Pyrite redress scheme gets under way

Homeowners will be able to apply to have damaged fixed from July

The work, estimated to cost between €40,000 and €50,000 per property will be funded by a mandatory levy on insurance policies and and on the quarry industry. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

The work, estimated to cost between €40,000 and €50,000 per property will be funded by a mandatory levy on insurance policies and and on the quarry industry. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Mon, May 27, 2013, 16:13

A redress scheme for fixing more than 12,500 homes damaged by pyrite has been published by the Pyrite Resolution Board.

Householders whose properties have been damaged by “pyritic heave”, where the presence of the mineral pyrite in the foundations has caused subsidence and cracks in the structure, will have the cost of remediation covered by the scheme.

The work, estimated to cost between €40,000 and €50,000 per property will be funded by a mandatory levy on insurance policies and and on the quarry industry. The exact rate of the levy has yet to be determined, but a spokesman for Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said legislation to allow for the levy would be introduced to the Dáil before the summer recess.

From July the board will be taking applications from householders whose homes have been affected and hopes that remediation work will begin in the autumn. A website pyriteboard.ie has been established to inform homeowners of the general terms of the scheme.

Prior to application, the homeowner will be required to have a building condition assessment carried by a competent professional. This is largely based on a visual inspection and report which establishes the required damage threshold. Following submission of a valid application, sample testing of the under floor hardcore will be carried out and evaluated to confirm that significant damage was caused by pyritic heave. The cost of the initial assessment will be recouped, subject to a maximum limit, if the subsequent confirmation is certified.

The remediation programme will be carried out by a not-for-profit company, being established by three construction industry organisations; Irish Concrete Federation, Construction Industry Federation and HomeBond, who have each nominated two directors. Jim Farrell, managing director of Roadstone Wood Ltd will chair the new company named Pyremco.

Pyrite remediation is a significant operation which includes removal of the concrete ground floor and all of the subfloor hardcore. Therefore it is necessary for the household to vacate the premises. It is expected that in most cases the work will take around three months and homes owners will be able to recoup costs of accommodation up to €3,000 and removal and storage of furniture up to €2,500.