Thursday, February 27, 2014

New Building Control Regulations - what are they?

Since March 1st 2014 new houses, extensions over 40m2 and buildings which are subject to a Fire Safety Certificate (for example, certain alterations and most commercial work) are subject to new Building Control Regulations.

(i) Building owners (of the above) will now need to appoint a design certifier (an architect, engineer or building surveyor) prior to construction.  The design certifier will confirm that the design complies with Building Regulations.  

(ii) The building owner will also have to appoint an assigned certifier (an architect, engineer or building surveyor) to certify, along with the builder, during construction, that the building is constructed in compliance with Building Regulations.

These new duties are explained in more detail in the Code of Practice published by the Department of Environment,

In practice this will lead to greater oversight of both the design and construction processes but, being a private function, will attract more fees for the building owner.  Our current estimate is that the service would increase the fees (to architect) by somewhere in the region of 20-35%. 


Approximately one year ago the Government and DoELG passed S.I. no. 80 of 2013 into law but it contained some fundamental flaws. A huge effort was put in (mainly voluntary) by RIAI committees, Council Members and staff, in conjunction with other stakeholders, to make the system workable and insurable.  The outcome was the adoption of S.I no.9 of 2014 (replacing S.I.80 of 2013) in January of 2014 about five weeks before the enactment date of March 1st 2014.

Minister of DoELG Phil Hogan's view was that the RIAI, amongst other professional bodies, had a year to prepare it's members but, as the updated S.I. is only just out now, the RIAI has only recently begun to train it's members.  The new mandatory online lodgement system (for Commencement Notices) only became available on March 1st and the entire system is a challenge to clients, practitioners and local authorities alike due to lack of any meaningful run-in period. We at ABA Architects, having undergone training, are prepared for the introduction of these new regulations and will continue to serve our clients in the best possible way. Enquiries can be sent to .

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Irish Georgian Society Grants

New Kitchen designed by ABA Architects
The Irish Georgian Society has launched a new Conservation Grants Scheme to provide financial assistance for works to structures of significant architectural merit.  The scheme will operate over a four year period with funding of approximately €50,000 to be made available in each year.  Grants will be awarded in two categories: i, a core grant for one larger project that is considered of particular importance and which would especially benefit from the support of the Irish Georgian Society; ii, smaller grants for projects such as the repair of windows, fanlights, doorcases, ironwork, decorative plasterwork etc and for the provision of essential conservation advice. For advise on this and other available grants for construction projects contact ABA Architects. We are an RIAI practice accredited in Conservation at Grade III and can advise on this and other aspects of conservation and restoration.