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Project Management

We all know how stressful building your own home can be. Some people may think that they can cut back on costs by managing a project themselves. However, this could lead to you actually spending more money on the project if things go wrong. Having a Project Manager/General Contractor will allow you to take a step back from the day-to-day running of the project and choose your level of involvement on site.

Our supervision is generally carried out by means of periodic visits during the construction stage. The frequency of the inspections depends on the nature and scale of the project. At these visits we can issue stage progress reports for such purposes as ensuring quality of work, or for indeed receiving a financial payment for works done. Upon completion Certificates of Compliance with Building Regulations can be issued as appropriate. Our work is fully insured. We liaise with you as and when issues or decisions arise.

We can manage any project, regardless of the size and scope, so whether you want to turn that green field into your dream home or whether you are extending to suit your growing family you will reap the benefits of a Project Manager. We can supervise the construction of your project. Our team has extensive site experience having worked as a Site Manager and Project Manager on various residential and commercial developments across County Kerry and Cork. This site experience combined with our design experience provides us with the ideal qualities to work on your project.

Should you wish to employ a Developer to carry out your work we can recommend quality Building Contractors who work to a high quality at a competitive rate.

Our project managers will:
– Find the best prices for labour, materials and fittings
– Appoint reliable contractors
– Advise you on legal and environmental concerns
– Advise you about any building regulations
– Liaise with the design team
– Organise planning permission
– Devising an efficient plan to make sure that contractors arrive at the right point in the project, as do the materials
– Deal with health and safety issues
– Be on site to deal with matters as they arise
– Save you time, money and stress

Architectural Feasibility Study

An architectural feasibility study considers all of the aspects of your proposed project. Here at SOCIAL HOUSING CO. we mainly conduct the studies for commercial or large-scale developments. Through an architectural feasibility study our clients can test the viability of the project before undertaking any real significant expense. The study attempts to answer the big questions early in the decision-making process.

To conduct an architectural feasibility study, we meet with the clients and discuss their ideas, their needs and wants. We visit the site to conduct an initial site assessment. Preliminary designs and accompanying photo montages of a proposed development are then created. In an effort to keep costs low the design is not overly detailed but will incorporate the basic principles.

These preliminary designs are used as the basis to explore the feasibility for the project before detailed costly and complex drawings, surveys and accompanying reports are undertaking. The preliminary design undertaken as part of a feasibility study will have to be revisited if after the study the project is economically viable and has received tentative approval from the planning authority.

All of the relevant stakeholders can then be approached with the preliminary designs. The planning authority can provide feedback as to the potential likelihood of the project receiving planning permission. Estimated development costings can be put together based on the preliminary designs.

The design can be used to test the market demand for the proposed development. It can be very useful for potential purchasers to get an accurate realisation as to what can be achieved out of a potential site. Furthermore, it can reassure investors that the site or proposed development has significant potential and revenue return.

Undertaking an architectural feasibility study will also allow the development vision to be tested, scrutinized and focus direction for the development. Each and every factor directly or indirectly associated to the project can be examined through the study.

Perhaps most importantly, the feasibility study can sometimes a much needed and cost-effective reality check for investors by answering the questions relating to the proposed project that require accurate answers, in order to avoid the dangerous pitfalls and money being wasted on projects that are not viable.

An architectural feasibility study has many different facets to the study. Usually the study has very different approaches depending on the type of development objectives. Typically, the study starts with a detailed evaluation on the suitability of the site for the development in question. Concept designs are then created for the site in line with the aesthetic quality desired. A budget is generated based on quantifiable construction costs. Finally documents of analysis are generated asking and answering the big questions. If the project passes the architectural feasibility study it proves the project is viable on a range of fronts.

Here at Social Housing Co. we have vast experience in the preparation of architectural feasibility studies for all sizes of projects. We develop preliminary design proposals and use the preliminary design as the basis to ask the big questions and assess how accurate the specific answers are. We have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the big questions to properly evaluate and scrutinize the validity of the proposals.

Some of the questions an architectural feasibility study can answer:

1)      What is the likelihood of planning permission being granted?
2)      What are the construction costs associated to the development?
3)      What are the likely operations costs of the facility?
4)      What are the likely profit projections for the facility when fully operational?
5)      What are the alternative usages of the facility and which use is the best match for the site and present project participants?
6)      What are the non-negotiable issues affecting the project viability?
7)      What is the level of risk involved in the investment?
8)      What is the expected time frame associated to the completion of the project? When is it likely the facility will be fully operational and when is it likely to generate a profit?
9)      Do you have the organizational capacity to take on a project of this sale and have you access to the key people to drive the project?
10)  An architectural feasibility study often plays a valuable role in securing necessary funding from banking institutions or availing of any grant aid available.

Cost of an architectural feasibility study

The cost of an architectural feasibility study completely depends on the level of scrutiny you want your proposed project to come under. Every project is unique and as such every project will have its’ own set of considerations. In turn the level of evaluation needed will have a cost implication.

We appreciate the study needs to be cost appropriate and we can tailor the study to your cost requirements. We feel the cost of an architectural feasibility study is totally insignificant when compared to the costly mistakes that could be made if you proceed and make big decisions without being properly informed.

Design drawings and montages are conceptual and relatively inexpensive to generate and can prove very beneficial. As a basic first step we absolutely recommend the conceptual drawings as a starting point. They will provide you with a very valuable tool to answer many questions relatively inexpensively.

Key elements to complete architectural feasibility study

1)      Cost efficient to produce while addressing all the significant issues
2)      Objectivity in proposing and answering questions
3)      Define and test project objectives
4)      Financials of the project are validated – capital costs and funding options
5)      Organisational capabilities
6)      Market demand for the development
7)      Focus on a mission statement for the development and set achievable targets
8)      Evaluate the risk involved for all stakeholders
9)      Evaluate all possible alternative options to ensure the selected option is best match for the development objectives
10)  Conclusions – devise a meaningful action plan for moving forward, or abandonment of project

Health and Safety Management

Social Housing Co. provide expertise in the management of risk in the construction sector. Every construction site is required to comply with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations. We have experience in the practical side of risk management as well as a thorough understanding of the up to date legislation. We can work with you to improve the environmental, safety and health performance by implementing and maintaining Health and Safety Authority (HSA) initiatives, codes of practice, policies and risk management strategies. 

Why choose Social Housing Co.?

We have years of experience maintaining the highest levels of safety standards in the construction industry. We can work with any project, big or small, and ensure that you are fully compliant with all of the relevant legislation. Whether you are a contractor looking for advice or expertise or a domestic client who must fulfil your legal obligation, Social Housing Co. can meet your needs.

We have the necessary qualifications to act as Project Supervisor Design Process (PSDP) or a Project Supervisor Construction Stage (PSCS) or both if necessary. If you are concerned about work place safety on your site, need advice or are looking for a complete Safety & Welfare at Work package we can provide it for you.

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations explained

What do the regulations mean for domestic clients?

The regulations mean that domestic clients have to appoint competent people to carry out construction work. For riskier and or longer jobs competent project supervisors must be appointed to oversee and co-ordinate safety. The role of the project supervisors is very important. They co-ordinate the work of designers and contractors and make sure that the work is completed safely. When works are being done in or near the home, the client must make sure that they don’t put you and your family at risk. The new regulations aim to reduce the number of people killed and injured while carrying out construction work. Specific requirements are set out in European law for those who hire people to carry out construction work as well as for construction workers themselves. The Construction Regulations put these requirements into Irish law.

What is a Project Supervisor Design Process (PSDP)?

A Project Supervisor Design Process is a person or organisation appointed by a client under these regulations in order to comply with the new regulations. During the preparation and designing of a project, the PSDP will be responsible for:

  • Take account of the principles of prevention in relation to the different stages of design.
  • Coordinate the work of designers in relation to safety.
  • Organise cooperation between designers.
  • Prepare a preliminary safety plan.
  • Prepare a safety file and ensure its handover to the client.
  • Issue direction if necessary.
  • Notify client and the HAS of failures to comply with directions.

What is a Project Supervisor Construction Stage (PSCS)?

A Project Supervisor Construction Stage, is a person or organisation appointed by a client under these regulations to ensure they comply with the law. During the period of time starting when preparation of the construction site begins and ending when construction work on the project is completed the PSCS is responsible for the making sure the construction is completed within the framework provided by Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Regulations.

What do the regulations mean for contractors?

In order to comply with the regulations the contractor is obliged to demonstrate competency and inform the homeowner of their duties. Essentially, this means that in addition to the traditional duties of a contractor, for example identifying and eliminating hazards, reducing risks during construction or monitoring compliance and taking corrective action, the contractor must demonstrate to the client that they are competent to complete the work and will allocate adequate resources to complete it safely. The contractor must be able to demonstrate that they can work safely and can manage the risks to their employees and to the homeowner and their family.

Furthermore, if a contractor is not aware of the appointment of project supervisors, the contractor must promptly inform the client that it is necessary for them to do so in order to be compliant. Although the responsibility lies with the client to carry this out, the responsibility lies with the contractor to inform the client of their full responsibilities. SOCIAL HOUSING CO. can handle all of your health and safety requirements. 

Health and Safety Management Services Declan Noonan & Associates provide include the following:

Customised Safety Statements

A Safety Statement is a book that contains all of the company’s safety rules, risk assessments and procedures. It will also specify exactly how your company will manage health and safety on a day-to-day basis and clearly state who is responsible for safety at the various levels within the company. For more information or advice on Safety Statements.

Risk Assessment

A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm. Workers and others have a right to be protected from harm caused by a failure to take reasonable control measures.

Accidents and ill health can ruin lives and affect your business too, if output is lost, machinery is damaged, insurance costs increase or you have to go to court. You are legally required to assess the risks in your workplace so that you put in place a plan to control the risks. We can carry out the risk assessments on your premises and put an action plan in place to manage risk going forward.

Accident Reporting

The term “accident” can be defined as an unplanned event that interrupts the completion of an activity, and that may (or may not) include injury or property damage. An incident usually refers to an unexpected event that did not cause injury or damage this time but had the potential. “Near miss” or “dangerous occurrences” are also terms for an event that could have caused harm but did not.

Reasons to investigate a workplace accident include:

  • Most importantly, to find out the cause of accidents and to prevent similar accidents in the future
  • To fulfil any legal requirements
  • To determine the cost of an accident
  • To determine compliance with applicable safety regulations
  • To process workers’ compensation claims
  • Incidents that involve no injury or property damage should still be investigated to determine the hazards that should be corrected. The same principles apply to a quick inquiry of a minor incident and to the more formal investigation of a serious event.

Energy Management

“Energy management” is the process of monitoring, controlling, and conserving energy in a building, a home or an organization. Whether you are a homeowner looking to save energy, or responsible for the running of a non-residential building, energy management is becoming a key focus. By monitoring and conserving energy, we can radically reduce the cost of running our homes and businesses.

Here at SOCIAL HOUSING CO. we are keen to promote the advancement of good environmental practice for the public benefit, in line with the Society of the Environment charter. Having a Chartered Environmentalist on the team means that good environmental practice forms part of every project we are involved with.

We are able to conduct an ‘Energy Audit’. This involves analysing your existing house, conducting energy DEAP energy calculations. Usually we meter your energy consumption and collect the data; finding opportunities to save energy, and estimating how much energy each opportunity could save; recommending actions to target opportunities to save energy and tracking your progress by analysing your meter data to see how well your energy-saving efforts have worked. We also give target costs for the work. We can also provide grant advice on how these improvements may be subsidised.

The ‘Energy Audit’ takes over from where the BER assessment ends. The report gives specific recommendations together with approximate costs on how you could increase the BER rating. Working with Declan Noonan & Associates is a good decision for you, your family, your environment and your wallet.

We can also advise you on the Better Energy Home scheme. This scheme offered by the SEAI provides grants to homeowners to upgrade their homes with energy efficiency measures, thus reducing energy use, costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Grants are provided for upgrade works done to any home built before 2006. Roof insulation, wall insulation, boiler and heating control upgrades and solar panels are all covered by the grant scheme.

There are some terms and conditions attached to the grant, for example, the grant is only eligible for homes built before 2006; grant approval must be in place before works commence; grant works must be completed to SEAI standards by a SEAI registered contractor; grant works, including a published BER, must be completed and paperwork submitted to SEAI within six months of the grant offer.

We are SEAI registered BER assessors. We can advise on all aspects of the Better Energy Home scheme.

Some of the services we provide to help you manage your energy are:

Air Tightness Testing

Research shows that up to half of all heat loss in buildings can be due to air leakage and uncontrolled ventilation. An air tightness test will show exactly where your heat is escaping and the draught points can be sealed up immediately. Draught proofing, which only takes a few hours can reduce the air leakage from your home by 50% or more which could result in a saving of up to 20% of the total house heating bill. 

Thermal Imaging Survey

We use infra-red images that identify where heat is being lost from buildings and heat distribution systems. It can also be used to identify faults in other areas including electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems. Removing unnecessary heat loss can significantly reduce energy costs. A thermal image makes it simpler to see where insulation is missing or air is leaking in or out of the building.

Building Energy Ratings (BER Certificate)

All new properties for sale require a certificate outlining their energy efficiency rating.  Since 1st January 2009, all second-hand properties for sale or to let will require a BER Certificate. Declan Noonan & Associates are registered Domestic and Non-Domestic BER Assessors who have been trained under the National Framework of Qualifications, passed the SEAI BER Assessor exam and have registered with SEAI.

Social Housing Co. can build it for you

Of course, another option is to have SOCIAL HOUSING CO. build your development for you. Ideally, our first choice is to supervise an experienced talented building contractor company. However, through our architectural service we have seen first-hand where our clients were not being offered value by the traditional building contractors. We could not sit idly by and see our clients be taken advantage of. Our motto is if others won’t build it for a reasonable price, then we will. This gives our clients option and ensures our clients will ultimately get value.

Having SOCIAL HOUSING CO. build your project for you give you peace of mind knowing that we are the single point of responsibility. This eliminates any confusion or mis-communication between subcontractors and suppliers. Furthermore, if we have designed the house or building, we are familiar with the building and with you and know exactly what you want. Our track record of high-quality bespoke construction speaks for itself.

We offer a diverse range of procurement methods when building. Whatever building service you are looking for, we can provide it. If you simply want us to look over someone else constructing your home, we can do that. If you want the complete turn key construction procedure, then we can design your home to your specific budget and build it for you in all in package. We will even look after the ongoing maintenance of your home for you if you would like.