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 -- LATEST NEWS --

 31/07/2015

  The report on the review of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014, S.I.9, was published by the Minister for the Environment today.

The AAoI noted that: "The review also focused attention on broadening the pool of persons who may certify building works for building control purposes. In this regard the Ministers have reaffirmed their commitment to providing an alternative to the technical assessment procedure for registration open to certain practice-trained architects under the Building Control Act 2007."

It was also noted that: "In keeping with the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee Report on the Title of Architect (2013) and the Fennell Report (2013) the Department will continue to work with stakeholders to identify a special entry route having due regard to the practice-trained experience and subsequent career circumstances of such candidates for registration. "

 15/05/2015

  The AAOI made a submission to the S.I. No. 9 of 2014 Review which is available on our website DATA page. Submissions from other groups and individuals are being gathered and will be made available on our website DATA page.

 08/04/2015

  The Architects' Alliance of Ireland has been invited to the S.I.9 consultative forum for stakeholders which is to be hosted by Minister Coffey on the 15th April 2014. Our delegates will be Robert Foley, Hon. Sec., and Brian Montaut, Spokesperson.

 02/04/2015

  Review of Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014, S.I. 9 of 2014 to examine cost burden for one-off houses.

Paudie Coffey Minister of State, TD, together with Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly, TD, today (2nd April 2015) 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.

A suite of documents is being published today to inform the Review, including a sample inspection plan drawn up by the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government to inform the market in relation to offering realistic and appropriately priced professional services, and the Department’s own calculation of the costs involved. Also included for consultation is an information note setting out options for addressing the cost burden of the regulations for single dwellings and extensions to existing dwellings.

The consultation documents may be accessed at the links set out below:
  -Information Document 1 (pdf, 327kb)
  -Information Document 2 (pdf, 382kb)
  -Information Document 3 (pdf, 244kb)
  -Sample Preliminary Inspection Plan (pdf, 1,210kb)
  -Cost Calculations (pdf, 206kb)
  -SI No 9 of 2014 - Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (pdf, 273kb)
  -Template for Comments / Observations (xls, 30kb)

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.

Written submissions will be welcomed from members of the public and industry in general, and should be sent to buildingstandards@environ.ie. not later than Friday 15th May 2015. Please note that only submissions made on the attached template will be accepted. Please note that all submissions and comments submitted to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government under this public consultation are subject to release under the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 2003.

 01/04/2015

  Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has today announced a review of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 9 of 2014). Minister Kelly said: “Our objective is to empower consumers to get a fair price for the actual inspection work they require. A number of cases have been brought to my attention, 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 to inform the Review, including a sample inspection plan drawn up by the Department to inform the market in relation to offering realistic and appropriately priced professional services, and the Department’s own calculation of the costs involved. Also included for consultation is an information note setting out options for addressing the cost burden of the regulations for single dwellings and extensions to existing dwellings.

The Ministers are open to the view that broadening the pool of persons who can design, inspect and certify buildings could also help the one-off housing sector of the market. This is one of the options being put forward for consultation as part of the review. The Department continues to work with Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, as the statutory registration body for architects and with representatives groups such as the Architects Alliance of Ireland to secure greater representation of practically trained practitioners on the register of architects.

Paudie Coffey Minister of State, TD said “The Regulations were introduced last year to ensure competence and professionalism in construction and to bring accountability to bear within the industry following the scourge of defective building works that had become all too common. Owners, builders, construction professionals and local authorities have gained a lot of practical experience of the new regulatory requirements on some 6,000 projects, big and small, that commenced since 1 March 2014. I am confident that a lot of learning will come through in the review that will allow me to refine and streamline the regulatory process so as to ensure that the building process can work effectively to serve the needs of industry and of consumers.”

Plans are also advancing for the statutory registration of architectural technologists and both Ministers welcome the decision by Quality Qualifications Ireland to set up a working group to identify a common standard for architectural technology in line with the National Qualifications Framework. Noting that this is a critical step in the development of a statutory register, Minister Kelly added: “We will do everything in our power, consistent with domestic legal arrangements and at EU level, to fast-track the new register and to ensure that the routes to registration more generally are fair, open and broadly-based.”

Another issue to be examined in the review is the option of establishing a “Minister’s List” for practically trained architects, whereby they could be facilitated to continue in their work, subject to defined criteria.

The review of the S.I. No. 9 of 2014 formally begins today followed by a consultative forum to be hosted by Minister Coffey on 15 April 2015. The forum will consider the key features of the building control reforms and invite participating stakeholder representatives to contribute their views. Stakeholders will then have a month to follow up with a full written submission reporting on their experiences to date and recommending any further changes they think would be helpful. Written submissions will also be welcomed from members of the public and industry in general, and should be sent to buildingstandards@environ.ie.

 28/02/2015

  The AAoi, has long expressed its concerns about a conflict of interest with the appointment of the RIAI as the registration body for architects in the Republic of Ireland. The concerns of AAoI are confirmed once again, in a "Village" magazine article dated "February 28, 2015" which explains that "Eoin O’Cofaigh, a disenfranchised and irritable ex-President (1998-9) of the RIAI, had complained about the payment without any tender process of €500,000 to Bluebloc digital, a company 50% owned by Odran Graby, son of veteran RIAI Chief Executive John Graby." The "Village" magazine has published other articles on this subject which can be accessed from the magazine's website or by consulting the Village's archives.

For over 5 years the AAoI has expressed its concerns to the government. Concerns which are shared by many outside our association, as the article from the Village magazine indicates. Members of AAoI are now waiting for the government to finally take action and solve the injustice which we have suffered by the enactment of a legislation that gave the RIAI a monopoly and the right to keep the competition that we represent out of the market. The AAoI will have no respite until this maladministration is rectified and our rights restored.

 24/02/2015

  Pat Breen TD (Clare, Fine Gael) to Minister Alan Kelly TD, PQ 588 To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide an update on the Fennell recommendations on the registration of architects; if he will provide the registration arrangements which have been put in place since the publication of the report; if his Department plans to introduce any further registration arrangements to address the concerns of architectural technologists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8131/15]

Paudie Coffey Minister of State, TD (Waterford, Fine Gael) gave this reply:

- In 2013 Mr Garrett Fennell, Solicitor, who is chairperson of the Admissions Board established by the Royal Institution of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) to oversee the registration of architects under the Building Control Act 2007, was tasked with reviewing the arrangements in place for registration. Mr Fennell’s report, which was welcomed by my Department, made a number of recommendations intended to improve and streamline the arrangements for registration, in particular those which apply to practically trained persons who had been operating as architects for 10 years prior to the commencement of the Act of 2007. Implementation of these recommendations, in consultation with the Architects Alliance of Ireland and others, has seen a number of reforms which now make it easier for such practically trained persons to become registered. Such reforms include administering the technical assessment process on a cyclical basis where briefing, guidance and support for candidates can be administered in a structured manner, mentoring and supporting applicants, facilitating assessment based on recent projects, facilitating applicants with reassessment/reapplication (i.e. ensuring it is not seen as a one chance only route to registration) and reviewing and simplifying guidance materials with direct input from practically trained persons. I have asked my Department and the RIAI as registration body to continue to work with the Architects Alliance of Ireland and others in this manner to achieve whatever further reasonable and practical improvements of the technical assessment process can be made in the context of the Fennell report or otherwise.

 16/02/2015

  The deferred AGM of the AAoI will take place in Portlaoise on Saturday the 21th of February (11.00am sign-in, 11.30am start). It is a meeting for registered members and supporters only. 20 Euro will be charged for attendance. Lunch and refreshment will be provided. We hope to see you there.

 20/11/2014

  Martin Heydon TD (Kildare South, Fine Gael) to Minister Alan Kelly TD, PQ 143. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the progress that is being made in the are of ensuring agreement for a grandfather clause for architects who have worked in the building regulation area for years to ensure their years of experience are not lost to the sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44701/14]

 11/11/2014

  Jim Daly TD Cork South West, Fine Gael) to Minister Alan Kelly TD, PQ 523. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding building control regulations. [43183/14]

 06/11/2014

  Éamon Ó Cuív TD (Galway West, Fianna Fail) to Minister Alan Kelly TD, PQ 232: To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he will facilitate the registration of persons with long experience as architects under a grandfather provision even if their qualifications do not fulfil the full requirements for newly qualified architects, in view of their proven track record and experience; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

 06/11/2014

  Michael Healy-Rae TD (Kerry South, Independent) to Minister Alan Kelly TD, PQ 222: To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government his proposals to facilitate the registration of grandfather architects in the new buildings regulations and architects registrations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

 22/09/2014

  Frank Irwin, architect and founding member of the Architects' Alliance of Ireland died this day. Requiem Mass on Sunday at 11.30am 28th September, burial afterwards in Rockvale Cemetery, Newport, Co. Tipperary.

 02/09/2014

  Minister Alan Kelly and his officials had a 45 minute meeting with the Alliance at the Custom House. The Grandfather Clause, the graduate issue, EC Memo 13-839-EN, the 2013 EJOC Report, the absence of a BCA2007 Regulatory Impact Assessment and self-certification were among the topics. The Minister closed the meeting by requesting specific follow-up documents to be submitted to him within working five days. Michael Cummins, Margaret Kirwan and Brian Montaut represented the Alliance.

 01/08/2014

  The CIAT (Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists) announced the launch of a Register for Architectural Technologists in Ireland. The Register is currently voluntary, the formation of which is supported by the Department for Environment, Communities and Local Government (DECLG). The objective of the voluntary Architectural Technologists’ Register is for it to attain Statutory status and for its Registrants to be accepted as competent to provide Design and Assigned Certifier services under the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014. For this to be achieved primary legislation will be required and the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 will require amendment.

 01/08/2014

  The CIAT (Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists) announced the launch of a Register for Architectural Technologists in Ireland. The Register is currently voluntary, the formation of which is supported by the Department for Environment, Communities and Local Government (DECLG). The objective of the voluntary Architectural Technologists’ Register is for it to attain Statutory status and for its Registrants to be accepted as competent to provide Design and Assigned Certifier services under the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014. For this to be achieved primary legislation will be required and the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 will require amendment.

 30/05/2014

  Mick Wallace TD engaged in a Dáil 'Topical Issue' debate with Minister Hogan TD concerning the Building Control Regulations (S.I.9/2014) and Architectural Technologists.

 13/05/2014

  A Dail debate has been announced for 27th May 2014 concerning the Building Regulations (specifically S.I.9/2014) and our fellow practitioners the Architectural Technologists.

 30/04/2014

  The Architects' Alliance of Ireland is announcing the retirement of Margaret Kirwan as Chair. Margaret's term of office has ended and she will continue as an Officer of the committee. Aidan Coleman is the new Chair. AAoI and all members of the committee are hugely indebted to Margaret for her work as the first Chair of the Alliance. The committee wishes Aidan Coleman success in his new position.

 01/03/2014

  The Architects' Alliance of Ireland launched a new website to inform the public and professionals on the impact of the new Building Control Regulations. The Website can be accessed at the following address: www.SI9.ie. The new Regulations will affect small building works, self-builders, building contractors, designers and certifiers.

 30/01/2014

  Senator Mark Daly (Kerry South, Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Communications, Energy & Natural Resources): I thank the Minister for coming to the House. This issue relates to the new 2013 regulations introduced under the Building Control Act, and they relate to certification of building works. There seems to be much concern among architects, engineers and surveyors regarding the exclusion of large numbers of competent engineers and architects who currently do a job in applying for planning permission and supervising construction works. It now seems that those who have been deemed competent for decades and who have been in the industry for years will not be able to certify works under these regulations. Will the Minister outline what is being done to allay their fears? People's lives and livelihoods - their ability to earn a living - are being put at risk.

 21/01/2014

  James Bannon TD (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael) to Minister Phil Hogan TD, PQ 492: To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to amend the registration arrangements currently provided for in the Building Control Act 1997 in respect of the grandfather clause, relating to practically trained persons providing architectural services here; if he faciliate Architects Alliance of Ireland the opportunity to address these issues; the way this will be done; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

 15/01/2013

  Michael Healy-Rae TD (Kerry South, Independent) to Minister Phil Hogan TD, PQ 522: To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding ARAE registration; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

 12/12/2013

  AAoI was informed of a complaint against S.I. No. 80 of 2013 - Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2013, recently sent to the European Commission.

 12/12/2013

  Michael Healy-Rae TD (Kerry South, Independent) to Minister Phil Hogan TD, PQ 147: To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

 05/12/2013

  Clare Daly TD (Dublin North, Socialist Party) to Minister Phil Hogan TD, PQ 31: To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government in view of the latest evacuation of residents due to non-compliance with fire safety building regulations in Navan and following similar exposure of non-compliance with fire safety regulations in the Fingal, Dublin city, south Dublin and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown council areas, if he will list the councils which have taken enforcement action against developers or contractors in relation to non-compliance with fire safety regulations since he took office in March 2011; and if he will provide an update on any progress or discussion on the new building regulations with architects, engineers and other professional bodies

 03/12/2013

  Terence Flanagan TD (Dublin North East, Fine Gael) to Minister Phil Hogan TD, PQ 239: To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the number of officials in his Department that are receiving the cost of club membership fees, including sports clubs and professional bodies, as part of their contract of employment; the total cost per year to his Department of paying these fees; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

 30/10/2013

  An exploratory meeting was held between AAoI, Minister Hogan's officials and the RIAI at the Custom House. The discussion centred on Mr Fennell's report (particularly those recommendations which can be implemented without legislative change) and on the impact of mandatory self-certification in March 2014. Further meetings are expected.

 02/10/2013

  The EU published a press statement headed "Evaluating national regulations on access to professions" which begins: "Member States may reserve the right to access certain professional activities to the holders of specific qualifications (e.g. design of new buildings reserved to architects) for reasons of general interest. Such restrictions make the mobility of professionals within the single market more difficult. In addition, these measures may limit employment and competitiveness in the economic sectors concerned. The Commission is therefore inviting Member States to review their restrictions on the access to professions and to assess their proportionality."

 27/09/2013

  Architects' Alliance of Ireland announces an open meeting scheduled on Saturday 5th of October. The meeting will take place at Killeshin Hotel, Dublin Rd, Portlaoise.

This meeting is open to all disenfranchised architects and to our supporters. We will be considering in particular, THE FENNELL REPORT which was published this week. Some of its recommendations are ready for implementation, others require legislation - which may or may not arise. We hope you can make it to the meeting.

lding Surveyors established in accordance with the Building Control Act 2007 or who are Chartered Engineers may sign the statutory certificates of compliance for designers and for assigned certifiers that will be introduced under the new regulations. Depending on their background and experience , members of the Architects Alliance may qualify for consideration for inclusion on the register of Architects or on the register of Building Surveyors which, as indicated, would also enable them to sign the statutory certificates being introduced under the new regulations. The new regulations will provide for a transition period of 12 months which will, among other things, give sufficient time for eligible persons who have not already done so to apply for registration. The transition period will also provide for a smooth transition to the new requirements in terms of projects currently on site. The arrangements for the registration of Architects and Building Surveyors under the Building Control Act 2007 are open, transparent and fair for potential candidates from a variety of backgrounds including those who are practically trained and have limited or no academic training or qualifications. I am satisfied that the statutory arrangements for registration that are currently in place are appropriate and I have no proposals to amend the Act presently. I understand that the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Environment, Arts and Culture has recently been giving some consideration to the arrangements that are in place for t the registration of practically trained architects under the Act of 2007. I look forward to considering the Committee conclusions and recommendations in due course. My own view as outlined above is that the existing statutory position is fair and reasonable but that it may be opportune at this point to consider what practical steps can be taken to facilitate and support practically trained people who are interested in doing so to pursue the opportunities for registration that are open to them under the Act. I have asked my Department, in conjunction with the RIAI as registration body for the Register of Architects, to meet with members of the Architects Alliance to discuss further the concerns raised in the correspondence supplied.


 

 

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