Spotlight on.....December 2017

1 December 2017

SO Dec 17

Q: Please give details of your education and qualifications:
A: National Certificate Construction Studies, BSc (Hons) Degree in Building Surveying, BSc (Hons), C.Build E FCABE.

Q: Where are you based?
A: I am based in Co Clare, Ireland just ten minutes’ drive from Shannon International Airport.

Q: Can you tell us about your career so far?
A: After spending 14 years working for leading Irish architectural firms, my own practice was established in 1998. Now, having 30 years’ experience in the construction industry, I have gained a deep knowledge of building surveying, architectural design and conservation, building pathology, building legislation, health & safety and project implementation etc. I am proficient in the use of both 2D and particularly 3D CAD visualisation software, which is utilised to bring our clients’ needs and solutions to fruition.

Q: Please describe your current role:
A: As Chartered Building Engineers, my practice strives to design, develop and deliver construction projects to the required design and building standards at competitive fees.
What we do at a glance:
3D design and visualisation
Planning Permission
Fire certificates
Disability access certificates
Topographical and measured building surveys
Certificates of Compliance for property being bought or sold
Pre-purchase house reports/Snag lists
Property defect analysis
Project Management
PSDS (Project Supervisor Design Stage)
Expert Witness.

Q: Have you worked on any unusual or high-profile projects?
A: Recently, while undertaking works at a local primary school, I discovered the presence of one of the world’s worst invasive plant species, Japanese Knotweed. A specialist contractor had to be commissioned to physically screen the soil and incinerate (on site) all the infesting rhizomes. Ireland has a serious problem with this invasive non-native species, as it damages property foundations and services, and negatively affects property values. CABE monthly journal Building Engineer recently had a very good feature on Japanese Knotweed. It highlighted a landmark judgement against Network Rail: ’In February 2017 judgement was passed against
Network Rail for allowing Japanese Knotweed to grow on their land, thereby causing actionable nuisance to adjoining property owners;’ Network Rail was ordered to pay not only for the treatment, but more interestingly for diminution, the reduction in property value resulting from the knotweed (CABE Building Engineer journal, April 2017). I found this CABE journal article excellent as it is important to properly identify knotweed so that it can be dealt with correctly.

Q: What attracted you to become a member of CABE?
A: I first learned of CABE when I saw it listed as one of three main institutions specifically named in the Irish Building Control Act 2007, having competent building surveyors fit for inclusion under Part 3 Register of Building Surveyors, Chartered Engineers and Architects. It is a Royal Chartered professional body providing professional training and support to its worldwide membership and it’s an international symbol of recognition for my profession.

Q: How did you become registered?
A: I applied for CABE membership via submission of a technical portfolio on a few sample projects and, subsequently, I was invited to attend a professional interview, with CABE panellists from both Ireland and the UK. I was thrilled when informed that I would be accepted as a Chartered member. A short time later I was successful in upgrading my membership to Fellow status. I am very grateful for the help that I have received and continue to receive from all committee members especially David Courtney, Richard Flynn and Margaret Kirwan here at CABE Ireland – thanks for the excellent work you all do on our behalf.

Q: What do you enjoy most by being a member of CABE?
A: CABE is an international trademark of excellence for building professionals offering engineers the ability to gather and network with other building professionals worldwide. The CABE delivers interesting industry lectures and regular CPD (Continuing Professional Development) events, which enable us all to share knowledge and gain access to industry standard relevant information. It is a wonderful organisation for meeting the needs of building professionals. Personally, it is a privilege to be allowed to insert the FCABE designation after my name and, each time I do so, it reminds me of the challenging but worthwhile efforts trying to one day attain such status. It was definitely worthwhile and makes me realise the fantastic progression within my professional career.

Q: What advice would you give someone considering professional registration with CABE?
A: Seriously grasp the opportunity to have your professional abilities acknowledged. CABE organises regular excellent CPD events which are very beneficial to attend as you will get to know other CABE members, who will be delighted to offer you further advice and assistance. Don’t just think about joining CABE, go and do it soon! It is a wonderful organisation for expanding the knowledge and experience of all its members.

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