NSAI establishes new National Construction Standards Consultative Committee
04 December 2017
The inaugural meeting of NSAI strategic oversight/advisory committee including construction standards committees at NSAI Glasnevin on 29 November 2017
At the National Standards Authority of Ireland’s invitation, a strategic oversight/advisory committee was set up and met at NSAI Glasnevin on 29 November 2017. The committee elected Kevin Sheridan, Secretary General and Past president of AEEBC (the Association of European Building and Construction Experts) as chair and Sean Downey (CIF) as deputy chair.
This committee is drawn from all the key industry construction organisations, utilities and national and regulatory bodies and other key stakeholders impacting on construction activities including the professional construction institutions.
The meeting received updates from the NSAI standing committees on developments in construction standards. The CSCC agenda covered other challenges and threats in the marketplace including the possible effects of Brexit and its potential impact on trade and standards.
The Construction Standards Consultative Committee is tasked with advising the NSAI on the development of construction standards, resources and priorities and in developing a work programme to assist NSAI in their efforts to develop standards which will assist strategic infrastructural investment in our built environment.
This will support a number of government strategic needs to advance “Construction 2020 A Strategy for a Renewed Construction Sector’ and this confirms the need for a strong and sustainable construction sector in Ireland. The strategy provides for action around housing and infrastructure provision, planning, energy efficiency and sustainability, standards regulation and training. The construction industry is also regarded as having potential for jobs growth, both through an increase in construction projects in Ireland, and the potential for export of construction product and services abroad.
This advisory body mirrors other comparable European standards groups in other E.U countries. The European Standards program for the construction sector, in which NSAI participates, includes more than 3000 work items on product standards and test methods, of which about 600 standards are or will be harmonized under the Construction Products Regulation (CPR).
In the construction area, there is further potential for standardisation to better support initiatives in the sector. Areas where standards might usefully contribute include:
- Provision of infrastructure e.g. flood relief, water supply, education, sustainability and conservation, design for ageing populations;
- Application of IT and technological developments e.g. Building Information Modelling (BIM), e-procurement and Smart Cities; and
- Export of construction products and engineering services.
The challenges introduced by the sheer volume of new, performance based, European construction standards, which are replacing the old, familiar and often less complicated, prescriptive Irish or British standards, and requirements imposed by the Construction Product Regulation (CPR), are unique to the Construction sector, and this is particularly true for the many small companies providing goods and services for the industry.
While reliance on industry volunteers in developing these standards is well established, this committee is considered to be central to accelerating and further advancing this process and will focus on prioritising and advancing the development of appropriate standards against a backdrop of badly needed cost-effective infrastructural development.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2017/12/04/establishment-national-construction-standards-consultative-committee/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/inaugral-meeting.jpg.pnghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/inaugral-meeting.jpg-300x300.pngNewsconstruction