Our Building Control (Amendment) Regulations were only implemented in 2014. But now it seems that some government ministers want to roll back the standards for some buildings:
Review of Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014, S.I. 9 of 2014
Mr. Paudie Coffey, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, together with Minister Alan Kelly, T.D., today announced a review of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 9 of 2014), which will include an examination of the cost burden involved for one-off houses, including self-build, and extensions to existing dwellings.
The scope and objectives of the review are as follows:
(a) To review the operation of S.I. No. 9 of 2014 in consultation with industry and local authority stakeholders and members of the public,
(b) To consider in particular the impact of S.I. No. 9 of 2014 on single dwellings and extensions to existing dwellings having regard to specific concerns which have been raised in relation to the cost burden of the regulations and the level of certification required for this sector,
(c) To consider more generally the impact of S.I. No. 9 of 2014 on owners, occupiers and users of buildings have regard to the statutory purposes for which building regulations may be made (i.e. public safety, accessibility, energy efficiency, efficient use of resources and good building practice),
(d) To make recommendations that will strengthen and improve the arrangements in place for the control of building activity in keeping with the principles of good and fair administration,
(e) To report with recommendations to the Minister of State as soon as possible, but in any event no later than 30 June 2015.
Frank McDonald in the Irish Times comments: "It’s important to remember the stated purpose of the amended building regulations introduced last year was to ensure there would be no repeat of the “widespread failures” during the boom years, for which Priory Hall became the metaphor.
As the consultation paper notes, “common failures” associated with “stand-alone dwellings” include inadequate provision of drainage and sewage treatment, poor insulation and energy performance and “poor understanding, application of good building practice”. Although the first of these failures was addressed – under duress by the European Court of Justice – by introducing an inspection regime for septic tanks (of which we now have about half-a-million), the reality is very few such inspections are actually carried out". (Link)