The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Buildin

Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby onq » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:05 pm

The ratings would not be limited to Members of the Institute.

This is not intended to undermine the BCA 2007 or the Registrar or Institute Members.

Submissions would be going back several years before 2008, when anyone could avail of the title.

They would be invited since 2008 and would include persons without a formal qualification providing services.

The would include professionals with other qualifications like engineers and surveyors and teachers and draughspeople.

Anyone in short who provided any archiectural services any acted "as an architect" whether or not they used that name in business.

Any thoughts?

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Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby henno » Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:19 am

seems RIAI registration is no protection for consumers... quelle surprise....
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Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby DOC » Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:36 am

henno wrote:seems RIAI registration is no protection for consumers... quelle surprise....


More a fault of the building control system and the lack of a requirement to have any professional inspect during construction.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby onq » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:01 am

Doc, that's not the whole truth.

The buck must stop with the certifying architect.
Where matters are obvious to visual inspection he has to call it.

Prime Time showed a Condition of a Fire Cert requiring an inner room to be removed.
According to the programme, it wasn't removed, and if so, certifying compliance in such a situation is wrong.

Unbelievable that here I am gathering my bits and piece together to (finally) apply for Registration and this hits the fan.
Its enough to make you throw your hat at it, when you see this kind of nonsense dragging down the reputation of the profession.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby DOC » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:41 am

onq wrote:Where matters are obvious to visual inspection he has to call it.

Prime Time showed a Condition of a Fire Cert requiring an inner room to be removed.
According to the programme, it wasn't removed, and if so, certifying compliance in such a situation is wrong.


Have to agree with you on that one ONQ! An obvious and complete oversight.....see no evil, etc.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby DOC » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:24 am

Tried to edit the above post but was not allowed to.

When I say there is something wront with the system, there is something wrong with a system that allows an apartment be sold having had no inspection whatsoever during construction and allowing the use of Form 1A Opinion on Compliance at the end of construction. This is the Opinion on Compliance that an architect can sign having had no involvement in the construction stage of the project (only the design stage) and relies on letters of confirmation from the contrcator and sub-contractors that they have carried out their work/built in compliance with the building regulations.

This form of Opinion I'm sure will be gone soon! With no regulation/registration of contractors (to ensure they are competant and at least understand the building regulations), it's obvious now you cannot rely on these written confirmations.

Opinions on Compliance are documents, the wording of which are agreed with the Law Society, intended soley for the purpose of conveyance. They are not statutory documents. These Opinions are not worth the paper they are written on!

With regard to the inner bedroom, this was clearly conditioned out by the Fire Safety Certificate. You don't know whether it was agreed by the architect and developer at the time that this should be renamed a Study or and additional living room and not be called a bedroom and then the developer simply sold on as bedroom?

I'm sure it will come out in the wash. As they say, there are two sides and then there is the truth!
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Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby onq » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:32 pm

I disagree that you cannot rely on contractors certificates.
Its up to you as the inspecting architect to review their work.
This assessment informs you as to whether or not you can accept their certs.
The basic issue is what I've christened the Paddy-Last Cert where no inspection occurs.
This is exacerbated by the Drive -By Inspection, where its cursory and no record photos are taken.
I've set standards for my own work going back fifteen years which required regular in-depth inspections.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby henno » Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:36 pm

henno wrote:lets take a step back from this indepth debate and consider what the long term outcomes of the BCA 2007 may be.

The act precludes an unregistered person from using the title "Architect" in any form of advertising, or business correspondence, certification etc.

So what does that mean?

Does it mean anyone can advertise / claim to offer 'architectural services', 'architectural design', 'architectural *blank*??
what if they name themselves 'ACME Architecture' ? etc does it matter??

I would claim not really.

I can see the endgame of the BCA being the RIAI claiming a monopoly on as many services as possible currently available on the 'open' market. Design Team leaders for public contracts currently have to be RIAI or similar chartered engineers. This will filter down to smaller projects. RIAI will pressurise the Law Society not to accept certification from non-registered purveyors of 'architectural services', be they Architectural Technologists or non chartered engineers etc. See AIB requirements for example of whats to come.

Perhaps we may even see a time when only registered architects could make planning applications, as is being debated on another thread in this forum. Or perhaps local authorities may make this decision themselves??..

Make no bones about it, the RIAI now have a very very strong position to lobby those close to them about the monopolization of services. As time passes this stranglehold will become even stronger. Like the child that cries the loudest, it gets fed first.

The competition authority has be shown to be meek when opposing a body of the RIAIs stature. Its conclusions in its report to the BCA bill were largely ignored. It now claims to be legally helpless to AA.


post from almost exactly 3 years ago......

unfortunately what i predicted has turned out top be true. :(
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Enforcement of Use of "Architect" Designation

Postby teak » Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:11 pm

They're still out there, you know.
The various non-architect disciplines who persist in calling themselves architects on their flyers, ads and - when they have them - websites.

The curious thing is, that they often leave their flyers in areas where a number of other architects reside or practice . . .
Are they relying on the old Irish custom of not professionally attacking someone who is a neighbour, who has children at school with one's own and who boldly parades himself at the local chapel on a Sunday ?

If so, then it's time that you architects organize yourselves on a local chapter basis and have their improper use of the word architect prevented legally and 'professionally' with no individual neighboring professional fingered as an informer.

I just don't get why those many of them who have legit qualifications as architectural technicians/technologists, building draughtsmen and so on don't simply advertise as such.
For so many smaller jobs, esp. those related to home modifications/extensions, the latter people would be the preferred choice of most people. Yet they continue to risk public opprobium for the sake of an odd tasty tidbit . . . :crazy:
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Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby gunter » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:29 pm

That sounds like a 1950s Legion of Mary solution you're looking for there teak.

I didn't pay enough attention to Registration at the time, not that it would have made any difference.

There is a counter argument that if you can design buildings and you do it for a living, you're an architect, in common speech. Registration of the title architect, under the administration of the RIAI, imposes pre-conditions that undermine that commonly held understanding. Supposedly this was to be for the benefit of the public, to protect them from some poorly skilled practitioners who haven't passed as many exams as the RIAI guys, but actually it was for the benefit of the membership of the RIAI, many of whom are probably equally poorly skilled, to judge from much of what has been built in recent years.

Ironically, registration probably will benefit the public in the long run, by propelling the RIAI down the same protectionist road that the trade guilds went down in the 18th century, into oblivion. The more the Institute attempts to ring fence the architectural profession, the more that ring-fenced profession will be by-passed by the consumers it is professing to protect, many of whom just want a competent design and planning service at a reasonable cost.

I became an architect to design buildings, I didn't become an architect to join a closed shop. The guild system ultimately failed because the guilds were closed shops adrift in an sea of technological advance and because innovation was conspicuously happening in the centres of growth not controlled by the guilds. The same will happen to the RIAI. By making the title 'Architect' more precious, it is inevitable that the practice of architecture will become more expensive to sustain and that will open the door to other professionals, who can also design and plan buildings, to offer a comparable service at a more attractive rate. We're living in the android era, the days of the premium brand are over.

The Registration debate may be over, but in making its Faustian pact with the legislators to become the sole custodians of the coveted title 'Architect' the RIAI now finds itself conjoined in a deadly legislative embrace that has been represented as aiming to compel the designers of buildings to be legally responsible for what is actually being built under their guidance, which is a prospect that is both perfectly reasonable, and terrifying.

Even though that is not actually the case, the RIAI is now tearing itself apart along this fault line, which is frankly not what I want for my €450 a year.

The vista of seven past presidents of the RIAI shaking their walking sticks at the current incumbent is unedifying to put it mildly, and needs to stop.

S.I. 80 of 2013 does not demand that the architect for a given project himself self-certifies the work, it provides for an 'Assigned Certifier' to verify the compliance of building work with the Building Regulations, which, as with the practice that has emerged to deal with BER certification, will doubtless end up with the creation of a new pool of professions to fulfil this certification role, practitioners [many of whom will be architects] with the appropriate training and P.I. insurance who will take on this new responsibility for a fee.

The past-presidents group propose an independent inspectorate that will be, effectively, exactly the same thing, but with a half-assed Local Authority inspectorate layer above that to carry out spot checks on random, or suspect, developments. That would only have the effect of deflecting responsibility off into some grey area between the two where everyone involved can sleep soundly in the knowledge that no one will ever be effectively pinned down for any involvement they may have had in any new revelation of dodgy buildings practice.

The RIAI has no choice now, registration is a done deal, now it needs to get its act together and embrace the notion of actual accountability, in partnership with anyone else who wants a piece of that action, or retreat deeper into its protective shell and get ready for irrelevance.
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Re: Enforcement of Use of "Architect" Designation

Postby henno » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:00 pm

teak wrote:They're still out there, you know.
The various non-architect disciplines who persist in calling themselves architects on their flyers, ads and - when they have them - websites.

The curious thing is, that they often leave their flyers in areas where a number of other architects reside or practice . . .
Are they relying on the old Irish custom of not professionally attacking someone who is a neighbour, who has children at school with one's own and who boldly parades himself at the local chapel on a Sunday ?

If so, then it's time that you architects organize yourselves on a local chapter basis and have their improper use of the word architect prevented legally and 'professionally' with no individual neighboring professional fingered as an informer.

I just don't get why those many of them who have legit qualifications as architectural technicians/technologists, building draughtsmen and so on don't simply advertise as such.
For so many smaller jobs, esp. those related to home modifications/extensions, the latter people would be the preferred choice of most people. Yet they continue to risk public opprobium for the sake of an odd tasty tidbit . . . :crazy:


well you see this is the problem... architects seem to think architecture stops at the drawing board.

Why would a technologist only be deemed capable to provide technical design for "a smaller job", "home modification/ extension", "an odd tasty tidbit"?? Why should an architect actually be considered capable of providing technical design for the same scale of project? I hear of fourth year architects in college crying out for technical education because they feel the standard they are taught is not good enough.
The problem currently is that the existing practitioner be they technician / draughsman etc are precluded now from providing technical design to anything other than the smallest 'exempt status' extensions. What are the RIAI afraid of? surely if their skills are so obviously ahead of non registered designers then the market will take care of removing the rabble... oh wait a minute....

The one professional perfectly positioned to provide the service required in SI 80, the architectural technician, has been excluded from the legislation because RIAI exists to serve its member and not for the betterment of architecture. The RIAI council has 24 architects and but one technician member, yet its purports to represent architects and technicians equally??

SI 80 has architects actually terrified now because they have been asked to put up or shut up, and they have chosen to shut up.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby gunter » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:23 am

I don't see much evidence of them shutting up, the opposite seems to be the case.

The last thing that architects need to be doing right now is going on the radio and sounding muddled about what exactly their issue is with new Building Regulations. For the man in the street, the new Building Regulations are intended, whether effectively or not, to stop a repeat of the dodgy building practices that have put people out of their apartments and on the street with him.

Joan O'Connor, a member of the past presidents group that has set itself up in opposition to the RIAI Council's handling of the proposed legislation, spent five minutes dumping on the current Building Regulation proposals on Morning Ireland before seemingly conceding that the proposed new measures in S.I. 80 would bring about a small improvement in consumer protection.

Everyone in the argument is desperate to get out the message that their real concern is for the consumer, but nobody wants to be holding the certificate when a crack appears in the consumer's wall.

It isn't unreasonable that the architect for a given project is obliged to provide a certificate that his design complies with the Building Regulations and that the work has actually been executed in accordance with his specifications. Or failing that, that there is someone else employed on the job, eating into his fee percentage, that is prepared to fulfil this role.

If the responsibility for certification was instead passed on to the local authority, or a new Building Control Authority, as the RIAI opposition group appear to be arguing for, in this country that would be a compo charter. Can you imagine how this would pan out? Who wouldn't take a pot at the local council if you thought you get the house redecorated. There'd be night classes in cultivating mildew.

The current version of S.I 80, as I understand it, introduces the concept of the 'assigned certifier' who need not be the architect, but, like the architect, is engaged by the client to deliver the project. Presumably the 'assigned certifier' will be obliged to carry a level of insurance appropriate to the value of the works he is certifying. No assigned certifier, who wants to stay in business, is going to hand out certs until the works he is supposed to be overseeing demonstrably comply with all statutory requirements.

This sounds like a workable arrangement to me and a helluva lot more sensible than attempting to resuscitate some version of the old Bye-Law inspectorate, who were mostly humourless zombies even back in the day.

The Paul Kelly resignation letter [gleefully circulated this evening by the RIAI opposition group] concedes that the assigned certifier will have the power to withhold certification. That alone ought to be sufficient to quickly bestow on him the status of the most respected guy at the table.

I think the hysteria being whipped up about S.I. 80 is ill judged and reflects very poorly on the profession. Whatever the actual motivation, it sounds like we're trying to avoid our share of responsibility and, if that isn't the case, somebody needs to put up a spokesperson who can get that message across with a bit more credibility than we've heard to date.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby teak » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:30 pm

It was the placement of the adverts (noticeboards, flyers through letterboxes, etc) that made me say that they were seeking the house modification jobs, not simply the nature of their skills.
I was not aware that the new regs prevented arch techs from doing design work.

My point was simply that the lone term architect ought simply be used according to the existing law.
And that other related professions might compete for design and non-design work as architectural technicians / technologists, building draughtsmen, etc.
But you say that this is now forbidden.

Can it be that the RIAI membership has a distinctly different view on all this to that of the RIAI executive ?
This would explain the lack of challenge to these unofficial operators working under the noses of the official architects.

A professional body out of step with its rank and file -- there's nothing new in that.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby wearnicehats » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:04 pm

There has been an incredible amount of work going on behind the scenes between the RIAI and its members, the government and, just as importantly, the insurance industry to bring about modifications and tweaks to the proposals in order to overcome the very basic concerns over the certification process. I don't know of any architect who disagrees with the principle of the new regs. It is the fundamental flaws in the wording of the certification that is causing the problem - moreso over the very simple problem of whether or not even established practices are going to be able to get PI Insurance

As with everything in this country we took an established regulation in the UK and, while trying to put our own tweak on it, made a balls of it. The Building regulation process in the UK works and, given half a chance it should work here too.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby wearnicehats » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:17 pm

teak wrote:It was the placement of the adverts (noticeboards, flyers through letterboxes, etc) that made me say that they were seeking the house modification jobs, not simply the nature of their skills.
I was not aware that the new regs prevented arch techs from doing design work.

My point was simply that the lone term architect ought simply be used according to the existing law.
And that other related professions might compete for design and non-design work as architectural technicians / technologists, building draughtsmen, etc.
But you say that this is now forbidden.

Can it be that the RIAI membership has a distinctly different view on all this to that of the RIAI executive ?
This would explain the lack of challenge to these unofficial operators working under the noses of the official architects.

A professional body out of step with its rank and file -- there's nothing new in that.


I am no fan of the RIAI but I don't think they're out of step. They do contact anyone advertising themselves as an architect when they're not and warn them of what they're doing wrong i.e calling themselves what they're not.

The UK equivalent - the ARB - prosecutes people for this on a daily basis.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby henno » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:14 pm

teak wrote:I was not aware that the new regs prevented arch techs from doing design work.
.


Yes it does.
The complier of the building regulation compliant drawings and documents can only be an architect or surveyor in accordance to BCA 2007 or an engineer in accordance with Engineers of ireland act 1969.
So that leaves the situation where the professional specifically trained and targeted at legislative and regulatory compliance is prevented from providing the technical service they exist for.

teak wrote:My point was simply that the lone term architect ought simply be used according to the existing law.
And that other related professions might compete for design and non-design work as architectural technicians / technologists, building draughtsmen, etc.
But you say that this is now forbidden.


For the purposes of building regulation compliance, its nonsensical that technicians cannot provide technical design. In a lot of cases it will still be the technician in the office who is required to provide this technical information, yet it must be another person who is required to put their name to a certificate where they are stating that they
prepared exercising reasonable skill, care and diligence
the design documents. Does that make sense?


teak wrote:Can it be that the RIAI membership has a distinctly different view on all this to that of the RIAI executive ?
This would explain the lack of challenge to these unofficial operators working under the noses of the official architects.

A professional body out of step with its rank and file -- there's nothing new in that.


well judging by the internal revolt as expressed in the EGM and the vote of for a revised amendment and revised policy from the executive, plus the emergence of the Breg forum and the conversation around this, its quite obvious theres a schism between the membership and the executive.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby teak » Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:43 pm

There has been an incredible amount of work going on behind the scenes between the RIAI and its members, the government and, just as importantly, the insurance industry to bring about modifications and tweaks to the proposals in order to overcome the very basic concerns over the certification process. I don't know of any architect who disagrees with the principle of the new regs. It is the fundamental flaws in the wording of the certification that is causing the problem - moreso over the very simple problem of whether or not even established practices are going to be able to get PI Insurance

As with everything in this country we took an established regulation in the UK and, while trying to put our own tweak on it, made a balls of it. The Building regulation process in the UK works and, given half a chance it should work here too.


Sounds more like a case of dodging the can.
An incredible amount of work going on behind the scenes . . . :lolno:
I love it !

I am no fan of the RIAI but I don't think they're out of step. They do contact anyone advertising themselves as an architect when they're not and warn them of what they're doing wrong i.e calling themselves what they're not.

WearNiceHats -- No one has been bearded on this yet, according to RIAI.
Let alone prosecuted.
Despite the ubiquitous flyers, business cards and thumbtack ads on noticeboards.
It seems that even within the profession - both membership and RIAI exec - that there are some very mixed feelings on this whole question.
And I do get the impression that there's an even greater than usual desire by the sort of people who become architects to avoid the battle - with its incumbent need for cohesion and mutual support - for their own livelihood and their own professional self-respect.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the title "Architect" and the Bui

Postby gunter » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:18 pm

I recognise that we're having two separate conversations on this thread, but, given that the profession is in full civil-war mode at the moment, a little bit more confusion won't do much harm.

On the Building Regs issue, The RIAI opposition group [the one headed up by the seven past presidents] have circulated their list of approved candidates for the upcoming RIAI council election, presumably with the intention of staging a palace coup.

In the interests of fulfilling my duties as a sometimes paid up member of the RIAI, I've examined the two lists; the official, 31 candidate list, circulated with the official RIAI ballot, and the 10 candidate, opposition group's approved list.

Unfortunately, I haven't a clue who most of the people are, not being overly engaged in institute politics as a rule, but what I can say is that the handful of candidates that I have encountered, and whose records on a range of issues I respect, are all candidates who are not on the opposition group's approved list, names like; Eddie Conroy, also a past president and a advocate for restraint, Ali Grehan, [the city architect] and Fionula Rogerson, who was a rare thing during the building boom, a thoughtful architect.

It could be argued that the architectural profession disgraced itself as much as any of the other 'stake-holders' in the building bubble, it rode the tiger shamelessly and we are tainted by that and will continue to be until there is a proper self examination and some measure of atonement offered. The profession might like to think of itself as above all of that, as I suspect it does on most matters, but invariably there was a little RIAI crest on the foot of each of the increasingly outlandish planning applications lodged during the bubble and I recall very little talk of restraint as the RIAI jetted off, en-mass, each year to Barcelona, or Trieste, or New York or Chicago for its ever more self-gratifying annual conference.

Phil Hogan, judging from the tone of his article in the Irish Times last week, is unmoved by any of the internal pantomime convulsing the RIAI and is more convinced than ever that the architectural profession has a responsibility for the buildings that it conceives, a responsibility that he is not going to let the profession weasel its way out of. The pleas of the RIAI opposition group that 'we're not ready for S.I 180' sound hopelessly feeble against this determined drive to finally begin to properly regulate the activity of building in this country.

Interesting times ahead I think. I certainly won't be making any rash commitments with my direct debit mandate until we see if there's a good old-fashioned split.
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