2014 has seen introduction of the new Building Control Regulations for Ireland and requirement for stage inspection and sign-off by architects, engineers or building surveyors covered by relative insurance. Added to this, the new Radon Strategy for Ireland, which was published in February 2014, has called for inspection and sign-off of a radon membrane installation.
GQA Environmental is a specialist in the verification of permanent ground gas/VOC and waterproofing systems.
The Environment Agency recommends that conflicts of interest in verification should be avoided. "A contractor or gas membrane supplier certifying its own work or product is considered to be a conflict of interest and is not good practice. If verification is carried out by the same company (or related company) that carried out the installation then the process, the results and report should be audited by an independent consultant" (Ciria C 735).
A gas membrane’s effectiveness however, is only as good as its installation. Therefore an independent inspection of the installation allows for a qualified third party to check the jointing methods, detailing around penetrations, detailing through the cavity/walls and to highlight any areas of damage or holes to the membrane. On higher risk sites it is also possible to introduce different means of integrity testing to look at leak detection in the membrane and also testing the joints whether welded or taped.
This process provides a full photographic report of the measures taken on site to protect the end user from the potential gas risk to them as a receptor and is covered by relative insurance.
Due to the new Building Control Act more emphasis and responsibility is being put on the design team and builder to ‘sign off’ these types of elements of work. GQA Environmental can offer to take on the inspection process of the gas protection elements and provide a full report of the installation and any remediation required for inclusion in the final validation file for the building.
We are happy to advise on protection measures pre-contract and can offer the experience and independence away from the installer networks and manufacturers.