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The following letters were sent to the RIAI, ACEI & SCSI on March 27, 2014 – the ACEI & SCSI replied very quickly, a further two letters have been sent to the RIAI,
2nd letter: 
https://amandagallagherblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/2nd-letter-to-robin-mandal-riai/

3rd Letter:  
https://amandagallagherblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/letter-to-mr-robin-mandal-riai-president/

and as yet I have had no response from the RIAI which I find most unsatisfactory…


 

RE: Important Letter for Mr Robin Mandal (RIAI- representative body for architects)

Dear Robin,

My name is Amanda Gallagher and along with my husband, Raymond, we were hoping to ‘self build’ our new family home in Co. Sligo. We were featured along side you on the Six One News on Friday, February 28th last. We were absolutely devastated on Saturday, March 1st when Minister Hogan went ahead with implementing the Regulations. Naively, we thought the Minister may just listen to us and defer – I know you also asked him to defer, albeit for different reasons, and for this I thank you.

The reason I write to you now is if you could kindly let me know if you are advising your Members on the issue of self-certification under SI 9 and if your are advising them if they should work alongside ‘self-builders’ or not? You asked the Minister for clarification of what the self builders role would be under SI 9 and as of yet we have not had a definitive statement as to what this role is. Despite the Minister and his officials ‘reassurances’ to the Nation that self build / direct labour can continue as before under these laws – I am sure, as are you I presume, that this is total nonsense.

I understand that the Irish Building Control system has failed in the past with the high profile Priory Hall epitomising everything that was wrong with our system. But Robin any ordinary person can see that the SI 9 are in no way a solution to that faulty system of Building Control. We, as self builders, will be fighting the SI 9 until they are put into the shredder! We will be calling for a sensible solution to them – an Independent Building Inspectorate. – a system that could include the self builder.

I await your reply Robin, as I would love to hear the truth regarding the RIAI’s advise to its members regarding self certification under SI 9.

Thanking you,

Amanda Gallagher

Co. Sligo


 

RE: Important Letter for Anne Potter (ACEI- representative body for engineers)

Dear Anne,

My name is Amanda Gallagher and along with my husband, Raymond, we were hoping to ‘self build’ our new family home in Co. Sligo. We were featured on various RTE Radio & TV Shows in the week preceding Saturday, March 1st last. We were absolutely devastated when Minister Hogan went ahead with implementing the Regulations. Naively, we thought the Minister may just listen to us and defer these laws until a better solution could be worked out – and since then I have learned that a more sensible solution to the SI 9 had been put to the Minister but of course he chose to ‘close his ears’ – a thing he does quite alot I’ve come to realise.

The reason I write to you now is if you could kindly let me know if you are advising your Members on the issue of self-certification under SI 9 and if your are advising them if they should work alongside ‘self-builders’ or not? Despite the Minister and his officials ‘reassurances’ to the Nation that self build / direct labour can continue as before under these laws – I am sure, as are you I presume, that this is total nonsense. I believe at the Engineers CPD on January 17 – a unanimous decision that ‘self build is over’ under SI 9 was reached between yourselves, the CIF and the Mr Martin Vaughan from the Department. Mr Vaughan astonishingly, has now issued a statement that self build can continue under SI 9 – the contradictions and confusion surrounding SI 9 is staggering.

I understand that the Irish Building Control system has failed in the past with the high profile Priory Hall epitomising everything that was wrong with our system. But Anne, any ordinary person can see that the SI 9 are in no way a solution to that faulty system of Building Control. We, as self builders, will be fighting the SI 9 until they are put into the shredder! We will be calling for a sensible solution to them – an Independent Building Inspectorate. – a system that could include the self builder.

I await your reply Anne, as I would love to hear the ACEI’s advice to its members regarding self certification under SI 9.

Thanking you,

Amanda Gallagher

Co. Sligo


 

The following letter is the response from the ACEI…

Dear Amanda,

I refer to your recent emails re the above.

In relation to your query concerning certification in the context of ‘self-build projects’ the Law Society in their recent Practice Note state that a self-build owner will have to…. ‘find an architect, engineer or surveyor that is willing to undertake the task of acting as an assigned certifier – in most cases for a person with no experience acting as a ‘builder’. Doing so will clearly increase the risk for the architect, engineer or surveyor, and such professionals would be best advised not to undertake such a role in this sort of situation …’

The position of the Association in relation to such matters is to inform members of their statutory duties and provide information on the implications of same on their professional practices and services. However as is the situation in relation to all other business activities we believe that it is up to the member concerned, to use their own professional judgement as to whether or not they will provide such a service for a client having first sought advice on the matter from their insurance and legal advisors .

Kind regards,

Anne


 

Important Letter for Kevin Hollingsworth (SCSI- representative body for surveyors)

Dear Kevin,

My name is Amanda Gallagher and along with my husband, Raymond, we were hoping to ‘self build’ our new family home in Co. Sligo. We were featured on various RTE Radio & TV Shows in the week preceding Saturday, March 1st last. We were absolutely devastated when Minister Hogan went ahead with implementing the Regulations. Naively, we thought the Minister may just listen to us and defer these laws until a better solution could be worked out – and since then I have learned that a more sensible solution to the SI 9 had been put to the Minister but of course he chose to ‘close his ears’ – a thing he does quite alot I’ve come to realise.

The reason I write to you now is if you could kindly let me know if you are advising your Members on the issue of self-certification under SI 9 and if your are advising them if they should work alongside ‘self-builders’ or not? Despite the Minister and his officials ‘reassurances’ to the Nation that self build / direct labour can continue as before under these laws – I am sure, as are you I presume, that this is total nonsense. Kevin there is so much confusion surrounding these Regulations and I feel the very least the Minister can do along with the Professional bodies is be truthful with the Citizens.

I understand that the Irish Building Control system has failed in the past with the high profile Priory Hall epitomising everything that was wrong with our system. But Kevin, any ordinary person can see that the SI 9 are in no way a solution to that faulty system of Building Control. We, as self builders, will be fighting the SI 9 until they are put into the shredder! We will be calling for a sensible solution to them – an Independent Building Inspectorate. – a system that could include the self builder.

I await your reply Kevin, as I would love to hear the SCSI’s advice to its members regarding self certification under SI 9.

Thanking you,

Amanda Gallagher

Co. Sligo


The following letter is the response from the SCSI..

Dear Mrs. Gallagher,

Thank you for your email dated 27th March 2014 in relation to the new Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014.

The new Statutory Instrument (S.I) certainly applies additional obligations on the owners of self-builds where direct labour is chosen for construction. As you are aware, the new regulation in relation to self-builds mean that the owners can act as the ‘competent builder’ and sign off on works in tandem with the Assigned Certifier, if they are competent to do so. The SCSI certainly welcomes the new regulations as a means for improving standards in the construction industry in general and believes that new regulations are a step in the right direction, however, the SCSI can clearly see the difficulties that could arise.

In response to your specific query in relation to advice for SCSI members on self- certification, it is up to each SCSI member acting as Assigned Certifiers to decide whether to accept an appointment in a self-build situation.

I hope this addresses your query, however if I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate in contacting me.

Kind Regards,

Kevin Hollingsworth


 

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