Building company sues firms over allegedly defective insulation boards which 'caused floors to sink'

By Ann O'Loughlin

A building company has sued for more than €2m damages over allegedly defective insulation boards which, it claims, caused floors in houses built by it to sink.

Tallaght-based Kelland Homes says extensive remedial works were required to about 58 houses at a development at Elder Heath, Kiltipper, Tallaght, because the insulation boards shrank, causing floors in the houses to sink.

It says it has suffered a loss of some €2m as a result of the remedial works and having to pay compensation to, and provide alternative accommodation for, affected homeowners.

It claims the boards were used in construction of houses at Elder Heath in 2015 and 2016 and were used under ground floor slabs.

It claims a component supplied by a Dutch company, which included the chemical PIR 3009, was used in the manufacture of the boards and that component contributed to the failure of the product.

It claims it became aware about September 2016 of settlement/sinking of ground floor slabs in houses at Elder Heath.

The floors had sunk "significantly" below the height of the skirting boards and its investigations established the sinking was a result of the insulation boards shrinking, causing voids to form beneath the floor slabs, the firm claims. The boards at issue were installed in 58 hours at Elder Heath, it claims.

It has sued Ballytherm Ltd, with registered offices at Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, as manufacturer and supplier of the boards; Clondalkin Builders Providers Ltd, Clondalkin, Dublin, and James McMahon (Dublin) Ltd, with registered offices at Dock Road, Limerick, who sold the insulation boards to Kelland; and a Dutch company, Covestro B.V, whose allegedly defective product was used in the manufacture of the boards.

Kelland claims Ballytherm initially agreed last March to fund remedial works and had made a part payment of some €150,000 under that agreement, but in August 2017 purported to resile from that agreement. Ballytherm had identified the alleged defect in the insulation product as having been caused by a wrong on the part of the Dutch company and Ballytherm has taken proceedings in that regard against four entities, Kelland claims.

File photo.

When the proceedings came before Mr Justice Brian McGovern at the Commercial Court today he agreed to fast-track them.

The judge was told the first three defendants were consenting to the case being fast-tracked, but Covestro may raise a jurisdictional issue. He adjourned the matter for two weeks to allow Covestro consider whether to bring an application contesting jursdiction.

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