The Government's objective to empower consumers to get a fair price for inspection work has resulted in an order to review the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 9 of 2014).
The amended Regulations introduced a year ago by Phil Hogan, then Minister of the Environment, Community and Local Government, were an attempt to end the system that resulted in the scourge of defective building works and schemes such as Priory Hall being certified as safe.
Mr. Paudie Coffey T.D. Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government says 'The Regulations were introduced to ensure competence and professionalism in construction and to bring accountability to bear within the industry".
Whereas the current regulations specify that 'assigned certifiers' must be registered architects, engineers or building surveyors, there is no provision included to ensure that those that are contracted to inspect building works are sufficiently independent of the developer and/or a construction team.
Minister Kelly says, "A number of cases have been brought to my attention and my colleague Minister Coffey whereby consumers have been quoted outlandish charges for professional services in relation to residential construction projects. It is worthwhile for homeowners to have the home they invest in checked and inspected but, they should not have to pay an inflated rate for excessive inspection services."
The Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government is publishing a suite of documents today to inform the Review, including a sample inspection plan drawn up by the Department to inform the market.
Despite these attempts at bringing accountability to bear within the construction industry, it appears as if little consideration is being given to time on-site, back-office administration, lack of standardised inspection templates and the issue of liability.
The Inspex solution guides an Inspector though the inspection procedure using standardised inspection templates. Using a mobile device, an Inspector chooses inspection items from detailed drop-down lists and looks up relevant housing regulations and appropriate building regulations. The Report complies as the inspection takes place ensuring the process is streamlined and time efficient.