RIAI Welcomes Enactment of New Building Control Legislation
Published: Monday, April 23, 2007
New law will benefit consumers by ensuring improvements in building safety, construction standards, accessibility and energy efficiency
Registration of the title of ‘architect’ will protect public from unqualified practitioners
The President of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI), Mr James Pike, has today (Monday, 23 April) welcomed the enactment of new building control legislation at the weekend. The new Building Control Act contains a range of provisions designed to improve building standards, including disability access certification and the registration of the title of ‘architect.’
The main terms of the new law are:
- The registration of the title of ‘Architect’ – the RIAI will be the registration body for architects in Ireland, in a co-regulatory role with the Government. In the key areas of admission and professional conduct, standards have been set by legislation.
- New buildings to have a Disability Access Certificate (DAC) approved by the local Building Control Authority.
- The law will prohibit the occupation of a building until a Fire Safety Certificate and Disability Access Certificate have been issued.
Mr Pike said “The new Act is a substantial piece of reforming legislation which makes significant amendments to the existing Building Regulations. These amendments will serve to assure all consumers and building users that buildings will be completed to proper standards, particularly in relation to fire safety and access for people with disabilities. We will build, in the next ten years, most of the building stock for the next 40 years: this legislation will help to ensure that this is done to proper standards which will protect the consumer.”
Mr Pike explained that the inclusion of professional registration in the Act was central to its consumer protection function, “Until now, it has been legal for people in Ireland to claim that they are architects and practice as such, whether they are qualified or not. The fundamental principle underpinning the registration of architects is that legal standards and recognised qualifications protect the consumer, and secure quality and safety in the built environment.”
In relation to the RIAI’s role as the registration body, Mr Pike explained, “This will create a series of new challenges and responsibilities for the profession. It has been the view of the RIAI over the past decade that, on balance, the benefits to both architects and the public of having a registration act outweigh any difficulties it would create.”
James Pike pointed out that 80% of the complaints received by the RIAI over recent years related to unqualified ‘architects’. A TNS / MRBI Poll in October 2005 found that 89% of public wanted government to introduce proper regulation for architects before next general election.
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