problems with large scale projects in Ireland

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    • #706129

      I’ve given up with this project as well as all the other projects…ie The LUAS, Calatrava’s bridges, the Dublin Docks, The National Stadium, The National Conference Centre, O’Connell Street, The Metro…..The long time durations for completeion of these projects, the wranglings, The ditherings and stutterings, the opposition and complacency from the politicians and the public ….etc etc….is all just too much.

    • #725701

      I think contractors get very complacent when they land large government contracts. There is just no excuse for being so late all of the time. Companies that don’t meet their deadlines should be fined for it. It’s a great waste of taxpayers money- and it might force the companies concerned to be more careful with their time projections. It’s unprofessional and reeks of chancery- I’m sure time is a factor when the corporation is considering tender proposals, so companies just plain lie about how long a project will take so they land the contract- afterall, there doesn’t appear to be any consequences.

    • #725702

      I see our leader aka the Taoiseach made a statement yesterday about trying to keep landprices etc…down …or something to that effect.
      But is’nt it too bad then that the developers et all…. aka TDs, builders, landlords etc….are just blatent robbers….the over pricing of beneficial projects to this nation is ludicrous…..whether it be the National Stadium, the LUAS or housing for all. So much for the saying that the notion of Irish being great builders of Britain and America yet they neglect their homeland…milking every profit from the little isle. Jesus no wonder we have nothing of significance to show after receiving all those billions from the European taxpayer and despite bouyant revenues for the taxman aka Charlie McCreevy and especially when you still see a chronic health service and delapedated schools it proves that there is a serious haemorrage of funds. Where it is going nobody knows however.
      So much then for aspiring to be something or someone as a nation …..we are what we are …..a small insignificant little country on the edge of Europe …a formal colony of Britain comprised of glorified peasants, peddlars and robbers.

    • #725703

      Yes I agree, the money goes into the hands of a greedy golden circle, who live in some of the most expensive real estate in Europe and drive some of the most expensive cars and have the most expensive tastes! This sheer robbery is leaving nothing for future generations and adding to theis misery of this one! The profiteering and corruption has got to stop! The country will grind to a halt and we will have very little to show for the good times!!

    • #725704
      Ronan C

      WOW talk about pessimism !

      Things are not that bad. There have been loads of public projects over the last few years that have been on target ie. re-paving of St. Stephen’s Green, cleaning and lighting of BoI College Green, re-paving of Henry St, the Campshires, the millenium bridge etc, etc, etc,

      OK we do have problems with getting some of the bigger projects going but let’s not beat ourselves up about it. It’s a hell of a lot better than it used to be and we will get better.

    • #725705

      Looking at things at present I wouln’t call it pessimism – more realism. There does seem to be severe problems with carrying out any big task.

      The cleaning and lighting of Bank of Ireland was carried out by a private sector company. It was done quickly and efficiency (within max. a month or two). Contrast that with across the road and how long it took to complete Trinity (it started before I started a 4 year degree there and wasn’t finished when I finshed it). Re-paving streets should be no big deal – if that’s what we point to as an achievement of our city, it doesn’t say much!

      I wouldn’t say I’m pessimistic – I think things can be better but firstly you have to be realistic and say that most major things which have been undertaken over the past few years have been unsuccessful for one reason or other. I think its time to address those before we proceed with any more projects or else we will be making the same comments about each new project.

      We need to recognise the messes, and the construction of the Spike can only be described as a mess, and deal with them. Being so terribly positive and patient and saying we will get it right next time is not the way to continue though.

      I think Dublin can be fantastic – and within my lifetime too (and not on some never-ending timescale). For that reason I’m very unforgiving when I see messes being made of every important project which the city needs.

    • #725706

      Hear hear. These kinds of messes also give critics of this type of project ammunition.

    • #725707

      There were two men working for the Dublin City Council, one would dig a hole, the other would follow behind him and fill the hole in.

      They worked furiously all day without rest, one guy digging a hole, the other guy filling it in again.

      An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but couldn’t understand what they were doing.

      So he asked the hole digger, “I appreciate the effort you are putting into your work,
      but what’s the story?

      You dig a hole and your partner follows behind and fills it up again.”

      Paddy wiped his brow and sighed, ” Well, normally we are a three-man team, but the bloke who plants the trees is sick today.”

    • #725708

      Under the last three governments things have gotten completely out of control in relation to monitoring public construction projects.

      The Public Private Partnership model is no better because they have not sorted out the core problem.

      The core problem is scale, when the government decided to build a motorway to cork they split it up in to god knows how many individual bypasses.

      Why was the entire project not put out to one individual tender?

    • #725709

      In Canada, I know they could build a road equivalent to Dublin to Belfast to completion in six months. We cannt even go from Tallaght to O’Connell Street without stopping and starting every couple of hours for tea and bickies! 🙂

      Ireland has no problems with scale when you put real bastards on the job. Dell computers in Limerick is the largest single workforce in the country – 3,000 people and the equivalent of a small rural town. It supplies most of the IT needs of Europe, Middle East and North Africa!

    • #725710

      Michael Dell is a legend If only he would consider sorting this country out

      I heard today Rudy Gulliani is in Mexico City sorting out their urban problems

    • #725711

      in canada they have large cities with surface carparks in the center and huge highways and no streets, i wouldn’t use it as a good example of urban anything.

    • #725712

      I agree that Dallas style models are not the best solution. But a well done Dallas must be better than this.

      Roads are vital to link cities, they give industry efficiency which pays for livable city centres

      Let M Dell pay for the cake but put a chef in the Transport kitchen that knows the difference between flour and cement

    • #725713

      Originally posted by Diaspora

      I heard today Rudy Gulliani is in Mexico City sorting out their urban problems

      He was there a few months ago. I am not sure how well his help is going. There was a good program about it on Channel 4 there a few weeks ago

    • #725714
      Paul Clerkin

      Originally posted by notjim
      in canada they have large cities with surface carparks in the center and huge highways and no streets, i wouldn’t use it as a good example of urban anything.

      unfortunate taxation systems….
      empty buildings are taxed the same as full ones in some cities… therefore in a downturn, buildings are demolished rather than sit empty… a surface carpark is not taxed

    • #725715

      That is a bizzare taxation system. one of the cleverist angles on a standard college project I ever saw involved a simple twist.

      Select a Green solution to new building project.

      While the rest of ran off gathering information on naturally ventiated buildings and solar panels one guy, selected Bolands mills as a ‘recycled building’

      Regarding surface carparks, don’t they tend to be redeveloped as buildings during booms. For example looking at the Parnall St area now vs 15 years ago.

      How many surface car parks are there in New York or London?

    • #725716

      Yeah, on the subject of Parnell Street area, what is it with the lack of street lighting. I have known that place for 10 years, and dispite of all the development, from a place to play soccer at lunchtime, to a place to park and shop – it is still to this day, the same dark, un-inhabited wind pitch black sort of a wind tunnel it always was.

      A similar situation exists along the canal banks on the south side of the city. Really is lighting up a street really that big an issue? It will burn more electricity, but it would contribute toward a feeling of less exposure and isolation while using the streets.

      Gas lamps came into London way back, and contributed to the Victorian habit of ‘shopping’ in certain parts of the city. Never before had shopped ever used large windows as display cabinets to the street for their wares before.

      There is a nice building on the Naas Road, where its whole front elevation becomes a display cabinet to the motorway, full of motorbikes. I think that Bolands Mills could serve a similar iconic function – displaying the people inside the building using it perhaps?

    • #725717

      BTW, has anyone been watching the Discovery channel series about Thatcher-ism and the Concorde?

      When it became obvious that Concorde supersonic travel was no longer a profit maker, BT and AF didn’t take long to wonder what to do.

      I had to laugh, that when concorde had only a month left, suddenly all the French nation decided to become all patriotic and nostalgic about a ‘lost piece of French world class engineering’.

      The Brits were rather annoyed by that, as the French couldn’t give a toss about Concorde when it was flying and making money. They waited until it was finally axed to support it.

      Funny thing, public opinion, national pride and nostalgia!

    • #725718

      I don’t bother listening to anything I hear in relation to ‘proposed’ this, or ‘coming on stream soon’ that – just laugh it off and it will work every time!

      Street lighting in this city is disgraceful – even the very latest lighting in the city,like those recent repros on College St are very dim.

    • #725719

      Thankyou for that assessment Graham, I was thinking it was just me. There are some nice books available about just lighting interiors and exteriors. I mean, the ‘Green Energy’ guys might not like it, but lighting does help parts of a city. Other places I think are too dark are Kings Inns park at night and Constitution hill apartments directly oposite. Other car parks and areas around old buildings. I.e. spaces which are ‘used’ as car parks during daylight hours, but become dark uninhabited places by night. Hospitals come to mind here.

    • #725720

      I’m new (but don’t hold that against me)
      Just as a matter of interest, how much practical understanding of lighting is involved in becoming an architect?
      Having been a lighting designer in the entertainment industry for twenty odd years I have recently (past couple of years) started doing more architectural lighting, hopefully bringing a bit of entertainment “pazazz” to projects. When trying to land new clients a response I’m faced with a lot of the time is “Oh, the architects look after all that” And on a couple of occasions they’ve made a right pigs ear of it, showing seemingly very little knowledge of different light sources, and the way they work.
      (no offence)

    • #725721

      Beyond the Hall door were architects some of them and did manage to speak with a good deal of logic about lighting interiors. However that still doesn’t bring us any closer to lighting up our streets does it. But it is a good start.

      Generally speaking in the architectural world, things relavant to design such as space, light, time and people are:

      ‘Known about by everyone, but never talked about’.

      A lot like some other ‘no-go’ areas in everyday existence I suppose. I have thought a great deal about natural light in architecture myself. While space is often spoken about in relation to gravity, I certainly believe that most of what space means to us as human beings is related to how the eye responds to natural light and how ‘far’ the eye travels.

      Louis Kahn, Unbuilt Master Works is based around experiments done at MIT using Discreet Lightscape software in the late 1990s. It is about the best place to ‘start’ to think about architects and light in modern day design. Couple of copies in Bolton Street library.

    • #725722

      I don’t know about architects involvement either – but there’s no doubt that there’s been a huge improvement in recent years in the understanding of lighting in new buildings, it being used very effectively, especially in interiors – although certainly not in all cases.

      I’ve been interested in lighting for years, both in the entertainment lighting you speak of Plug, and the more practical forms, ie, street lighting etc.

      I cannot believe the state of the Custom House’s floodlighting, its a joke. Many of the floodlights bulbs have just been replaced after being being blown for months and months, but its the architecture of the lighting thats so bad.

      Horrible urban orange light is used, the lights are positioned on the back of lamposts and so blast concentrated light on only certain areas of the facade, leaving other areas dimly lit. The portico is then ludicrously lit with white light beams that jarr with the orange light.
      The drum and dome are also lit in different colours to the rest, and again are too dim.
      And then throw in the amount of blown bulbs there are and you end up with a big cluttered incoherent mess.

      And as for the Four Courts – the OPW can’t even be bothered to replace the bulbs that light the dome in the same colour – hence one part is orange, another white etc.

      And as for Christchurch, Trinity, the GPO, Leinster House, the Ntl Museum, Library, Gallery & Natural History…

      Leinster House being the most recent job – I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything so ham-fisted and pathetic in my life. The OPW should be ashamed of themselves.

    • #725723

      They have just redone Stormont recently, I was looking at it on the news and what is not a good building actually looks better lit at night

      Point very well made regarding Dublins better buildings, plug where are you?

    • #725724

      errm, so how much study of lighting is involved in becoming an architect. Internal, and external. Personally it amazes me that the level of street lighting can be so bad. It’s not that hard to get right, it’s a fairly basic calculation to get the correct lux levels, assuming you know what you’re doing/using.

    • #725725

      Oops, sorry, bit of cross posting there.
      Most buildings, in my opinion, should look better at night, unfortunately it’s very easy to get sloppy, replacing bulbs of one colour temperature with those of another, and generally not paying any attention to the lighting design, if any exists.
      Banging up a clatter of sodium floods is the easy way out, and generally will look like it, as well as contributing greatly to increased levels of light pollution. Sorry if it seems like a rant, it’s just everywhere I go seems to to be doing it better than here, which, frankly, saddens me, and annoys me in equal proportions. Especially when you think of how good some of these builings could look.
      Currently I live in Kilcullen, and enjoy very dark skies!

    • #725726

      Sodium lights should be banned form this country! White light is so much better, especially lighting Portland Stone buildings. It’s used right across Europe – sadly very little here, presumably it’s more expensive.

      Stormont is a very ugly building alright.
      Still, its got a Central Bank-type brutish charm to it also! And those imperialist 30s lamposts leading up it’s avenue and around the building are fantastic. Don’t like the uplighters on the columns though – they’ve got a yellowish tinge to them.

      I was watching a prog on Sunday about Spain, and the streets of Madrid at night were like daytime – its pavements flooded with white light, and I just compared it with dingy grotty orangey Dublin. There’s no contest.

      And poor old College Geen, the CC are literally reling on the deflected light from the Bank of Ireland to illuminate the space!

    • #725727

      don’t go there Plug, just don’t go there please.

      I mean Bolton Street college prides itself on ‘Technology’ at the expense of visual aesthetics. Learning about technology while ‘becoming’ an architect.

      And how technology and design are related. As you begin to learn anything about architecture you will understand how much of a problem this is with architecture.

      where to start/end talking technology and aesthetics.

      I feel you have to make a really good stab at both individually, and basically worry about how they integrate ‘on-the-fly’ or in the application of what you know.

      This approach of integrating things like technology, eg. lighting technology, with design, serves only one not-so-useful purpose. Basically to dilute and confuse design even more.

      Beyond the hall door was a nice programme on TV, because you were talking about design, but happened to deal with the lighting as part of the design at the same time.

      Zaha Hadid in her renderings has dealt with the issue of ‘the building in the nightime’. It is very easy to pick out new buildings were lighting at night works externally. They are very few.

      So in terms of lighting, think about space. Does the lighting come from the floor, the upper or lower wall, a ceiling unit, a sunken ceiling unit or some kind of standing unit. Understand how spatially this choice and/or combination of lighting treatments works.

      In short, I feel that computer visualisation rendering and free-hand studies for your lightscape or MAX rendering is a useful area of study.

      is one web site you should have in your favs.

    • #725728

      I’m not entirely sure you get where I’m coming from.
      I’m not trying to learn about architecture, I’m just trying to use my imagination and expertise to make it look better, and am wondering why architects I have come accross seem to feel that,tho’ they patently have no idea about how different light sources effect the internal and external appearance of a building, insist on designing the lighting themselves.
      As far as 3Ds Max goes, it has little or no relation to the practicalities of lighting design, other than giving an artists impression. I’m not that up on it, but as far as I’m aware it cannot calculate the lux levels, isolines or glare factors that are an integral part of a succesful lighting design.
      I’m on your side, I just want to make what you do look better!

    • #725729

      Right then, switch quickly onto this thread to discuss it further:

      The problem is, that as soon as your ‘announce’ yourself as an architect as knowing very much too detailed about anything, you leave yourself entirely open to assault – that you are not really behaving as an architect anymore, but as some other kind of technician or expert in a small field.

      You see what I mean?

      You will see what I have written on that other thread.

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