"I speak for the building, as the building has no voice"
What do we do?
We work mainly on Protected Structures and Recorded Monuments in Ireland, giving a service that helps owners of Ireland's built heritage develop and protect their properties. This can mean simply writing Conservation Reports, preparation of full Conservation Plans or help with applications and administration of grants.
For guidance in the development of Heritage Buildings, whether it is achieving Planning Permission on Protected Structures, help with grant applications, Ministerial Consent for work on buildings with Protection Orders, for the preparation of Architectural Heritage Impact Assessments and Conservation Plans or Project Management please contact us and we will try to help.
As a small group of professional Engineers and Archaeolosists with considerable practical experience in Conservation Projects we are able to bring economical, practical and focussed skills to accelerate your project.
Avoid Planning Problems
Planning applications for Protected Structures are often returned for Further Information due to conservation issues, to resolve these, sometimes a major re-design is required. All planning applications for Protected Structures need an Architectural Heritage Impact Assessment (AHIA) as part of the basic application, otherwise they are likely to be returned for Further Information.
Many proposals deemed acceptable by Council Planning Officers at pre-planning meetings run into trouble when, as part of the planning process, the drawings are considered by the council's Conservation Officer and are also sent to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (DoCHG). All planning applications that apply to Protected Structures have to be submitted to the Architectural Heritage Advisory Unit at DoCHG, who then make a submission to the local council. On foot of this the council then may request Further Information from the applicant, reject the application or request changes to the proposal.
When Conservation issues are taken into consideration in order to satisfy the Department or the Conservation Officer, sometimes a radical re-design is required.
To try to avoid this needless re-working, the services of a Conservation Consultant from the outset can save time and money.
The Structure of a Project.
If you are interested in using our services, please contact us and we will visit your site, view your buildings and discuss your project with you. We will then prepare a proposal describing the services that we feel are appropriate together with timing and anticipated costs.
The project might be split into stages, typically:
- Design, building survey and preparation of drawings.
- Planning Application, preparation of Architectural Heritage Impact Assessment,
- Working drawings, tender documents and tendering
- Site supervision and certification.
At the completion and payment of any stage the agreement can be terminated.
In some projects our involvement ends at the grant of planning, we are flexible and can tailor our proposal to suit your requirements.
Alternatively, where an architect or Architectural Technician is involved, we can offer to prepare the Architectural Heritage Impact Assessment reports and offer advice where required.
Grants are paid through your local County Council and the Heritage Council most years. The applications are usually opened in the winter, either in December or the new year. Watch your local Council website, usually the Planning section for conservation grants. The Grants available through the Council are the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structures Fund. The Built Heritage Investment Scheme is the easiest to get and is available for Protected Structures and buildings in an Architectural Conservation Area every year. Whilst the funding through this scheme is limited to €2,500-€15,000 per year at 50% of the project cost. As it can be applied for year after year, it is possible to work round a building doing the roof one year, the render another and the windows and doors in yet another year. Any project that is conservation of the building can be considered.
The Historic Structures Fund (HSF) is a much bigger grant (up to €200,000) but far fewer projects get it. The grant has a number of 'Streams' with different amounts payable and different qualifying criteria. Each year the your local Council will choose only one project from each stream from the applications submitted to send on to the Heritage Department in Dublin for consideration.
Please call and discuss if you are considering using our services.