Building defects and materials


Sir, – The recent focus on the serious problem with mica in concrete blocks and other building defects has tended to present these issues as a legacy of the pre-2008 construction boom.

There is, however, no reason to believe that the origin of these issues has been addressed and that similar, or worse, related issues will not arise in the near future.

Despite the changes to building control introduced in 2014, we do not have any proper system of local authority or independent inspections of building sites, and developers can still self-certify their projects.

Add to this the changes in technology and construction methods brought about by the new requirements for air-tightness and energy efficiency, and there is significant risk of serious building defects arising from current construction.

We urgently need to strengthen our inspection system and introduce compulsory latent defects insurance for all new dwellings to protect consumers and, ultimately, the taxpayer. – Yours, etc,


Assistant Professor,

UCD School of Architecture,

Planning and

Environmental Policy,


Dublin 4.