Is this the same John Graby?

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    • #705754
      MG
      Participant

      Looking at “The Destruction of Dublin” by Frank McDonald, I came across the following mentions:

      Page 183
      “Take the case of Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the state’s sea fisher- ies development board. In the late 1970s, its chairman and chief executive, Brendan O’Kelly, thought it would be a good idea for BIM to move its headquarters from Ballsbridge to a fishing port. Various sites were examined in Killybegs, Dungarvan and Galway but, in the end, the board decided to ‘decentralise’ to Dun Laoghaire -less than five miles from its offices in Hume House. There was, of course, a reason for this laughable decision. The site of the proposed new headquarters at Crofton Road, overlooking Dun Laoghaire harbour, was ‘sold’ to O’Kelly and the then Minister for Fisheries, Brian Lenihan, by politically well-connected developers, Brian and Tony Rhatigan, who had been sitting on it since 1972. Through a company called Starling Securities, they had bought the site for about £60,000 and got planning permission in the same year for a five-storey office block, designed by John Graby, their favourite architect. But the Rhatigans played it safe; they weren’t going to go ahead with this building until they had some guarantee of letting it. So they sat back and waited patiently for a good fairy to make their dreams come true.”

      Page 184
      “By the time this block was finished in 1972, the brothers were ‘bursting with development ideas’, as Hibernia reported, and they attracted the attention of Slater Walker, the controversial British investment vehicle whose asset-stripping operations had become part of the unacceptable face of capitalism. Several joint companies were set up -with registered offices at Haughey Boland and Co. in Amiens Street -and Slater Walker agreed to lend them £5 million to develop a selection of sites. But if the London men were hoping to hit the jackpot in Ireland, they were badly mistaken. Indeed, their brief sojourn here turned out to be disastrous. High-priced sites bought up in boom times had to be sold off at huge losses when the market collapsed in 1974 and Slater Walker decamped shortly afterwards. Suitably chastened, the Rhatigans lived to fight another day. They bought the con- demned Scotch House on Burgh Quay and built a hideous mock-Georgian office on the site, replete with aluminium sash windows and a multi-level ‘Mansard’ roof. Designed by John Graby, it was let to the Department of Posts and Telegraphs and then sold to Irish Pension Fund Unit Trust. And in a consortium with the Investment Bank of Ireland and the McMullan brothers, of Maxol Oil fame, the Rhatigans built over five hundred houses in the grounds of Castletown House.”

      Is this the same John Graby who is now the Director of the Institute?

    • #721244
      mulp
      Participant

      Yes it is.

    • #721245
      mulp
      Participant

      Irish Times, Friday, 02 March 2007:
      “Director of the RIAI objects to energy standard for new homes”

      Posted Under New Thread:
      “Energy Performance Standards for New Homes: RIAI v DLRD.”

    • #721246
      hutton
      Participant

      @mulp wrote:

      Irish Times, Friday, 02 March 2007:
      “Director of the RIAI objects to energy standard for new homes”

      A dispute has broken out in the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) about an objection made by its director, John Graby, to higher energy performance standards for new homes in Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown.
      In a letter to the county council last month Mr Graby said it was the RIAI’s view that “such matters are properly dealt with through the building regulations regulatory systems and not by variation to [ county] development plans”.
      Although the institute “fully supports the concept of improved standards in energy efficiency and sustainability generally”, this “should be dealt with on a national basis by the Minister for the Environment . . . and the Building Regulations Advisory Board”.
      The Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown proposal had been examined by the RIAI sustainability task force and it was felt that there would be “substantial problems” in implementing it, “including lack of agreed standards, methodologies and local authority resources”.
      The Irish Home Builders’ Association, which also opposed setting a standard 60 per cent higher than the current regulations on the basis that it was “not achievable”, said that the industry’s concerns about the proposal were “fully shared by the RIAI”.
      However, one member of the sustainability task force, who did not wish to be identified, said that all of its members “supported Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown wholeheartedly” in adopting the new standards, and they had requested a meeting with Mr Graby to discuss the issue.
      “I can only say that we were very unhappy about the tone of the letter, which was very negative and wouldn’t have been something that we endorsed.”
      Mr Graby said that he discussed the matter with John Goulding, who chairs the task- force, and he had agreed that energy standards for new housing should be dealt with on a national basis rather than by individual local authorities imposing their own standards.
      Frank McDonald
      © 2007 The Irish Times
      ________________________________

      There can be no doubt left now that this Government, or its likely reincarnation after the general election, will resist dragging our inadequate Building Control Regulations up to the minimum standards for energy performance, that we know they should be at. Lobbying by vested interests in the construction / developer sectors are the chief factors involved in preventing progress. Part L of the building regulations is treated more often than not as a target to hit, rather than the bare minimum acceptable.

      I commend Dun Laoghaire Rathdown’s decision. We need to see more County Councils demanding these changes. If a Fianna Fáil government won’t legislate for these issues, we need Councils who can consider more than vested interests, to do so on a local level. Piecemeal progress is infinitely better than no progress.
      “Lack of agreed standards, methodologies and local authority resources”, are the problems cited by Mr Graby. What exactly is the problem with the lack of a nationwide consensus on standards, methodologies? A large proportion of my work is in the DLRD area and I see no such problems. Architects are (generally) intelligent enough sorts. Surely they can cope with one set of rules in one district, and a differing set elsewhere? Hell, why not just encourage clients to use the higher standards everywhere? Its not as if Mr Architect is going to be out of pocket, surely clients will comprehend that additional work incurs additional expense. Nobody expects us to work for free, do they?
      As for Local authority resources, one of the six copies of drawings submitted goes to the building control department, and they often ask for a set of drawings showing compliance with Building Regs. when the commencement notice is lodged. The applicant’s agent will have done the ‘work’. What kind of additional resources would be required to confirm that a new standard is complied with as opposed to an old one?

      Enforcement of compliance is certainly a critical issue. I am an architect, and from first hand experience, I believe that architects, in general, should not be left to certify compliance with regulations. I have recently overseen the retrofitting of insulation into four newly built townhouses. NO roof insulation had been fitted in these houses. The roofs had to be completely stripped to fit the insulation as the ceiling followed the roof pitch. The RIAI registered architect who inspected & certified these buildings initially told my clients that their roof was indeed insulated, with a foil-backed plasterboard!
      He then saw no difficulty in cutting 6 large holes (300mm dia) right through the new insulation to accommodate unsuitable lights and stated to me that “It says nowhere in the regulations that you cannot do this”! Sure it doesn’t, and neither does it say you can cut six large holes in the newly laid DPM. He also was unaware of any requirement to provide ventilation space above the insulation and did not know what it was for.
      This is by no means an isolated incident. I am sure we all know of some architects who operate like this. Despite what the RIAI will say about the professionalism of its member architects, members can, and do continue to turn a blind eye to (or be ignorant of) breaches by developers while developers are paying their fees. Even if these architects are a minority, this is not good enough. The system does not work ‘effectively’ and unfortunately, paid ‘professionals’ let down the building’s end user or purchaser in too many cases.
      In the case of the 4 houses above, the architect explained to me: “We inspected the works on a fortnightly basis, the builder had sealed up the roofs and ceilings between vists” Had he indeed! Well that’s OK, just issue the cert then…

      How many Building Control Inspectors have been employed by Local Authorities to deal with the scale of development this country has / is experiencing? How much funding has central government provided for this?
      How many times has Mr Graby and the representative body of Architects in Ireland called for a proper Building Control System such as that in place in Northern Ireland, with mandatory approval required before construction commences?
      Why is Mr Graby now criticising the commendable, democratic decision taken by DLRD County Council to demand proper energy and insulation standards and apparently dissenting from the opinions of members of the RIAI’s own sustainability task force?
      Surely the RIAI should be supporting DLRD’s actions.

      Does “The Director,” Mr Graby need to take more Direction from the members, the Council and the Sustainability Task Force of his own Institute?

      This is one of the most erudite posts Ive read in a long while. Spot on.

    • #721247
      apelles
      Participant

      So this must also be by the same John Graby?. . Otherwise known as ONQ’s nemesis.;)

      http://www.paddi.net/beta/?func=display_document&document_id=3003

    • #721248
      apelles
      Participant

      And here he is on youtube from November 05, 2008

      architecturenow.ie speaks with John Graby, Director of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. During this interview John Graby discusses the challenges ahead in the Irish economy as well as details on the architect registration programme.

      [align=center:3owuf2p8][/align:3owuf2p8]

    • #721249
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @apelles wrote:

      So this must also be by the same John Graby?. . Otherwise known as ONQ’s nemesis.;)

      http://www.paddi.net/beta/?func=display_document&document_id=3003

      I hadn’t thought of him like that before, basically because I didn’t think myself important enough to have a nemesis.

      Even now, I rather think I’m more his nemesis than he is mine

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemesis_%28mythology%29

      “…the spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to hubris (arrogance before the gods).”

      Perhaps there’s two of us in it.

      Obviously my feminine side can be a bitch.

      That having been said, John has always been courteous to me, as he has to everyone I know who has ever met him – not one bad or hard word to anyone.

      One cannot trust a man of whom everyone speaks highly.

      (is that a Wildeism? If not its my posthumous homage to Oscar)

      ONQ.

    • #721250
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @hutton wrote:

      This is one of the most erudite posts Ive read in a long while. Spot on.

      Hutton,

      That post dates from 2007 from mulp, styling himself as an architect.

      The impression given is that mulp is not a member of the RIAI at the time of the post.

      Any idea what’s happened to him, because as you say it is an erudite post and reflects my own experience of MRIAI inspections and certification.

      Admittedly, I – like mulp – get called in when problems arise, bit I haven’t been called in to any non-MRIAI certified work in twenty years.

      It would be interesting to find out what other people’s experience of MRIAI’s mis-certification is, whether they have reported the matter to the RIAI and what the RIAI did about the complaint.

      We’ve heard a lot of vague anecdotal waffle about this, I’d really like to harden it up a little.

      And in case Doc or VCA jumps in, this is research, evidence gathering if you will, its not shit-stirring.

      Its what *should* be done, the very opposite of shit-stirring.

      ONQ.

    • #721251
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @MG wrote:

      Looking at “The Destruction of Dublin” by Frank McDonald, I came across the following mentions:

      Page 183
      “Take the case of Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the state’s sea fisher- ies development board. In the late 1970s, its chairman and chief executive, Brendan O’Kelly, thought it would be a good idea for BIM to move its headquarters from Ballsbridge to a fishing port. Various sites were examined in Killybegs, Dungarvan and Galway but, in the end, the board decided to ‘decentralise’ to Dun Laoghaire -less than five miles from its offices in Hume House. There was, of course, a reason for this laughable decision. The site of the proposed new headquarters at Crofton Road, overlooking Dun Laoghaire harbour, was ‘sold’ to O’Kelly and the then Minister for Fisheries, Brian Lenihan, by politically well-connected developers, Brian and Tony Rhatigan, who had been sitting on it since 1972. Through a company called Starling Securities, they had bought the site for about £60,000 and got planning permission in the same year for a five-storey office block, designed by John Graby, their favourite architect. But the Rhatigans played it safe; they weren’t going to go ahead with this building until they had some guarantee of letting it. So they sat back and waited patiently for a good fairy to make their dreams come true.”

      Page 184
      “By the time this block was finished in 1972, the brothers were ‘bursting with development ideas’, as Hibernia reported, and they attracted the attention of Slater Walker, the controversial British investment vehicle whose asset-stripping operations had become part of the unacceptable face of capitalism. Several joint companies were set up -with registered offices at Haughey Boland and Co. in Amiens Street -and Slater Walker agreed to lend them £5 million to develop a selection of sites. But if the London men were hoping to hit the jackpot in Ireland, they were badly mistaken. Indeed, their brief sojourn here turned out to be disastrous. High-priced sites bought up in boom times had to be sold off at huge losses when the market collapsed in 1974 and Slater Walker decamped shortly afterwards. Suitably chastened, the Rhatigans lived to fight another day. They bought the con- demned Scotch House on Burgh Quay and built a hideous mock-Georgian office on the site, replete with aluminium sash windows and a multi-level ‘Mansard’ roof. Designed by John Graby, it was let to the Department of Posts and Telegraphs and then sold to Irish Pension Fund Unit Trust. And in a consortium with the Investment Bank of Ireland and the McMullan brothers, of Maxol Oil fame, the Rhatigans built over five hundred houses in the grounds of Castletown House.”

      Is this the same John Graby who is now the Director of the Institute?

      Thanks for the references.

      I’ll feel a lot less insecure when I lodge my Option C Application for Registration.

      BIM Building aka Crofton House

      http://www.property.ie/commercial-property/Crofton-House-Crofton-Road-Dun-Laoghaire-Co-Dublin/49047/

      Okay, no contest here.
      I understand that this is the building that prompted the question by Scandinavian planners here on a junket/fact-finding visit; –
      “Don’t you not have powers to pull down buildings here?” or words to that effect.



      Scotch House

      http://www.property.ie/commercial-property/Scotch-House-67-Burgh-Quay-Dublin-2/65187/

      To be fair to Graby, you can’t always rely on the opinion of an old luvvie like Frank McDonald when it comes to design.
      Scotch House is far less hideous to me than Crofton House or Hawkins House – the eye slides off it and isn’t repulsed.



      Hawkins House

      http://www.yelp.ie/biz/hawkins-house-dublin

      This is not one of John Graby’s buildings.
      David Keane, Graby’s former colleague in the RIAI, since deceased, wrote Building and the Law and The RIAI Contracts.
      These are standard works which I understand have been let fall out of print since 2004 by the RIAI who hold the copyright.
      Apart from having a useful legal mind, David Keane apparently designed Hawkins House, about which he was later reported to have said –
      “Everyone is entitled to make one mistake”.



      The frightening thing is that in their day these buildings were considered by some to be cutting edge design.
      [Notwithstanding Crofton House bears an uncanny resemblance to a 2nd year project I was nearly failed on in 1980]
      If the sixties boom had continued past the seventies most of Dublin would have ended up looking like downtown Peterborough.
      I know there’s been some new works recently, but when I went there in the early noughties it epitomised the term “concrete jungle”.

      ONQ.

    • #721252
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      And to be equally fair to him [surprisingly, for I am supposedly his nemesis] John and I are not far apart on some things.

      http://www.i-b-c-i.ie/docs/conferences/2008/Building%20Control%20An%20Architects%20View%20-%20John%20Graby.pdf

      ONQ.

    • #721253
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Mini Bio here; –

      http://www.lamaawards.org/about/judging/judges

      John Graby -FRIAI
      Degree in Architecture from Bolton Street, Dublin 1
      Diploma in Project Management trinity College Dublin, 1984
      Worked in Private practice in Dublin from 1970-1986
      Appointed Director RIAI 1986 Member of the Forum for the Construction Industry
      Secretary of the Irish Architectural Archive
      Editor of; –
      Architectural Map Guide to Dublin,
      Building on the Edge of Europe,
      150 Years of Irish Architecture,
      Phaidion Guide to the Architecture of Dublin,
      Irish Architectural Review.
      Member of the Health and Safety (HSA) Construction Advisory Committee &
      HSA Construction Safety Partnership.
      Chair of Architects Council of Europe Safety and Health Workgroup.

      – Think of the reach of his influence chairing that last Workgroup – all of Europe.

      ONQ.

    • #721254
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/property/2009/0430/1224245675152.html

      From The Irish Times

      Thu 04 Apr 2009RIAI director slams planners

      RIAI DIRECTOR John Graby had a right good go at the planners when he addressed the National Housing Conference in Sligo this week. Instead of the “streamlined” approach promised 10 years ago, he said architects still experienced the system as something of a nightmare. Take pre-planning discussions: “Ring on Thursdays between 10am and 11am”, one architect was told. Or “the planning officer you met has left and there is no record of the meeting”, or “Christmas Eve at midnight on the summit of Croagh Patrick”.

      Graby, dubbed “Cardinal Mazarin” by RIAI president Seán O Laoire, complained that each of the country’s 88 local authorities has its own planning application form, all different, when there should be a standardised form, “Michael O’Leary-style”.

      One applicant who had dowloaded a form from a local authority’s website had his planning application invalidated for using the wrong form. “Ah, well, we have changed the form but it’s not on the web yet”, an official told him.

      All of this resulted in “massive transactional costs” and delays, Graby said, adding that even after a planning application had been “validated” it was often followed up with a further information request.

      Under the heading “planning creep”, he said many local authorities went way beyond what the Planning Act required in an application, demanding letters of consent from adjoining owners, stormwater audits, daylight and shadow analyses and waste management plans.



      I’m not sure which part of Cardinal Mazarin’s life Seán had in mind when he made that comment:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardinal_Mazarin

      ONQ.

    • #721255
      teak
      Participant

      Probably just trying to suggest that although nominally an executive for the current president of your organization, he is given long rein to make a lot of initiatives on his own, in the name of acting in the best interests of his employers — a kind of power behind a distracted throne.

      But I doubt if this is the real story in RIAI any more than it is in other professional bodies.
      The “expert” bureaucrats are a common excuse by presidents who want things to go a particular way, in a way that suits them.
      In any case, it is really the president who is supposed to actively lead the organization during his/her tenure, especially in relation to matters with significant public impact.

      But maybe your president is busy shoring up his own practice these days.

    • #721256
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @teak wrote:

      Probably just trying to suggest that although nominally an executive for the current president of your organization, he is given long rein to make a lot of initiatives on his own, in the name of acting in the best interests of his employers — a kind of power behind a distracted throne.

      But I doubt if this is the real story in RIAI any more than it is in other professional bodies.
      The “expert” bureaucrats are a common excuse by presidents who want things to go a particular way, in a way that suits them.
      In any case, it is really the president who is supposed to actively lead the organization during his/her tenure, especially in relation to matters with significant public impact.

      But maybe your president is busy shoring up his own practice these days.

      That’s where Seán’s comparison fails.
      There is no other power behind the RIAI throne.
      Regarding the President – the opposite seems to be the case.
      RIAI presidents come and go, but John Graby remains constant, a one man-civil service.
      In that regard John Graby is more like Sir Humphrey Appleby in Yes Minister – the real power behind the RIAI throne.

      ONQ.

    • #721257
      DOC
      Participant

      @onq wrote:

      ……but John Graby remains constant, a one man-civil service.
      In that regard John Graby is more like Sir Humphrey Appleby in Yes Minister – the real power behind the RIAI throne.

      I mightn’t agree with all you say, but this did make me laugh (probably because it’s true!). :p

      I’ll never be able to look at Graby with a straight face again – all I can see in my mind now is Jim Hacker (or Sean O’Laoire, Paul Keogh, or whoever it might be) with Sir Humphrey (or Graby) hovering, spinning, etc.

    • #721258
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @DOC wrote:

      I mightn’t agree with all you say, but this did make me laugh (probably because it’s true!). :p

      I’ll never be able to look at Graby with a straight face again – all I can see in my mind now is Jim Hacker (or Sean O’Laoire, Paul Keogh, or whoever it might be) with Sir Humphrey (or Graby) hovering, spinning, etc.

      (bows)

      Finding common ground is never a small matter and laughter in a recession is always good medicine.

      But to tell the truth, I have to class my meagre offering as apt, but second rate – I cannot get Seán O’Laoire’s naming John Graby as Cardinal Mazarin out of my head.

      The image of a devout, lugubrious John Graby with a Cardinal’s red had praying for Divine [or Ministerial] guidance on how best to deal with the Building Control (Amendment) Bill 2010 just won’t go away.

      “What did I ever do to John O’Donoghue, O Lord, and me only trying to do your will?”

      ONQ.

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