Architect Registration

Re: Architect Registration

Postby teak » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:04 pm

I think the trigger word in that quote was 'Irish' . . . . :thumbup:

Unfortunately, at times it's almost true . . .
. . . because of the lack of official guidline documents on anything other than strip foundations.
Not to mention the unfamiliarity of so many builders with non-strip foundations.
teak
Member
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:06 pm

Re: Architect Registration

Postby Paul cuddy » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:08 am

You should have a read of Structural Foundations by Curtain and Shaw, they have design methods for numerous foundations, its quite daunting really, the variety of solutions.
Paul cuddy
Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:13 pm
Location: Ballaghaderreen

Re: Architect Registration

Postby Paul cuddy » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:12 am

Structural Foundation Designers' Manual by W. G. Curtin, Gerry Shaw, Gary Parkinson and J. Golding
you will find it on amazon
Paul cuddy
Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:13 pm
Location: Ballaghaderreen

Re: Architect Registration

Postby teak » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:54 pm

Sure, I've looked through other foundation options.

But if someone go outside what's in the building regs, they may need to
get the "new" structural elements signed off by an engineer.
This, of course, adds to the costs for the home builder and gives him more
to ponder on -- both undesirable facets to the people getting a house built.

To my view, the whole question of house foundations should be tidied up by
the Dept of Environment drafting more comprehensive regulations that reflect
the increased desirability of other foundations methods, particularly those
which allow better insulation to underfloor & external wall foundation legs.

Somehow, I do not anticipate any significant Gormley-style initiatives on
construction design from Mr Hogan . . . . :yawn:
teak
Member
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:06 pm

Re: Architect Registration

Postby Paul cuddy » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:25 pm

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Structural-Foun ... 140513044X

You should have a look through this design manual, you will be amazed at all the different types of foundations to suit different conditions.
Paul cuddy
Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:13 pm
Location: Ballaghaderreen

Re: Architect Registration

Postby Paul cuddy » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:37 pm

It is extremely difficult to prepare a design code for foundations that covers a broad area and have a good balance with economy at the same time.
The government will never take responsibility as foundattions are too volatile.

You have to have an engineer to sign off on all structural elements anyway, so you are as well to get him to design the foundations. A good engineer will save his fee in reduced costs of materials and labour, so you will get it cheaper as well as it being insured. I recently designed a slab foundation for a nursing home that cost just 60% (in materials) of a traditional strip. Its not that the ground was particularly good or the loads were light, its just that I took the time to carry out the calcs.

My fee was in the region of 10% of the cost, so they were up 30% with insurance....... a good deal
Paul cuddy
Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:13 pm
Location: Ballaghaderreen

Re: Architect Registration

Postby teak » Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:55 pm

You have to have an engineer to sign off on all structural elements anyway

No, you do not need an engineer's signing off on elements within the building regs.
Only for those elements outside of it.
Otherwise why have such specific regulations.

I do not propose any changes other than the addition of alternative design specs
for a small number of other common foundation types, e.g. raft, raft + ringbeam,
beam-linked piles, etc.
I don't think that such regulations as may be appropriate to this group of house
foundation systems on Irish ground would be too hard to set up.
Looking at the existing situation, strip foundations are applied to a vast array of
ground types, some of them being more suited to other kinds of foundation.
And of course, the existing foundation regulations were developed at a time when
insulation and other "green" aspects of house design had little or no status.
Rather than going to an engineer to devise a specific foundation type, the builders
who use that foundation - some of them have been patented - have already had the
system in general approved for particular ground conditions and load ranges.

I'm not against bespoke foundations being devised for a significant buildings by
structural engineers. As you say, it may well be cost effective to do this.
But for a < 2,000 sq ft house, really, devising customised foundations would not
be cost effective. It would be be another case of roasting the homesteader. :thumbdown:
teak
Member
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:06 pm

Re: Architect Registration

Postby markstephens » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:20 pm

I fully agree with Paul, complex subject tho' - personal opinion & a separate issue but the registration should be a separate body from the Institute (as in UK)

Mark Stephens
http://markstephensarchitects.com
markstephens
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:01 am
Location: Foxford, Co. Mayo, Ireland

Re: Architect Registration

Postby Paul cuddy » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:00 pm

Utter nonsense, a conventional foundation for a standard 2000 sq ft house will cost in the region of 25k, to advise the homeowner that there are no savings to be made here is the real "roasting". How can you possibly think that there is a standard layout for a raft or ground beam, you are off the radar when it comes to this subject. They are structural members that distribute load differently every 2 metres, you cannot possibly place a caveat for every possible situation or even a general one. It can only be designed by a qualified practitioner. I would compare it to trying to create a caveat to replace your GP.....impossible.
Read your building regs more carefully , they are not advising you on what strips to use, they redirect you to the British Standards, the building regs are only indicative on structural issues. You should never bury money in the ground when you dont have to. You need any span over 5m signed off, you are supposed to be able to back up any structure by calculation if required to by building control.

Teak, there are no general soil types in this country, they are all a mixture of sand, silt and clay, you have to treat each one as you find it. I spend nearly half my time as expert witness in litigation prosecuting and defending these attitudes, the "arrah it will do" ones, the kind of guys that you described who work in the councils, I am surprised hearing this from you.

The architects I work with have beautiful open plans, vaulted roofs, split levels, major point loads ect, they could not possibly have there house completed successfully without the input of a structural engineer.

Its all about a perfect balance between safety and economy, I provide my clients with savings that dwarf my fees.
Paul cuddy
Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:13 pm
Location: Ballaghaderreen

Re: Architect Registration

Postby onq » Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:37 pm

I have to concur with Paul.
I recently responded to a poster on http://www.askaboutmoney.com who stated that her architect had referred her builder to the building regulations when detailing cavity wall junctions using Quinn-Lite AAC Blocks.

A fine product when used and retailed correctly and protected from site damage, the suggestion that the building regulations Part A was sufficient guideline with which to detail a building built with AAC blocks seemed like poor advice to me.

For the record, I always involve an engineer in domestic work and I don't mean "Even on Extensions", I mean "Especially on Extensions".

Extensions are potential disasters waiting to happen as the loads on settled strip foundations can be multiplied by a factor to a point where pads or piles can be needed by the latest "no masonry return at openings" detail.

Builders seldom employ feedback loops to assess the results of their handiwork, especially where they have overloaded corner points, and laypeople simply have no idea of the resolution of stresses involved at ground level at corner junctions.

How much less clued in are the current crop of "iconic" designers who seem to think nothing of creating massive cantilevered overhangs without adequate foundation level support and distribution of forces, in order that their latest "storey-height fill-width folding door detail" looks good.

Excellence in design is one thing, but you need a deep understanding of materials and structure to

(i) achieve it on the first place and
(ii) ensure it stands the test of time.

FWIW

ONQ.
User avatar
onq
Old Master
 
Posts: 1220
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:29 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Architect Registration

Postby Paul cuddy » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:40 pm

Absolutely and very well stated. Extensions are always a potential disaster, taking out large opes in walls to create open plans sends all that load to 2 corners that could have already been near a point of incipient failure. Also, all new structures will settle to some degree, you cannot defy physics, but what about the building that it is now attached to, that building probably finished settling over 20 years ago..... sounds like differential settlement could be on the way. Obviously, there are numerous ways to deal with these issues, but to give your client real value for money, you need a good structural engineer to who will get hi/her teeth stuck into it. Likewise, when the architect is deciding the size, form and interior, they will go to great lengths to balance and harmonise the new design with the house on the relevant budget.
Paul cuddy
Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:13 pm
Location: Ballaghaderreen

Re: Architect Registration

Postby teak » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:19 pm

I do not propose any changes other than the addition of alternative design specs
for a small number of other common foundation types, e.g. raft, raft + ringbeam,
beam-linked piles, etc.


I should have said design guidelines, rather than design specs.
Apologies.

By that I mean that self-builders ought be made aware within the DoEnv guidelines
of foundation types other than the strip foundations, so that they may choose for
themselves a foundation best suited to their site, house and pocket.

Specialist foundations contractors would usually be aware of the specific arrangements
needed for a given type of house. But it's hard for the ordinary Joe to catch them out
in the act of overdesign.
Then there are the patented foundation systems which come in a limited set of sizes,
each corresponding to a range of loadings. These people won't customise as it would
take away most of their margin.

In commercial practice, I think you'd need a stronger base for your pitch than
simply saying that a structural eng consultation will produce an adequate foundation
for, say, 20% less than the strip foundation estimate for that same house spec.
Because I'd see 10% of that saving going to the struct engineer.
The 10% left is well within the competition margin amongst contractors.

But I wish you well in your efforts for your local house-building clients.
It would be interesting to see a struct engineer's comparative breakdowns of quantities
needed for several foundation systems for an "average" rural house to a modern specification.

We must not forget, of course, that while the structural analysis input to the architecture
courses is not comprehensive, and even if most architects are not au fait with blending
efficient structural support with good building design, there really are some architects
who are adept at this.

But we really have gone way off course with this. :angel:
Have your rejoinder and over and out.
teak
Member
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:06 pm

Re: Architect Registration

Postby onq » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:43 pm

For the record Teak, I am competent at structural design, having usually achieved "B" grades (70-84%) in college and I still use a Structural & Civil engineer.

ONQ.
User avatar
onq
Old Master
 
Posts: 1220
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:29 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Architect Registration

Postby teak » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:27 am

. . . . and I still use a Structural & Civil engineer

For fairly conventional new houses ?
teak
Member
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:06 pm

Re: Architect Registration

Postby Paul cuddy » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:07 am

Ok guys, my apologies, I have been in Spain for the past 3 weeks with the kids, a well deserved and earned break.
Firstly, Teak, you are missing the point, Builders, Architects, Quantity Surveyors, Draftsmen etc cannot design structural elements, their courses only explain an appreciation of an extremely complex topic. You seem to think that there is a special range for foundations, in other words, that if you spend lots of money you will guarantee yourself sound footings and if you try and economise, you might push the boat out too far, I hate to be non diplomatic, but you are not aware of the basic principles, honestly read the first few pages of those manuals and you will get an overview of how it works. You cannot even begin to design even basic elements without being competent at quantitative analysis and there is no profession other than structural engineering that can perform this branch of analysis. The engineers are trained in this in their 1st year. The architecture and quantity surveying course does the basics of it but their treatment of it is far too simple to use in real life. And as I say that is only the beginning of design.
I hate to be making negative posts but I find the comments disrespectful to my profession and the fact that they could not be further off the mark makes them even more annoying.
SORRY
Paul cuddy
Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:13 pm
Location: Ballaghaderreen

Re: Architect Registration

Postby teak » Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:23 pm

I think you rather missed the whole point, yourself.

My last post related to two things.

1. A desire for more guidance within the Building Regs for non-strip foundation types.
Having would-be homesteaders aware of all their foundation options ought help struc engs to get more business also.
I assume you do not object to this.

2. A doubting that the savings derived from having a struct eng specify adequate but cost-effective non-strip foundations for a house would exceed that eng's own fees by much more than part of a non-strip foundation contractor's profit margin.
I say this because, while someone like you could make up a more optimum DESIGN for a given house's foundation, you would not honestly be able to say that, when your custom design is implemented on the site, that it would turn out to be MUCH CHEAPER than the closest standard ringbeam + raft foundation design by Supergrund, Viking or whoever.
This is simply a consequence of the extra cost of customised elements for the foundation, e.g. for a ringbeam + raft foundation, the EPS channel section for the ringbeam would need to be made to non-stock size and would demand new tooling to be made by the EPS moulder. It would be cheaper to use stock-issue EPS section - even if it is overdesigned - plus more concrete than is strictly required than to make a one-off EPS mould and use the optimum amount of concrete.
I think that ought be clear enough to you now.

Obviously, as the size of a building increases, the economics tend to favour custom designed foundations.
But for a <2,000 sq ft house, I doubt if a struct eng can justify his involvement based on cost savings alone.
(I accept that there are a few other areas where a struc /civ eng can positively contribute to a self-build job.)

If you can illustrate an example of a given house plan where what I suggest is NOT the case, then I am more than interested.
Just don't expect me to pay you for your sample estimates !
I'd like to keep my few pound for a trip to Spain myself, and not for a deserved holiday either . . . .
teak
Member
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:06 pm

Re: Architect Registration

Postby Paul cuddy » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:57 pm

Teak, you have a way with words but trust me this is my area…….
I was referring to general foundations were as you seem to be referring passive houses only. Now all those firms you mentioned do not design foundations, they get structural engineers to do it for them, I know because I did the design for an independent engineer, who was hired by them, I won’t mention the firm’s name.
Foundations are not governed to a large extent by what is sitting on them, they are primarily governed by what they are sitting on. Most foundation failures occur due to variations in the soil type. In other words, you can have fantastic ground, but if it varies from fantastic to great within the footprint, well then you will have differential movement. What constitutes failure is anything that costs your client money to rectify. Those companies will take zero responsibility for any failure of any structural element, I have a legal case on right now as I type with one. They will tell you that the polystyrene can resist 120kn/sqm, it can of course in a controlled lab, however there are many more problems at play here and if only the cases I am involved with got media attention, you would all know about them and be better off for it.
You cannot design foundations by taking plans off a shelf and using prefabricated panels, otherwise we would all have post tensioned foundations and they would only need to be a few inches thick due to the economy of post tensioned units.
Look, the only person you can take legal action against for poor foundations is a structural engineer, you cannot sue your architect, builder, manufacturer… unless their specific qualified involvement was flawed, I am in the courts and as one Judge put it , you cannot expect to sue your solicitor for poor medical advice, the onus is upon you to seek out the correct practitioner.
Why would you pay an individual to design your foundations, which he doesn’t know how to do in the first place, he will oversize them because he is unsure, they could still fail because it was oversized in areas of redundancy and then you cannot sue him for professional incompetence anyway, you have to sue him for fraud, his professional indemnity company won’t cover it because he was not covered to do it in the first place. I mean this story is on continuous replay in our courts.
And listen all those ring beams with the insulated bedding are hilarious, you can put all the steel you want in a foundation, it is not going to prevent it from sinking it is just going to prevent the concrete from breaking which isn’t much use when half of your house is 2 inches lower than the other half . (RC is semi flexible and not rigid like people think)
I design bespoke foundations for all structures, they are fit for purpose (most important), they are economic and can be adapted to suit insulation systems and if it goes wrong ………. My PI will cough up.
Paul cuddy
Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:13 pm
Location: Ballaghaderreen

Re: Architect Registration

Postby Paul cuddy » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:01 pm

I will do a few sketches for you to explain my point about why it is cheaper to cutom design at a later date
Paul cuddy
Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:13 pm
Location: Ballaghaderreen

Re: Architect Registration

Postby teak » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:33 pm

I see your point now.

I await sample foundation in fullness of time.
teak
Member
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:06 pm

Re: Architect Registration

Postby onq » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:17 pm

C'mon - I'm dying to see the sketches!
User avatar
onq
Old Master
 
Posts: 1220
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 12:29 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Architect Registration

Postby Paul cuddy » Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:32 pm

These are three simple generic options but each project nearly always offers its own opportunities. These options are aimed at conditions where soft ground is encountered for considerable depth.
I will post a few more when I get time for better ground and differential ground , which is extremely common.

Excuse the art, I am not as talanted in this area as you lot.

letter014.jpg
Paul cuddy
Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:13 pm
Location: Ballaghaderreen

Re: Architect Registration

Postby Paul cuddy » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:42 pm

One example with good ground.......
This is another example on how you can save up to 50% concrete under all the walls and you also do not need thickenings under all the walls unlike a strip.
Now to anyone who is just joining this discussion, this is just a simplified example to help express a point, there is alot more to it so dont go running off to carry out any construction work without consulting your engineer :thumbup:
Attachments
img018.jpg
Paul cuddy
Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:13 pm
Location: Ballaghaderreen

Re: Architect Registration

Postby teak » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:12 am

Looking at the stiff-edge raft proposal, suitable for firm ground.

Were you to include an insulating pad inside the external wall for heat-loss prevention,
would there be much additional modification needed ?

I assume that, since your main concern is differential settling, the whole house footprint
would have to be examined by the engineer after the initial excavation cut ?
teak
Member
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:06 pm

Re: Architect Registration

Postby Paul cuddy » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:24 am

Sketch exactly where you would propose to put it and I will let you know.
To make this work successfully, you need to be able to judge the bearing capacity, soil type(s), colour, seasonal water table, texture, consistency to list the most common criteria, if you are confident with this, then you could do it.
Paul cuddy
Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:13 pm
Location: Ballaghaderreen

Re: Architect Registration

Postby teak » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:38 pm

The situation I have in mind is like this

http://www.viking-house.ie/images/ps7b.jpg

As you see, the load from the floor is transferred via steel ties (through the external wall
insulation) onto the perimeter foundation base.
I never expect the underfloor EPS to support anything other than the weight of the
floor concrete while it sets.

So, to avoid differential settling one would need to climb down into the excavated perimeter
trench and assess the load-bearing capability of the ground below the "cut", right ?
Take samples of soil at various depths down the trench and along the full perimeter of it.

As for water table, the perc test deep trench was done in a wet March and even then it
was > 7 feet.

The usual surface drainage measures to take topsoil water around the area of the house
rather than allowing it to go under it would naturally be taken, so this will account for any
surges in the normal water table level.
teak
Member
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:06 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Irish Planning Matters