Cabellian;Lewisian;Carrollian;Veg.Grower;Stargazer;Rocker and Mineralizer;Historian;Ukuleleian,Fibonnacian,Dialer,
Globally,with growing acceptance among the scientific community and the public at large,that the planet is struggling to self regulate in the face of rampant population increase,growing urbanisation and energy demand and the associated pressure on resources and ecosystems,the question of mankind’s influence has become perhaps the greatest issue in history.The planet will survive in some shape or form but the question has become for some one of how much of life will survive with it and under what circumstances.
With the energy crisis in terms of rising oil prices,the global realisation that fossil fuels were a finite and dwindling resource and the realisation that Ireland was hostage to fossil fuel imports,enegy efficiency and alternative sources of energy became regular topics of public discussion and debate in Ireland.
Up until relatively recently,the Building Regulations were generally regarded as going hand in hand with tried and tested building practises and this was very much as it was.Effectively,if you got through the Planning system,employed a good builder and retained your planning practitioner to keep an eye on things compliance with the Building Regulations was assured.
The Building Regulations were beginning to become more of a general news item from around 2007 on when energy related components of the regulations were tightened up in the face of the energy crisis and media reported regularly on these issues.The introduction of Building Energy Ratings in 2009 brought home the requirement for more than just broad compliance with the Building Regulations and people outside the construction professions began to have a heightened awareness and knowledge of the regulations.
With the coming to light of the building practises employed by speculators during the building boom,adherence to the building regulations has become the starting point for development.
In 2008,a change to the Building Act made protected terms of “Architect”,” Engineer” or “Building Surveyor” .This made it a prosecutable offense to refer to oneself as an Architect,Engineer or Building Surveyor unless you were either registered with RIAI, a Chartered Engineer or a Chartered Building Surveyor.A registration system was set and the RIAI were appointed by the Government to administer the system. While there was no obligation arising from the change in the Act to deal with registered people,some legal firms and some financial institutions decided from that point on to only deal with professionals on this register for conveyancing issues.
With the collapse of the Construction sector in 2008/09,the RIAI began a media campaignto consilidate their members in a dwindling market.This marketing campaign has been hugely augmented this year by the changes in the Building Regulations in response to the scandals exposed in the building practises of speculative developers during the boom. These changes were also brought into being as an escape clause for the regulating authorities who had allowed these developments and practises by their total unwillingness and failure to regulate anything during the boom and in the years since the Building Regulations came into being.
The RIAI contributed hugely to these changes through lobbying for them and through direct input to the changes themselves.
What has been done is to shift the entire responsibility for oversight onto the developer by mandatory compliance with a centralised auditing and accounting system—a very extensive paper trail which starts at the Commencement Notice stage of a project.
The changes to the Building Regualtions are set out in Document S.1.9 of 2014. It is important to stress that this document has been issued in response to the failure of the authorites to supervise and inspect large scale speculative developments and the sharp and disgraceful building practises put in place on these developments. Unfortunately S.I.9 was framed in such a way as to include one off housing and extensions which had nothing to do with the problems which caused the introduction of this escape clause by the authorities.
This has created a situation where RIAI registered Architects and Chartered Engineers and Surveyors are hugely advantaged as people now think that they have to deal with them from the outset on their projects.Even the RIAI,who had been pressing for these changes,have conceeded that the regulations have gone too far.These regulatigons are for review in early 2015 and likely to be amended to allow for sensible self builds on family and non speculative developments.
But even as things stand people have full freedom to choose who to involve in their project through the Planning stage and up to the issuing of a Commencement Notice.
At ALTAIR ENTERPRISES I have been involved in House and General Living Space design since 1999.Prior to that I had over 20 years of Mechanical and Civil design and project management experience with local and overseas contractors in Environmental Design and Installation services.
I continue to provide top class design and advisory services at reasonable rates with commitment to see my clients fully through the Planning process. l also provide a straightforward drawing office service for those who simply want their own design drawn up for inclusion in a planning package or for a builder to price or for straight construction.I am a Sole Trader working from a home office with none of the staff or premises overheads associated with the larger practises.
I will provide packages for pricing from my own designs or from a client's brief.
I also have an Undergraduate Certificate in Renewable Energy Technologies and can advise on such technologies where Sustainability is a consideratrion.
I also provide full Energy Assessments for either my own designs or a Client's design.
For the contractor involved in Roadside works on Public Roads,an increasingly regulated area,I provide Temporary Traffic Management Design and Pland for Signing,Lighting and Guarding at works.
My Draughting Services are available for all drawing works,Civil,Mechanical or Electrical,either in house at Altair or on site with client.