Specialist Certifier 2- ARCHITECT: Questions and Answers

by Bregs Blog admin team

design architect

Following on from our first Q+ A post from a specialist certifier (a registered engineer) we received this contribution from a registered architect who will be providing certifier services in a rural location. These questions, we suggest, would be standard questions a client or design team would ask of any potential specialist Certifier. We recently invited submissions from surveyors, engineers and architects who intend to provide specialist certifier services for SI.9 to the construction industry. We think it would be of practical interest to readers to see what the various interpretations and methods of compliance with BC(A)R SI.9 are, anticipated duties and timescales, and consequent costs to design teams and clients.

As this is an opinion piece, we do not endorse or recommend any practices, interpretations or duties in this post. Many thanks to Mark Stephens for this opinion blog post- submitted on 5th May 2014.  (Email: info@markstephensarchitects.com). 


Specialist Certifier 2- Architect: Questions and Answers


What are your qualifications? ARB RIBA CPHD MRIAI Conservation Accredited (III) : I am a Registered and Chartered UK Architect with ARB and RIBA and Registered Architect/Practice with RIAI, I am a Conservation Accredited Architect/Practice with RIAI at Grade III and I am also a Certified Passive House Designer with the Passivhaus Institute

Do you require a full design team to be appointed to projects for which you assume certifier roles? Generally yes, as a minimum it would be me as Architect and a Chartered Structural Engineer

Do you have Professional Indemnity insurance, and if so to what level? Yes, insured to €500K but can extend if required

Will you undertake roles of assigned and design certifier on projects? Yes on both

What are your charges- is it lump sum or %? Both depending on project

For typical house (120 sqm value €180k) what would a “normal” certifier service and charge be for design and assigned certifier role? My fees would be inclusive of Designer and Assigned Certifier roles; I have increased them slightly to take account of the additional administration but for a full service (at the top end of the market) my drawings and visits would already be in line with what would be expected under S.I. No.9 of 2014

For typical house what level of inspection  would you anticipate? Generally I would be visiting the site on a weekly/2 weekly basis; it’s important to visit at the correct time rather than set days so I could be visiting a site a few times in the same week followed by a gap

Do you have a breakdown for a typical house inspections vs administration? I would be very close to what S.I.No 9 already required for this

What forms of appointment do you use? A modified version of the RIAI Agreement between Architect and Client – Domestic version and Draft (currently) RIAI Agreements for Designer & Assigned Certifier

What level of information do you require from other professionals involved in projects? E.g. as-built drawings on completion etc? Ancillary certificates from all consultants and specialists

Do you provide certification services for self-builders, owners without 3 years relevant contracting experience, or will you certify only CIRI registered contractors? In accordance with RIAI and Legal advice I will not be able to undertake certification roles for self-builders. I will currently not be looking for CIRI registration as a pre-requisite but will reevaluate this position in 2015

Will you provide certification services for developers in the build for sale sector (i.e. employed by developer)? Possibly depending on project. I had fingers burnt by developers in past and am now very wary.

Can you provide fire safety certificate and disabled access certificate services also? No

Will you undertake certifier duties for self-builds? where the owner is not an established contractor, a building company or someone with 3 years relevant building experience? No

Can you undertake BER certificates? No. But I have undertaken the DEAP/BER Part 1 course which I use to evaluate whether a design is compliant with Part L

Other information: I work across the Connacht region but have projects from Co. Longford to Co. Clare with a focus on Mayo and Galway


other posts on this topic:

Specialist Certifier 1- Engineer: questions and Answers – click link here

Registered Building Surveyor’s Inspection Plan (post 1 of 2) – click here

Registered Building Surveyor’s Inspection Form (post 2 of 2) click here

Certifiers call for help! – click here

Practical Post 9: Fees & numbers of inspections? BC(A)R SI.9 – click link here

Practical Post 8: Employees won’t certify? BC(A)R SI.9- click link here

O’Cofaigh: Competitiveness issues & BC(A)R SI.9- click link here

The Engineers Journal: how BC(A)R SI.9 works in practice | BRegs Blog- click link here

Complaint to Minister: Fee fixing & BC(A)R SI.9 – click link here