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Background to the Scheme

The Expert Panel on Concrete Blocks


An Expert Panel on Concrete Blocks was established by the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government in 2016, to investigate problems that had emerged in the concrete blockwork of certain dwellings in Counties Donegal and Mayo. On 13 June 2017, the Report of the Expert Panel on Concrete Blocks was published.


IS 465: 2018 Protocol


As a follow on from the Expert Panel Report, the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) established a Technical Committee to scope and fast track the development of a standardised protocol.


The standardised protocol informs the course of action in relation to remedial works for all affected householders. The standardised protocol was published by the NSAI on 13 November 2018 and ‘I.S. 465:2018 - Assessment, testing and categorisation of damaged buildings incorporating concrete blocks containing certain deleterious materials’, is available at


The standard can be used to assess and categorise the damage in properties where the concrete blocks are suspected to contain the minerals mica or pyrite. Previously, there was no common way for engineers or homeowners to assess the damage caused by defective concrete blocks, in order to decide what, if any, remedial work could be carried out. The standard:


  • establishes a protocol for assessing and determining whether a building has been damaged by concrete blocks containing certain excessive amounts of deleterious materials (free or unbound muscovite mica, or aggregate with potentially deleterious quantities of pyrite);
  • describes methods for establishing the extent of the problem;
  • describes the scope of any testing required; and
  • categorises buildings, in accordance with the standard, providing competent persons with guidance on the appropriate measures to be taken.

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