Construction Law Update: 2014 Highlights

Author:Mr Rory Kirrane and Susan Bryson
Profession:Mason Hayes & Curran

2014 saw increased activity and confidence among our clients which was reflective of the recovery of the construction industry in Ireland. The outlook for 2015 is extremely positive. We highlight below some key developments in the construction sector during 2014.

Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 Review of Public Works Contracts ("PWCs") Construction Contracts Act 2013 Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014

The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (the "Regulations") came into effect on 1 March 2014. The Regulations apply to all commercial, industrial, office and retail projects and to residential projects involving a floor area in excess of 40 square metres.

The Regulations introduce a new form of commencement notice and three new types of certificates. Previously the Architect issued an opinion on compliance at completion whereas the new requirement is for certificates of compliance to be provided at commencement of construction and at completion (the Design Certificate and the Completion Certificate). In addition to the Architects certificates of compliance the builder will also be obliged to certify compliance and there is a requirement for a certificate from a new professional role which is that of Assigned Certifier.

The Regulations introduce a regime of increased mandatory inspection of the works by the professionals as well as a new online building control management system and a new public register. The Regulations prohibit the opening, occupation or use of a building until a Completion Certificate has been filed and registered by the Building Control Authority.

By establishing a clear chain of responsibility for building works, from commencement through to completion, the Regulations aim to prevent defective workmanship and restore consumer confidence in the construction industry.

A failure to comply with the requirements of the 2014 Regulations is an offence which may result in the imposition of a fine and/or a term of imprisonment.

For a more detailed analysis of the 2014 Regulations, you can read our recent article here.

Review of Public Works Contracts ("PWCs")

On 11 December 2014, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform published its Report on the Review of the Performance of the Public Works Contract (the "Report").

Aimed at redressing the allocation of risk between the Employer and Contractor in public works contracts and thereby reducing the level of disputes arising on public works...

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