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June 15, 2011

RIAI President warns of dangers of below-cost fee tendering

keogh_paulIn the latest issue of Architecture Ireland, RIAI President Paul Keogh warns of the dangers of below-cost fee tendering, simply to get the job. He warns that “Irish architects’ competitive advantage in securing commissions abroad is hugely dependant on our reputation for the standard of quality featured in the RIAI Annual Review. But with the profession being decimated by a dearth of new commissions, allied with a suicidal cycle of below-cost fee tendering, the ongoing ability of architects to focus on ‘soft’ issues – research, innovation, energy, aesthetics and whole-life costs – must question Irish architecture’s standing in the first rank internationally and, by extension, its capacity to contribute to Government policy on the export of construction expertise.”

“Even with the current funding crisis, we need a healthy construction sector – not only to provide essential infrastructure, but to create employment and generate economic activity throughout the country. It is therefore imperative that the Government looks to the future and moves forward the planning and design of strategic projects to ensure there is a pipeline of ‘shovel-ready’ schemes when the economy turns as it is expected to do next year. With some estimating that the population could reach 5 million in the next decade or so, we cannot afford to waste the opportunity provided by this recession to plan for the future and put architects and construction working to ‘get it right’ – for our children and our children’s children.”