Archive for Construction

Irish Construction Costs 2017

Every year we share useful information to guide you on the costs for your construction project in Ireland. This will help you to estimate an approximate figure for your building costs.

You can check our other articles in this series here.

The Irish economy will continue to recover and the upturn in the construction industry is well visible.

A shortage of skilled labour has lead to an upward trend in tender levels.

Linesight’s research shows that, on average, tender prices rose by approximately 7% during 2016. Linesight predicts that tender prices will increase at a faster pace of 7.5% on average, due to the shortage of resources. Greater increases are expected in the Dublin area and this could be 9% or even higher for complex city centre projects.

SCSI reports that if price inflation continues to grow at the current level, it is anticipated that pricing levels will return to the levels last seen in 2006 and 2007 in the next few years.

 

Average Irish Construction Prices 2017

The average construction costs table is generated using Linesight’s Cost Database and sets out typical building construction costs.

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Average Irish Construction Costs 2017. Source: Linesight

 

Turner & Townsend‘s annual construction cost survey also provides an overview of construction costs in Ireland.

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International building costs per m2 of internal area, in 2017. Source: Turner & Townsend

 

 

Labour rates and Construction Materials Prices

Turner & Townsend‘s annual construction cost survey provides labour costs and also the prices for some materials. Their cost escalation forecast for 2017-2018 is 8%.

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Labour and Materials Prices, 2017. Source: Turner & Townsend

 

 

The latest monthly data from CSO recorded that all materials prices increased by 3.4% in the year since July 2016.

The most notable yearly changes were increases in Glass (+21.7%), Sand and gravel (+21.4%) and Plaster (+7.9%) while there were decreases in Other concrete products excluding precast concrete (-1.5%), Concrete blocks and bricks (-0.6%) and Other structural steel (-0.4%).

 

Guide to Rebuilding Costs in Ireland

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) provides a House Rebuilding Cost Calculator here. This calculator can be used as a guide to give you a minimum base cost for your construction project.

New SCSI House Delivery Cost Calculator Tool

SCSI have developed a useful online calculator for developers to perform an analysis tailored to their own developments.

Private/individual users should use this calculator cautiously. Professional fees, for example, will be considerable higher for private developments than they are for developer built schemes where the level of repetition is often high.

SCSI highlights that the actual construction costs or hard costs made up less than half of the total costs. The online calculator allows users to adjust each elemental component of both the hard and soft costs for themselves.

House Delivery Cost Calculator (screenshot). Source: SCSI

 

Typical Exclusions

There are a number of other expenses that you should also consider when estimating your project. See some of the exclusions that may apply to your project here.

Architect’s fees will vary based on a number of factors ranging from size and complexity to level of the service required. These two articles provide some guidelines:

Additionally, you may also need to allow for:

  • Design Certifier Fees
  • Assigned Certifier fees

 

Check out our other articles in this series

The Power of Pozzolans

 

The use of lime dates back to pre-historic times. Lime is derived from limestone, a sedimentary rock formed mainly of skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different forms of calcium carbonate.

It is generally held that the Greeks began the large scale production of lime-based mortars in Europe and it was from there that the technology spread to Rome.

The Romans early recognized the need for a mortar that could be used under ground and under water – the development of hydraulic mortars is credited to them and the use of Pozzolans was crucial for this.

 

Pozzolana

 

Pozzolans would include volcanic ash or clay brick/tile dust – these would be added to the lime mortar mix to create a faster set and reduce the mortar’s vulnerability to frost and rain.

Vitrivius describe Pozzolans as producing “astonishing results” and he explains the process behind them:

 

The Ten Books on Architecture, Vitrivius

 

Lime Pozzolan binders are obtained by the addition of a Pozzolan (natural or artificial) to the lime while mixing mortar. A natural Pozzolan is a volcanic material, which originally derives from Pozzuoli, an Italian region around Vesuvius. Pozzuoli earth was used in the Roman mortars but other natural Pozzolan are Santorini earth (Greece) and trass (Germany).

Artificial Pozzolans include metakaolin, silica fume, brick dust (preferably low fired brick) and others such as fly ash.

 

Caesarea is the earliest known example to have used underwater Roman concrete technology on such a large scale. Photo by James Cocks www.jamescocks.com.

 

Pozzolans became the backbone of Roman construction and were incorporated in the ‘Roman Concrete’.

Pozzolans of Pozzuoli were used to build ‘La Via Appia’, the Colosseum and the Pantheon of Rome. The fact that the mix could harden under water allowed the Romans to extend their empire along their coastines which gave them a strategic advantage.

Interestingly, lime Pozzolan concrete still has a place in today’s construction technology, not only because of its original characteristics but particularly because it can also offer significant carbon savings and potentially present huge environmental benefits. After all, lime is a remarkably efficient natural absorber of carbon dioxide and it could sequester carbon emissions in a very effective way.

Interesting readings:

 

3 Things You Didn’t Know Architects Do #3

 

The Architect has very considerable powers under the Building Contract although is not a party to it.

The Architect must act upon a fair and proper interpretation of the contract as an independent observer. S/he must act fairly and impartially between the parties.

Contract administration can be quite complex and this (short) post by no means explores all that is involved. We just want to highlight 3 things you (probably) didn’t know architects do when they are appointed for the Construction Stage of your project:

1. Prepare the Building Contract

2. Issue Certificates for Payment to the Contractor

3. Issue Instructions to the Contractor

Under the standard RIAI Building contracts the Architect/Contract Administrator has the power to issue instructions to the contractor.

Instructions may relate to:

  • the modification of the design, quality or quantity of the works or the addition, omission or substituition of any work (“Variations”);
  • the correction of discrepancies between the contract documents;
  • the removal of materials from site;
  • the opening up for inspection of any work covered up;
  • the removal and/or re-execution of of any work not in accordance with the contract;
  • the postponement of work;
  • the dismissal of incompetent or misconducting personnel;
  • the amending and making good of any defects;
  • and any other matters relating to the proper execution of the contract.

The Contractor has the duty to comply and duly execute any work comprised in such Architect’s Instructions.

Click here to see a sample of Architect’s Instructions.

 

 

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