by Engineers Ireland and other professional bodies “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, said Engineers Ireland. “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 said that it will be writing to the DECLG to seek clarification on the reforms that are proposed to take effect on the 1 September 2015 and will update members as soon as we receive further information.

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