4 More Reasons to Choose An RIAI Registered Architect
1 Building Control Amendment Regulations 2014
A registered Architect can act as the ‘Assigned Certifier’ for your build to ensure full compliance is achieved. In one-off homes and extensions (that need planning permission) you can ‘opt-out’ of the BCAR process. But this moves a very onerous administration heavy process back to you, the building owner. And no person is exempt from the building regulations. The savings are minimal in taking this approach but the cons are numerous. There is great peace of mind when choosing the assigned certifier path but we’ll go into the benefits of choosing the BCAR process in another post.
Some Irish lenders are reluctant to fund building projects where the building owner opts out. This is mainly because the oversight of a registered building professional isn’t there. The banks often seek full BCAR compliance and the many certificates and compliance documents that come with that. In a sense, BCAR makes it a ‘safer bet’ for the banks too.
You see, unlike most situations, we architects actually love the rules. They guide us towards great design, they set increasingly better building standards ensuring homeowners get the great homes they deserve.
Even if you’d love to include everything on your wishlist, your budget may force you to compromise. The benefit of using an architect is that they’ll help you get the maximum return on your investment. They will show you alternative options that you may not have considered. They always look for the best way to do things, at the best cost.
If the budget is restricted, an Architect will advise where cost is best allocated…. But sadly these areas are often the things you don’t see! Hidden extra insulation in walls, under floors, or newer wall construction types. And not fanciful fixtures like quartz kitchen worktops, Crittal doors or engineered wood flooring. Unlike insulation, for example, they can come later, but work all the better in a better-built home.
And architects also develop many relationships with good local builders and suppliers and can often negotiate special prices for their Clients.
Architects dedicated much of their design to reduce the impact of buildings on the environment. We look at the science of how buildings work and use best practice passive design concepts, sustainable materials and innovative technology. This makes your home cost less to run, uses less energy and reduces its impact on the environment.
The new Building Regulations (Part L 2019) have once again raised the standards of energy conservation in homes. And this even now applies to extensions to old homes! Architects understand these continually changing rules and make sure your home both complies with the regulations and saves you money and energy.
Architects train to understand shading effects on energy consumption and natural lighting. They can also recommend materials that contain less embodied energy, are easier to install, and take less time to construct, timber frame versus brick and blocks for example.
4 Choose Knowledge, Skills and Experience
Architects are highly skilled professionals requiring many years of study and experience before they can operate in the Irish Building industry.
Architects complete 5 years of full-time study followed by 24 months of Post-Graduate Professional Training and a Professional Practice Examination. To become registered members of the RIAI an additional entry exam is required. So always remember this is the knowledge, skills and experience that’s made available to you when you choose a registered architect.
Of course, not all architects are created equal, and you should choose the one who is right for you. Someone who comes recommended and/or has completed similar projects. And at the end of the day, who you think can work with, there will always be tough decisions so choose professionalism here. Most building projects are long and often tough journeys, always with some type of problems along the way.