The Department of the Environment, Communities and Local Government (DECLG) announced plans to change fire safety legislation in Ireland in April 2012 declaring: ‘In the light of a number of recent high profile failures on the parts of developers/builders and their agents to meet their statutory responsibilities it is considered that sticking with the existing arrangements is no longer tenable’
In January 2014, Department of the Environment, Communities and Local Government (DECLG) Minister Phil Hogan signed S.I.9 2014 to implement the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (BCAR 2014) on the 1st March 2014. DECLG has also published a Code of Practice for Inspecting & Certifying Buildings & Works.
BCAR 2014 legislates for certain registered professionals to act as Design & Assigned Certifiers. There is also a stated requirement that these professionals must be ‘competent to carry out their design and to co-ordinate the design activities of others for the works concerned’. It equally applies to those providing Ancillary Certification as Manufacturers and Installers of the various elements that contribute to the fire compartmentation of the building and for many of these ‘fire resisting performance’ will not be their first area of expertise.
According to DECLG: ‘The purpose of the lodgement of plans, mandatory inspection by registered professionals, statutory certificates of compliance and registration of certificates and accompanying documentation is to ensure a strong culture of compliance with the Building Regulations, and greater transparency in the process’.
Early indications are that this core objective is being achieved, with particular interest in the acquisition and demonstration of competence in the design, installation & certification of Passive Fire Protection (PFP) systems.