A critical perspective to house building by a magazine is a change to the traditional approach of newspaper property pages.
'Irish Business' magazine is critical of building standards in Ireland and sceptical of newspaper reports about building standards saying that newspapers have vested interests in advertising revenue.
Despite threats to sue from some property developers, 'Irish Business' continues to publish criticisms of building standards in the country. The magazine has been reviewing the quality of houses and has created a category called ‘The Worst Buy’.
While the articles are written by a journalist, the critique comes from architects.
Deputy Editor of Irish Business magazine Michael Roche defends the article claiming that they sent out qualified architects to view the properties and therefore their opinions must be respected.
If they believe that a house has major shortcomings, then they will award it the worst buy.
The criticism of a property is based on price, finish, layout, and space. The most important factor when judging a house is value for money. Michael Roche says that the articles have a definite impact and gives the example of one property which they had labelled ‘The Worst Buy’ and three potential buyers pulled out of the deal on the £50,000 houses.
'Irish Business' magazine also claims that newspaper articles on property lack credibility due to the risk that the paper has of losing property advertising revenue.
While many builders are not happy about the reports from 'Irish Business', most have decided not to comment.
Michael Green of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) is not pleased with the articles and describes the opinions presented as subjective. He says that,
Housing in this country is as good as you’d find anywhere.
Michael Green claims that the main concern of the CIF is to ensure that the structure of the house is sound and as such provide a guarantee scheme.
Michael Roche believes that if 'Irish Business' continue to publish the reports, then builders will have to take notice. He claims that all they are trying to achieve is that builders address any defects they are identified.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 5 January 1981. The reporter is Andrew Kelly.