Monday, 12 November 2018

Code of Conduct

A Code of Conduct for Contractors & Clients  
The Royal Institute of Ireland’s motto is : 
Architects design, guide, manage, and advise.
The RIAI have a Architect's Code of Conduct that we members must adhere to. Broken down into three principles. 
1 General Obligations
2 Obligations to Clients and Employers
3 Obligations to the Profession
The guide can be downloaded on the RIAI’s website:
RIAI Code of Conduct

Winkens Architecture approach:
This is based on our experience and relates to building one-off-Houses. Commercial projects are even much more complex.

We usually are employed by our clients to provide a full set of architectural services.  From our first meeting to the day they move in, to the day of the retention release, we are there to guide and advise our clients with knowledge that we have built up over a few decades.  Even before the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) kicked in on the 25th May 2018 we kept our clients' information confidential.
Information given to us in writing or in conversations helps us to customise /streamline our service given.  We have a very detailed written agreement outlining our services, broken down into different parts and several stages each. This is the basis of our relationship.

We try to have a good working relationship with Contractors. These are the steps we take to reach construction of a dwelling.
The tender package of working drawings, details and outline specification is usually started after a positive planning permission decision. We are aware that more information Contractors are given the better the tender received will be. We believe that it is our responsibility to ensure contractors have a detailed idea of the dwelling and work to be costed for. The tender package includes structural engineers’ drawings and a preliminary BER that should be achieved by the specifications we provide.
The tender is sent out to a limited number of contractors for a set time. The next day of the tender return we go through the tenders to make sure there no mathematical errors.
The clients are shown all of the tender documents received and a recommendation is given as to which builder we should consider. We then talk to the contractor to ascertain if the project is fully understood.  The successful tenderer is asked to sign a building agreement with the client. We also remind them of their Project Supervisor Construction (PSCS) Stage duties.

After the nomination of a Contractor, our duty is to be the go-between of client and the contractor. We convey information between them and make sure both are treated fairly.
Form the onset (design stage) we advise our clients to keep changes to a minimum. Our site visits are in line with progress made on site.  Once the contractor puts in a payment claim we visit the site to see if progress is in line with the claim and try to issue a payment cert swiftly, as Banks are quite slow these days with their stage payments.

Variations or extras to the original agreement are best called out as they happen to avoid a big surprise at the end.

At the end of the build the final builders claim usually is settled with a meeting between the clients, contractor and ourselves.
A 2.5% retention of the final payment is kept on completion and released after six months, to cover any eventual items that need sorting.
With the release of the retention from client to Contractor our involvements with them both ends, for this project.
Winkens Architecture, Passive House, Bunclody, Co. Wexford

This was my first contribution to a shared discussion among architects practicing in Ireland, where we will discuss aspects of our services and the profession, under the Twitter hashtag  #ArchitalksIE
By using this hashtag on twitter, or links provided within each blog itself, you can connect to the other architect’s blog on the same topic. Our blogs will be posted synchronously on the same time same day. We hope you will enjoy this format and benefit from the broad professional views and different approaches to the same issues.

Twitter:   Zeno the Architect @winkenswexford

Read my colleague's blogs on the subject: 

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Overview building a Dwelling under SI 365 2015

1st September 2015 
Building Control (Amendment 2) Regulations S.I.365
BC(A2)R SI365 of 2015 as an alternative, 
in addition to S.I.9 of 2014, came into force.
With the new regulations (SI 365 of 2015) it is possible to Opt out of SI9 2014.
When Building a single house or an extension to a house of more than 40 square metres in area you may opt out of the full S.I.9 process. To avail of this facility you must sign a form of 'Declaration of Intention to Opt Out of Statutory Certification'. No need for a 'Design Certifier' and 'Assigned Certifier' needed for SI9 2014.

A Statutory Obligation, irrespective of whether the homeowner decides to comply with the statutory certification requirements or to follow the alternative process now provided for in the regulations, they must continue to meet their obligation under the Building Control Act 1990 to 2014 to ensure that the design and construction of the building concerned complies with the relevant requirements of the Building Regulations.

Homeowners should appraise themselves of any potential cost or other implications that may arise as a result of choosing to opt out of  the statutory certification process. Prior to deciding on whether
or not to avail of the opt out option, it is recommended that a
homeowner should consult with their solicitor.
Winkens Architecture can also advise about procedures.

Here is a brief guide

Overview building a Dwelling under SI 365 2015

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Pyrite information page.

My question, is there no regulation on quarries?
Pyrite testing should be done at  the source, quarries.
Surly test intermittently would be better than NO testing at all.

How can builders test on site, before they use filling blockwork?

I have put together a few useful links on Pyrite: 

Monday, 5 May 2014

Overview of Regulations for an Average Dwelling

The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 came into effect from 1st March 2014.

This is an RIAI architect's view of what is now needed for a typical dwellings construction, as advice for a Client (Building Owner).

Now more than ever the building of a dwelling is a team effort were various professionals must work together to achieve compliance.

Based on
> Many years of practical experience designing and supervising Home building.
 > The Code of Practice  for Inspecting and Certifying
Buildings and Works Building Control Regulations 2014 February, 2014
> Statutory Instruments S.I. No. 9 of 2014 -
Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014
> Guide for Homeowners New responsibilities for homeowners under
Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013

 This Overview  may be reproduced if credit is given to Winkens Architecture.

Down load sheet here:

Winkens Architecture  are delighted  to provide the services of the Dwelling designer.

We would be happy to provide the services of PSDP,  ‘Design Certifier’ and ‘Assigned Certifier’  for projects on which we are involved from the beginning.  

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Whatever happed to specialists?

Specialist refers to an expert in a profession. 

Here are three specialists, their definitions I found on the internet.

An architect is a person trained and licensed to plan, design, and oversee the construction of buildings.

a person who designs, builds, or maintains engines, machines, or structures.

Building Surveyor
Chartered Building Surveyors is a type of Chartered Surveyor involved in all aspects of property and construction, from supervising large mixed-use developments to planning domestic extensions

With the new Building Control (Amended) Regulations S.I.9 2014 the building owner now must choose one of the above professional to become an assigned certifier for their project.
I am an architect and as such I love to design spaces to live and work in. More and more red tape and regulations are making my job more difficult. I do not mind responsibility, if it is shared equally.
At this stage I am afraid that good design will suffer. Not with me and my clients but in general. As the paper work seems to take centre stage. For me most important is liveability in my dwellings.
If getting the paper work right is more important than the building being built then that is a sad state of affairs. There more to a well designed building then filling out the proper forms.

Be warned anybody can still submit a planning application but only one of the professionals mentioned can submit a Commencement notice at the start of build and sign a Certificate of compliance at the end of build.

If you already have a assigned certifier in mind look them up:

Is your Architect registered? 
The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI)

Is your Engineer registered? 
Engineers Ireland (EI) 
The Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland (ACEI)

Is your Building Surveyor registered?
The Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland (SCSI)