Wednesday, 30 October 2019

What's a typical timeline to design and build a house?   #ArchitalksIE


Winkens Architecture approach:
This is based on our experience and relates to building a off-House. The time estimates given below are average based on building a bespoke 4 bedroomed, block work dwelling, approx 150 to 200sqm, in Co. Wexford with a general contractor.

First Contact
After an initial contact with the architect, e-mail best with description of project intended, a meeting face to face will be scheduled to talk about various aspects of the build. 1 to 3+ weeks.

Pre-planning
It is usually advised to have a pre-planning meeting with the County Council to see if there are any specific issued with the site chosen. This can help to establish the brief. 6 to 8+ weeks. 
Soil testing will be needed if there is no mains sewer available, if it fails another site may have to be chosen.

Design
Once an agreement in place and the brief is established it usually takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the first proposal is presented with Floor plans, elevations and 3 dimensional views. Incorporating complexity of brief and site conditions.
The client then has to think about the proposal. This can take 2 to 4 weeks or longer depending on the client’s schedule. The next round of amendments or changes can take 2 to 4 weeks.  This proposal/amendment cycle might be repeated usually with shorter intervals. This is an important process, as changes after planning permission may need a retention permission and could be refused.


Planning
Once the design is set the planning application documents can be prepared. 2 to 3+ weeks.
From the day of the planning submission to the planning departments first response usually takes 7 to 8 weeks. If there is no further information requested, a positive decision with be given. The grant will be issued 4 weeks later. But if further information was requested it will  slow down the process considerably, depending on information requested. 2 to 8+ weeks.

Tender
After planning is secured, the planning drawings need more detail to become working drawings. Detail drawings showing key sections of the building and an outline specification have to be prepared to enable to get tenders in for the dwelling, 4+ weeks. This can be done after a positive decision while waiting for the Grant to come through.
The tender quotation is returned in 3 to 4 weeks. Meeting with clients to discuss the tender, meeting with the chosen contractor, perhaps re-quoting some elements of the tender. 3 to 4 weeks.

Pre-build
The builder may have a lead in time before they can start. Can be 4 to 6 weeks+. With the commencement notice lodged the build must start between 2 to 4 weeks.

Build
Bungalows take between 40 to 48+ weeks to complete. Weather can play a big role depending on the time of year. Once the roof is on and windows are in a good builder will steady progress until completion.
Some elements of the build have lead in time, most noticeably the outside windows and doors. Roof trusses also my cause delays.

Conclusion
In our experience from the day of the agreement with an architect to the day you move in realistically will take about 1 and a half to 2 years, longer with unforeseen delays as outlined above. Quality takes time.


#ArchitalksIE
This is my third 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.



Read my colleague's blogs on the subject:

Mark Stephens Architects link:
Mark Stephens Architects approach

The PassiveHaus Architecture company link:
The PassiveHaus Architecture company approach

Twitter:   Zeno the Architect @winkenswexford



Monday, 1 April 2019

House scrappage scheme in Wexford


U&W Builders from Wexford started taking garden sheds as trade ins on dwellings in a new Housing estate in Curracloe Co. Wexford. 

Sheds can be timber or steel. The new small homes are timber built and A rated. 
First time home buyer that do not have a garden shed, may ask parents to offer their garden shed to help them climb the property ladder. If proven successful the builders may consider Camper vans as trade ins as well. 

More at: http://www.1stAprilBuilders.ie

Monday, 7 January 2019

Year in Review - 2018 Winkens Architecture



The year began with a completion of a BER A2 Bungalow in Bunclody, Co. Wexford in January.


We continued to concentrate on the  residential sector.





In June the office purchased a MAVIC AIR Drone.

Aerial photos are great to get a bird’s eye view.

This one near Kilmuckridge, Co. Wexford.








The last 6 dwellings designed or completed in 2018 are low energy designs, 
2 with BER A1 and 
4 with BER A2’s.
All are nZeb compliant.

This one is a BER A2 Bungalow on a hill in Bunclody, Co. Wexford.





Passive House Plus published our second Certified Passive house with a BER rating of A1 in their Issue 27 2018. 






This photo was taken in December 2018. Dormer with a preliminary BER of A1 with 4kw of Photo voltaic and a Battery system.
We could not do what we do without good clients who trust our expertise. We have been very fortunate having clients that choose us to design and supervise their builds.
We look forward to continue designing low energy dwellings in 2019 and beyond.

Twitter:   Zeno the Architect @winkenswexford

Read my colleague's blogs on the subject:


#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.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Code of Conduct

#ArchiTalksIE
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.

Clients
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.

Contractors
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.
  

Build
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

#ArchiTalksIE
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