Every project is unique. Each client has different needs and every site or building varies greatly. In response, Diarmaid approaches every project without preconceptions, listening to the client’s requirements and engaging with them to find the best way to meet their current and future needs. He also ensures that projects are efficiently managed from start to finish.
THE FIRST STEPS
Before a formal engagement, you will have an initial consultation at which you can discuss your needs, budget and aspirations for the project. After this first meeting Diarmaid will put forward his initial thoughts on your project’s potential along with a fee proposal.
FULL SERVICE - If you decide to proceed, a standard Client-Architect Agreement from the RIAI will be signed marking the formal start of the project. The agreement clearly outlines the service you will receive at each stage. (See project stages, below, for details of the main services provided at each stage.)
TAILORED SERVICE - Clients may opt for a limited service and commit to one or more stages in isolation. For example, requiring a feasibility study to establish the potential of a property/site or requiring a planning application to be prepared and lodged.
You can read more here about the various services offered by Diarmaid Brophy Architects.
The client’s initial brief is agreed and the timescale is discussed. Diarmaid assesses the site potential and make an initial design proposal. Based on this, advice will be given on the likely project cost and the need for other consultants to be involved. At this stage, an assessment of any planning implications will also be made.
The brief and site requirements are further developed. If other consultants are involved at this stage, their work will be incorporated into the proposal. The project costs and timescale will be updated. If a planning application is required, it is lodged at the end of this stage.
The project is looked at in greater detail during this stage. Detailed drawings are developed to include construction details, site works, finishes and fittings. A written document is also prepared to outline the products and work practices that are to be used by the contractor once the project starts on site. This written document is known as the specification. The work of other consultants is incorporated onto the drawings. Advice is given on the insurance implications, procedures during the construction stage and also on the industry-standard RIAI building contract, which will be used between the client and contractor during the construction stage.
A tender list of suitable contractors is compiled and at the end of this stage the ‘Tender Pack’ of drawings and specifications from all consultants involved, will be distributed to the contractors for pricing.
This stage begins with feedback on the returned tenders and advice is given on how to proceed. The successful contractor now enters into the RIAI building contract directly with the client. Under this, the contractor is obliged to construct the building in accordance with the contract documents - i.e. the drawings and specifications issued by the design team.
The architect’s main responsibility at this stage is to administer the contract between the client and the contractor. This includes regular site meetings to inspect progress and quality on site and to ensure the contractor is fulfilling his obligations under the building contract. If necessary, the design is modified to suit site conditions. At the end of the works on site, and before the clients moves in, a snag list is prepared for the contractor. A follow up inspection of the building is undertaken 12 months after the clients move in. An Opinion on Compliance with Planning and Building Regulations is issued at the end of the project.
You will find more information on the steps involved in the process here on the RIAI website.
The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) is the regulatory and support body for architects in Ireland. It is a useful resource for anyone considering engaging an architect or undertaking a building project;
The Health & Safety Authority has produced a useful document for homeowners explaining their obligations under the Safety, Health & Welfare Act 2005;
SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) is Ireland’s national sustainable energy authority and works with householders, businesses, communities and government to create a cleaner energy future. Their website explains the different energy efficient measures to consider for your home, what grants are available when undertaking these measures and the process involved;