RESEARCH PAPERS

Research Paper on Building Control System

Building Control System: Ireland’s Building Control System

The Irelands building control system needs reforms because it has failed. Even so, the new building control regulations put significant burdens on designers and architects. Analyze this statement in reference to legal authority supporting your evaluation.

Building control systems are very essential when it comes to ensuring compliance of safety and quality measures by building owners. Just like skeleton is an essential foundation organism structure, so is the basic base structure of a building. When constructing, proprietors are expected by the law to abide by some standards and they do not have any option but to do so or risk having their buildings being demolished.

The building control systems are created by the local government and proprietors are additional expected to abide by the Technical Guidance Documents guidelines (TGD’s as they offer regulations that should followed in building construction.

County council and environmental body’s leaders are more specifically concerned on the health and safety standards that should be adhered to during construction of buildings. For instance, buildings should provide easy access to exits in the event of emergencies for instance, fire.

The past building control system that was being utilized in Ireland did not succeed and the state has to devise an ideal way of ensuring that the constructions being introduced are up to par. The Irish government allowed the local government to create a building control in 2007. The three significant conventions that were created for the control was tailor made towards enforcement and compliance in the event that an emergency may occur.

The first building convention aimed at different standards in designing and erecting a building. It also focused at ensuring there is a lot of energy conservation and that buildings being constructed could be accessed with ease more, specifically, by disabled people. The second 2007 Building Control Act convention set out to ensure that there are ideal regulations in terms of offering notice before the construction process commences, issuance of fire and health safety documentation as well as payment of the right amount of cash to relevant authorities.

The 2007 Building Control Act is additionally highly detailed and it was divided into 73 sections under seven chapters. To ensure he control act was efficiently solid, the Irish government set out to create procedures to be followed when constructions were seen to be breaking the law. Some proprietors also start out well but also contravene construction regulations and laws that would see construction of poor and unsafe buildings for living.

The law required that the local authority should obtain a court order before construction of a building could be stopped. Such constructions by proprietors who are not adhering to the law among other experts were involved. The 2007 Building Act also put in place guidelines regarding fines and other legal measures that should be employed when breach of regulations and rules occur.

The second significant convention of the 2007 Building Act was also related to registration of experts that are involved in the building career including quantity and building surveyors as well as architects. The Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland and the Society of Chartered Surveyors were major bodies charged with the responsibility of registering and issuing certification papers to members.

For surveyors and architects to receive the right documentation, they needed to have completed signing the necessary coursework, passed and have graduated from reputed or registered institutions. The surveyors and architects also needed to apply for approval and registration into the professional body. The building control system of Ireland also set out to ensure that there were no quacks being involved in construction of buildings designed for public and private usage.

Some construction proprietors would also participate in shady deals with non-qualified surveyors and architects. The results of engaging non-qualified or partly qualified professionals are poorly constructed buildings. Even though proprietors utilized little amount of money on such buildings, the risks were much more as they risked the lives of many innocent people.

Such individuals should also be prosecuted under the full force of Irish laws. The most recent Irish Building Act also set out to ensure that proprietors abide to planning and implementation of construction laws and guidelines. The duty of putting up safe buildings abiding by set regulations is expected from proprietors, planners and builders who execute the designed plan. Employees from local authority can also visit the construction site at any given point to ensure compliance to set rules.

One of the examples of a building with so many faults as a result of poor compliance to building regulations is the Priory Hall. At some point, Priory Hall residents faced a lot of damages on their cars when water flooded their basement parking. In another case, the fire department raised major concerns on the safety of occupants in the buildings.

After completion of the Priory Hall building, it was advertised as an ideal investment option for future home owners. As a result, many people settled for mortgages with a long term of making the Hall their home. The long term plan of owning a home at Priory however did not materialize.

One tenant in the building committed suicide because he was not capable of providing a safe home for his family. The death showered a lot of focus on compliance to building regulations and generated questions on who was to blame. From a legal perspective, all tenants at the Priory Hall should have been reimbursed. All set up buildings are also assumed to be safe by target clients and civilians are expected by the local authority to have total compliance by construction proprietors.

A review of documents that had been expected to put up Priory Hall revealed that they were all in place and had been signed off by relevant authorities. This leads to poor level of confidence in the building control system that Ireland has put in place and any doubts that may occur over the building’s safety had been signed off by relevant county councils.

Experts in the building industry including quantity and building surveyors and architects felt that the Building Act had undoubtedly failed Irish citizens for failing to regulate safe buildings constructions. If all people involved in planning and construction of a building were to be held responsible when a safety incident occurs with buildings, architects and surveyors would also be liable.

The Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland and the Society of Chartered Surveyors felt their responsibility should end in designing and distribution of the essential guidelines to construction proprietor. Expert bodies also felt that building and compliance department of the county council should be the one to determine whether experts have complied to set rules or not. The experts can do so when it comes to design.

Additionally, the amount of cash that they are paid for their services is limited to the amount of materials to be utilized, the design and the time the building and construction guidelines are set. Losses as witnessed in the case of Priory Hall are also a clear indication that the Building control systems that were put up in the 20th century were not efficient.

Even though errors are to a certain level expected they should not be gross as in the case of Priory Hall. The Builders Association of Ireland also defended the building’s owners and cited that the case was not an exceptional one. The expert’s body cited that there are many other buildings that were set up over time that adhered to the rules and regulations and no such events would be observed in the future.

Such press releases however have a little impact on assuring people of their safety in their homes. Lobby groups that are against building control systems that have been put in place for the last century also feel that inspection of buildings, minimal regulation and inspection of buildings under construction has been below par.

The knowledge that inspection is strict and can be carried out at any given time during the construction process would also put many proprietors of buildings on their toes thus increasing their quality and efficiency. Kennedy Plaza Apartments in Wexford a few years back were destroyed by fire. Residents of the building were dismayed since they felt that were no clear emergency exits and the risk of death was high.

The Dublin county council has used more than 950 million Euros in apartment renting for the former Priory Hall residents and more than 1 million Euros in ensuring that residents in the Hall are secure (cause no further damage). All the cash has been obtained from the ministry of environment and could have been used on other meaningful projects.

Experts in the construction industry should also be more vigilant when it comes to projects they engage in and carry out deep consultations on the needed parameters to adhere to for safer constructions.

The Association of Irish home builders, the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland and the Society of Chartered Surveyors should also consider regular roundtable discussions on construction regulations in the country. Leaders and Committees should also be appointed amongst individuals and engage other companies that have interest in the industry including mortgage, insurance companies and mortgages.

 

Banks should also ensure that they employ qualified surveyors and fire inspectors to carry out inspection of buildings before issuance of mortgages by innocent people. If financial institutions do not ensure due diligence in the field, they should be held responsible and liable for any losses incurred by their clients. It is only via such strict guidelines that construction proprietors would ensure due compliance with rules and regulations.

Insurance companies may also collaborate with financial institutions to employ surveyors for compliance reasons. Failure for the companies to adhere to the rules should constitute negligence. Even so, the county council still has the highest responsibility since people pay taxes to access such services.

Through the court, the department of justice should also ensure that the client is protected from issues of negligence involving the construction act. Without presence of precedence to assist in the ruling, the court should additionally hold individuals with the highest legal responsibility of compliance responsibility.

The action can be taken and lead to high costs of construction inspection to ensure that a large percentage of buildings are being inspected. If the proprietor of the building is found to have ignored any step, he or she should also be accountable and be charged heavily.

 

References

http://www.matheson.com/

http://www.mccannfitzgerald.ie/

http://www.williamfry.ie/gns/home.aspx

http://www.algoodbody.ie/ http://www.arthurcox.com/

http://www.environ.ie/en/DevelopmentHousing/BuildingStandards/

 

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