Architecture / May 1, 2018 / .
The choice of the architect as lead designer is a key decision on any project and will reflect the clients priorities, particularly those related to cost and quality. Clients who plan to develop high quality or landmark developments often employ high profile design practices. Indeed internationally acclaimed architects including Daniel Liebskind, Santiago Calatrava and Dublin-born Pritzker prize-winning Kevin Roche have completed projects in Dublin in the recent past. The leading Irish architectural practices are likewise normally in high demand and clients are keen to buy into their signature. High expectations are usually linked to high prices and such clients will expect to pay a premium on prestigious projects. Nevertheless, they may not be prepared to provide total carte blanche to the architect. Architects, quite naturally, may be reluctant to drop quality standards and compromise their brand to reduce costs and it may difficult for the quantity surveyor to control costs in these circumstances. In this regard Ashworth refers to a cynic who described architecture as the design of beautiful buildings that satisfy only the architect and not the client. At the other end of the cost spectrum a client may require a practical, nononsense design to accommodate a production process. Such designs are often developed by architects operating within a design and build arrangement where providing an economic design is essential to winning the contract.
The quality of the building will express the clients ambitions for a prestigious development. This may range from a top quality building with minimal maintenance requirements where all matters relating to the design are controlled by the design team to developments such as retail or industrial process where the detailed design is not critical and can be undertaken by the contractor. It may be essential to use high quality materials in conservation projects or where planning conditions have been imposed. High standards of craftsmanship will also be required on alterations and extensions to listed or historic buildings.
Insulation is an area where some look to save. Because after all, the reasoning goes, you cannot see the insulation in the walls or the attic once it is complete and who wants to spend money on things you can not see in your new home? Do not make this mistake. Not only will it translate into a lifetime of higher monthly energy bills, but it will lead to everyday discomfort with the home feeling too cold in winter and too hot in summer.
Meteorological conditions vary immensely throughout the world and although Ireland experiences a temperate climate all year round, the weather conditions on individual sites in different parts of the country may be very different from each other. Of particular concern may be sites that are prone to flooding, or are exposed or elevated sites where high winds may curtail the use of plant.