Deadline given for pyrite proposals
The Construction Industry Federation, the Irish Concrete Federation, Homebond and other stakeholders have until the end of September to come up with proposals to resolve structural problems in pyrite-damaged homes, the Minister for the Environment said this afternoon.
Speaking at the publication of a study on the extent of the pyrite problem in Ireland and solutions to it, Phil Hogan said if stakeholders do not come up with a voluntary solution to providing funds for the repair of pyrite-affected homes he would be “left with no option” but to impose a levy on the industry.
Pyrite, sometimes known as fool’s gold, can occur naturally in stone. In recent years it had been included in hardcore for the foundations of homes. When exposed to air or water in its reactive form the mineral becomes unstable and can cause structural damage, including cracking and buckling of walls and floors.
The Report of the Pyrite Panel, set up by the Minister and chaired by former senior public servant Brendan Tuohy, estimated that over 12,000 homes in 74 estates are contaminated with the material.
Of these, 1,100 are in the process of having or have already had remedial work carried out. A further 850 have made a claim to a guarantee provider such as Homebond, and, “taking the most pessimistic view of potential exposure”, the report says, a further 10,300 homes could have the mineral present.
The report said the problem was confined to five local authority areas - Fingal, Meath, Dublin City, Kildare and Offaly - and mainly to homes built between 2002 and 2006.
It recommended that 850 homes, which have significant damage, should have repair works carried out immediately. This would involve the removal and replacement of the hardcore at an average cost of €45,000.