Architectural Design & Planning

We have experience in all aspects of architectural design for private individuals and commercial clients, in areas such as residential, commercial, retail, education, community, sport, leisure and healthcare. We have a grant rate of 98%.  That is, 98% of the application submitted by us to the planning authority are granted permission. 

We believe investment in good quality design will repay itself many times over. We provide a comprehensive approach, encapsulating all aspects of the architectural design process, from initial assessment and conceptual drawings, to submission to the authority.  We design in association with our client and this brings a uniqueness and bespoke quality to the end product, ensuring client satisfaction. 

Fortress Planning has many years experience in dealing with all aspects of the planning process, from advice on planning to organising pre-planning meetings and submission of comprehensive planning applications. We have a good working relationship with the Council officials in the various local authorities.

Building Surveys

Fortress Planning offer a full pre purchase building survey (often referred to as a structural survey) to clients that wish to buy property. This survey includes inspection of major elements such as the roof, walls, floors, windows & doors, and services where they are uncovered.  We also look at the attendant grounds abutting the structure.  Our report comes with recommendation for remediation and photographs of the promble areas.

Pre-Purchase House Survey: A Pre-Purchase House Survey is a building survey that is normally conducted prior to a property being purchased at the ‘Sale Agreed’ stage. The pre-purchase survey will identify any significant defects. We provide all clients with a written report describing in detail the condition of the property and any recommended repair works.

Building Survey: Building Survey is distinct from a pre-purchasing house survey only in that it is a survey that can refer to both domestic and non-domestic buildings and it is not necessarily restricted to property for sale.  Often when a client wishes to refurbish, renovate or maintain their building they wish to get a handle on the condition of the property and the likely remediation of any defects. It can be used to generate specifications for works.   

Property is a large investment and worthy of a survey.  As distinct from any other profession, such as architectural and engineering professionals who must learn about pathology through augmented education, the building surveyor’s basic education is building pathology including diagnosis of defects and how to best remediate these.  With over 20 years experience, Fortress Planning carries out comprehensive, thorough and accurate building surveys.

Conservation and Architectural Heritage Impact Assessments

With so much emphasis on reuse and refurbishment of vacant and/or unused building stock there must be greater emphasis on protecting and retaining our built heritage.  Our philosophy is sustainability focused and we extend this philosopy to non-protected structures that deserver similar consideration.  We offer advise and expertise regarding works to Protected Structures, structures listed on the NIAH and those in Architectural Conservation Areas.      

As Building Surveyors, building pathology is our core qualification so we are in a knowledge-based position to offer professional advice on how to protect building fabric when it comes to modern intervention and upgrades to our heritage buildings and structure.  We offer;

  • Planning Applications including liaising with authority’s conservation officer
  • Building Surveys
  • Condition Surveys
  • Architectural Heritage Impact Assessment
  • Construction Drawings and Detailing
  • Scope of Works
  • Method Statements

Design Certifier & Assigned Certifier

A certificate of compliance (design) is a requirement under the new building control regulations S.I. 9. The assigned certifier is appointed by the building owner to certify the works carried out in accordance with the building control regulations.

Design Certifier. The design certifier is responsible for the preparation of the drawings, specification and particulars for the design of the building, and ensures that ancillary certificates are obtained for any other members of the design team. Fortress Planning has fulfilled the role of Design Certifier on many projects.

Assigned Certifier. The assigned certifier is responsible for signing statutory documents for building control and overseeing all other certifiers on the project. Assigned certifier does not include for supervision of the builder. It is based on inspections of the building, the workmanship, detailing and materials used etc.

Fortress Planning has fulfilled the role of Assigned Certifier on many projects.

Fire Safety Certificate (FSC) & Disability Access Certificate (DAC) Design

A Fire Safety Certificate (FSC) shows that adequate escape facilities are present in a building. It indicates that the building’s design prevents and limits the spread of fire. Our office is proactive in liaising with the client and the various design team members to find practical solutions that ensure projects are compliant with the relevant building regulations and design codes.

Specific services include:

  • Preparation of fire safety compliance reports/assessments and technical submissions to accompany Fire Safety Certificate applications.
  • Preparation of technical submissions (fire safety compliance reports and supporting drawings) to Local Authority Fire Departments.

Fortress Planning is experienced in engaging with the Local Authority Fire Departments and has demonstrated their ability to manage the statutory application process on behalf of clients through BCMS (Building Control Management System).

Fire Safety Audits and Fire Risk Assessments. A Fire Safety Audit or a Due Diligence study of an existing building involves investigating the standard of fire safety currently achieved. A Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) reviews the fire hazards present in the building.

The audit reviews the current layout and functions of a building against any existing fire safety documentation, outlining the main areas of non-compliance. The FRA identifies and categorises the risks of defects/hazards. Fortress Planning has the technical expertise to advise on what remedial actions are necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements under the Second Schedule of the Building Regulations TGD Part B.

Disability Access Certificates. Accessibility is much more than providing adequate physical access to buildings. It is also about providing inclusive access to services and information. Strategic access reviews are a useful way to uncover access issues that need to be addressed. A DAC is a certificate of compliance to show the works are built in accordance with the design, and it will meet the requirements under the Second Schedule of the Building Regulation TGD Part M. Fortress Planning has prepared and lodged DAC applications for commercial and office units, retail units, healthcare facilities, community / sports units and educational facilities.

Specific services include:

  • Preparation of disability access compliance reports/assessments and technical submissions to accompany Disability Access Certificate applications.
  • Preparation of technical submissions (disability access compliance reports and supporting drawings) to Local Authority Fire Departments.

Fortress Planning is experienced in engaging with the Local Authority Fire Departments and has demonstrated their ability to manage the statutory application process on behalf of clients through BCMS (Building Control Management System).

Project Management

We offer a full Project Management service for all types of building works. We will guide you through the feasibility, design and planning stages, prepare detailed tender documentation and working drawings, obtain quotations from main contractor / contractors, supervise and certify the construction through to completion.

To ensure the project runs smoothly, we always consult with clients to identify any architectural issues or problems that may arise during construction phase. We can then take the necessary precautions to guarantee the project is constructed according to the exact drawings and specifications. Our services cover everything, from planning permission to design / construction consultations. We can also issue stage and final payment certificates.

Fortress Planning is committed to achieving the best value possible on all architecture / construction work for our clients. In addition to assisting with budget issues, our comprehensive range of project management services also encompass scheduling and quality control checks.

Project Supervisor Design Process

A Project Supervisor Design Process (PSDP), is a person or body corporate appointed by a client under Construction Regulations (Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013), to carry out the duties, necessary to allow the client to comply with section 17(1) of the Act.

The duties above are in relation to during the preparation and designing of a project, including alterations to the design and the design of temporary works to facilitate construction of the project. 

In all cases the person or company undertaking the role must have the necessary competence to carry out the relevant duties of PSDP. The Project Supervisor Design Process must be appointed before design work commences. This is to ensure effectiveness in addressing and co-ordinating safety and health matters from the very early stages of a project.

A ‘client’ under the regulation means a person for whom a project is carried out. Therefore, a person building their own home is a client under these regulations, and they too must appoint a competent qualified PSDP.

The PSDP duties can be summarised as follows:

  • Take account of the principals of prevention in relation to the different stages of design, identify hazards and where possible, eliminate the hazards or reduce the risks;
  • Coordinate the work of designers in relation to safety.
  • Organise cooperation between designers.
  • Communicate necessary control measure, design assumptions or remaining risks to the PSCS so they can be dealt with in the safety and health plan;
  • Prepare a written safety and health plan for any project where construction will take more than 500 person days or 30 working days or there is a particular risk and deliver it to the client prior to tender;
  • Prepare a safety file for the completed structure and ensure its handover to the client.
  • Issue direction to designers or contractors or others if necessary.
  • Notify client and the HSA of failures to comply with directions.
  • May appoint a health and safety Coordinator to assist in the undertaking of the duties.

A PSDP is appointed by the Client to oversee the coordination of the design work. The PSDP can be either a person or a company, what is important is that the appointed PSDP is able to fulfil the responsibilities of the position. The Regulations require that there be only one PSDP appointed for each independent project.

Fortress Planning offers a fully qualified and experienced Project Supervisor Design Process, across all construction project types.