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investigate whether the compensation provided by the Irish government was sufficient was sufficient for damage caused to properties by Mica:Quantity Surveying Assignment, TUD, Ireland

University Technological University Dublin (TUD)
Subject Quantity Surveying

To investigate whether the compensation provided by the Irish government was sufficient was sufficient for damage caused to properties by Mica

Figure 1.0 clearly shows the extent as to which mica/pyrite has damaged homes in Donegal/Mayo. It shows on the image in part (a) filled cracks, characteristic corner crack which leads to extensive damage of the buildings frame leaving it nearly unrepairable. The image really shows the true extent as to which homeowners were affected

1.3 Dissertation Aim

To investigate the accuracy of the redress scheme outlined by the Irish government for the mica/pyrite situation in Donegal/Mayo

1.4 Objectives of the Dissertation

  • To determine how mica/pyrite affects concrete blocks and how the issue arose in Ireland
  • To investigate the extent of mica in concrete blocks across Ireland and look at the impact it has on buildings
  • To investigate the redress scheme outlined by the Irish Government
  • To compare the compensation provided in the redress scheme to the demands of the people who have been affected by Mica/Pyrite
  • To review the cost of rebuilding properties and the financial impact it will have on the Irish government and taxpayers

1.5 Rationale for the Dissertation

The rationale for my dissertation is to investigate the impact which mica has had on the people of Donegal/Mayo and to review the cost of rebuilding properties and whether the redress scheme outlined by the Irish government was sufficient.

2.1      Mica/Pyrite – Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme

The detective concrete blocks grant scheme introduced by the department of housing, local government and Heritage on 23 November 2018 applied to house owners in Donegal and Mayo who were damaged due to defective concrete blocks containing excessive amounts of deleterious materials namely mica or pyrite. Under this scheme it was decided that an owner can only apply for one dwelling and a dwelling can only be the subject of one grant under this scheme. (One owner, one residence – one residence, one grant).

It was decided under this grant scheme that to prove that your home has been damaged, an engineer’s report in compliance with IS 465:2018 is required. This report must be completed by an engineer with the appropriate professional experience and specialist training. Engineers Ireland developed a register of qualified engineers for homeowners and affected parties to refer to in June 2019. The register includes Chartered Engineers who have the necessary direct professional experience, competence, and specialist training to assess, test, and categorize damaged buildings incorporating concrete blocks containing certain deleterious materials in accordance with the requirements of ‘I.S. 465:2018 – Assessment, testing, and categorisation of damaged buildings incorporating concrete blocks containing certain deleterious materials’.

The scheme covers up to 90% of the costs of cleaning up a contaminated site and include:

  • Engineer’s report (including final report in accordance with I.S. 465)
  • Preparation of remedial works plan by a competent engineer
  • Costs associated with a contractor carrying out the remedial works
  • Professional oversight of the remedial works, including inspection and certification

There is a process for this scheme as seen below in figure 2.0 which was outlined in the government document published which people affected by mica/pyrite in Donegal/Mayo areas were told to follow:

2.2 Mica Action Group

The Mica Action Group (MAG) is a volunteer-run campaign and lobbying group that was founded in early 2014 by people whose homes were disintegrating owing to faulty blocks. The group’s goal is to seek reparation for homeowners who have been harmed by this problem through advocating on a national and local level.

The main goals of MAG campaigning and lobbying are twofold. To get from the government a fair and practical reparation mechanism for all homeowners whose homes are damaged by faulty blocks, ensuring that their properties are safe, insurable, saleable, and have long-term excellent maintenance. To guarantee that an impartial public investigation is conducted to discover how faulty blocks came to be on the market and what legal and quality assurance reforms are necessary within the building industry’s supply chain to prevent a recurrence of the same or similar problem. A continuing publicity campaign using all kinds of national and local media, as well as social media, is being carried out to promote the aforementioned objectives, ensuring that the nation as a whole is aware of them. Additionally, all levels of government are aware of the problem and its potentially disastrous effects for homeowners. In addition, all political figures with the authority and influence to change the situation are being relentlessly lobbied.

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