Q & A

General

How quickly can a meeting be organised?

We can usually arrange a meeting in a relatively short timescale. Please call or complete our contact form and we will arrange a convenient time and day for a meeting.

Can evening or weekend meetings be arranged?

Generally we like to arrange meetings between 9.00am and 6.00pm Monday to Friday, however if necessary meetings outside of these hours can be arranged.

What happens at the initial meeting?

The purpose of the initial meeting is to listen to the client’s requirements and to assess the options available. We will discuss the possible solutions and constraints of the site and advise on planning permission if required. We will also discuss the scope of work required and offer a number of solutions for what we feel might be possible. Each project is unique as each client's requirements are different. The more specific the client can be about what they would like to achieve, the greater the benefit and outcome of the initial meeting will be. Prior to the initial meeting, we advise clients to prepare a brief or list of the requirements they may have as this will benefit the discussion on developing the options available. We shall explain the planning, tender and construction processes in detail and advise on initial costs as appropriate.

What happens next?

After the initial meeting, we will write to the client to confirm the brief (list of requirements) that was discussed and present a fee proposal based on the scope of work required. We will advise on any statutory requirements that the project may be required to comply with e.g. planning permission and attach a Client / Architect Agreement explaining the schedule of services provided at each stage of the project. If the client wishes to proceed the signed agreement is returned and the design process can begin. Usually this process will be initiated with a full survey of the existing property or site as required.

Why choose 3G design?

Experience

With over 15 years of practical experience, we are well versed in all aspects of project delivery. We have invaluable experience with all planning and building regulations, which will save you time and money over the course of your project.

Reliable

We pride ourselves on the efficient execution and delivery of projects, with an emphasis on completing each stage of the project on time and within budget.

High Quality Architectural Design

All projects are designed by fully qualified architects, our key focus is to maximise the use of light and create a flexible living environment. A strong emphasis is placed on detail throughout the design stage to ensure a high quality finish on completion.

Client Orientated Design

By working closely with you the client from the outset, we aim to incorporate your specific needs and aspirations into the design.

Customised Design

Every project is tailor made to your individual and specific site requirments, maximising your site's potential in terms of light and views etc.

Sustainable Design

All 3G design projects are designed with sustainability in mind, we believe that sustainable design and good design are one and the same thing. Whilst we are committed to an architecture which considers energy and environmental impact from the outset, we also believe that sustainable design caters for sustainable living.

Cost Effective

We operate on a fixed rate basis, which means you will know the full extent of our fees from the outset.

CPD

In a rapidly changing environment Continuing Professional Development is the mechanism whereby we work to ensure that we are up to date in all necessary fields.

Planning Permission

Do I need planning permission?

The decision as to whether your project requires Planning Permission depends on the size and location of the work you intend to carry out. We shall be able to determine whether or not this is required from an initial site visit.

What is Exempted Development?

There are certain works that can be carried out to your property which do not require planning permission. These are categorised as Exempted Development under the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2006. For example, it is possible to extend a residential dwelling by up to 40sqm to the rear without seeking the permission of the planning authority, however there are certain conditions which the proposal must comply with in order to qualify for this exemption. We can quickly assess your project and advise you if the works fall into the exempted development category.

How long does the Planning Process take?

The planning process takes approximately 12 weeks altogether (assuming there are no appeals lodged with An Bord Pleanala). During the initial 5 week period of the application, third parties may make observations or objections and the Planning Authority will issue their decision after 8 weeks. In certain circumstances, the Planning Authority may seek further information or clarification prior to them issuing their initial decision. The final 4 week period is for any third party (or the applicant) to appeal the decision made to An Bord Pleanala.

What is An Bord Pleanála?

An Bord Pleanála is an independent statutory body responsible for the determination of appeals and certain other matters under the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2006.

BER

What is Building Energy Rating (BER)?

A BER is very similar to the energy label for a household electrical appliance such as a fridge or washing machine. The label has a scale of A-G. A-rated homes are the most energy efficient and G the least efficient.

Do I need a Certificate?

From the 1st of January 2009 a BER certificate is compulsory for all homes being sold or rented. If you are buying or renting a new house or an apartment, you are entitled to a copy of the BER. All new homes (even when not for sale) must have a BER certificate before they are occupied. BER assessments performed on new dwellings will also help determine compliance to Part L of the Building Regulations. The principal aims of Part L of the Building Regulations are to limit primary energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions.

How can I obtain a Certificate?

Just contact us with details of your property and we can arrange to carry out a BER assessment.

How much does it cost?

The cost of the assessment will depend on the size and type of the property. There is a €25 submission fee to SEI for publication of the certificate on the National BER Register.

The Building Process

Having translated your brief into a final agreed design and having obtained the necessary planning permission, we will then produce documentation for pricing by contractors. We will also select a list of contractors and will help you to evaluate the tenders received.

The builder should be selected not only on the basis of the tender price, but also on quality. A good builder represents real value in reliability and quality of work and may ultimately cost less than one with lesser ability who has tendered a lower price. Builders selected for tendering should have a good track record for your type of project.

We will advise you on the appropriate form of building contract, which is published by the RIAI, and will act as your independent advisor during the contract, liaising on your behalf with the builder and ensuring compliance with the contract documentation.

We will advise you throughout the entire building process and issue relevant certification when and where it is needed during the project.

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