On Friday 2 October, RSUA President Donal MacRandal hosted the General Meeting which was followed by a presentation from Ciaran Mackel on architecture in Belfast’s Gaeltacht Quarter.
The meeting was attended by 30 RSUA members and PI insurance was high in members’ minds – the cost and level of cover remains a challenge for the profession and RSUA will survey members and write to Construction and Procurement Delivery (CPD) in the Department of Finance to outline their concerns. The issue of PI insurance was raised at the regular meeting of the 5 Presidents of the architectural institutions of Britain and Ireland and a subgroup was formed. An update on progress will be reported at the General Meeting on 3 December.
Members also agreed RSUA would issue a public statement calling for urgent action from the Finance Minister in response to the nZEB energy performance target for buildings in Northern Ireland.
Members who would like to influence RSUA’s response to the consultation on amendments to The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 (as amended) are asked to contact Joan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jude (email@example.com) by 3pm on Thursday 8 October to allow responses to be collated before the consultation closes. The consultation focuses on changes to building regulations dealing with fire safety in the aftermath of the fire at Grenfell Tower.
An issue was raised regarding the fact that RIAI don’t currently automatically recognise the RSUA Conservation Courses as at least equivalent to RIAI course. RSUA has already raised this with the director of RIAI and has followed this up with a formal request for mutual recognition of the Conservation Courses between RSUA & RIAI.
In June, the Northern Ireland Construction Group (NICG) issued an Actions for Recovery paper to Department of Finance which sought to inform discussions between professional and trade bodies and the Department. At a recent meeting RSUA and other members of NICG expressed strong disappointment at the lack of urgency in response to the paper. Further commitments by CPD were made to provide proposals by Friday 25 September. To date no paper has been provided to NICG who have written to the Finance Minister on the matter.