The practice was established in 1986 with the aim of providing professionally qualified expertise in the fields of architecture, planning and fire safety in the Mid West region, celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2011. In working with commercial, institutional, private and public bodies, he established a wide range of expertise in these fields. Paul Conway joined in 1992, and added his considerable ability in architecture, interior design, project management, conservation and arbitration, becoming a full partner in 1996.
The firm grew from a “sole practitioner” in the early years, and became among the leading Architectural firms in the Mid-West Region, being on the Consultants List for Government Departments, Semi-State Bodies and Local Authorities. We have a wide range of commercial and private clients, based locally, nationally and internationally. We choose to carry out our services mostly to projects in Clare, Limerick, Kerry, Galway and Tipperary, in order to concentrate on the particular local environmental and climatic conditions, and to be fully familiar with the planning policies, regimes and personalities in the mid-West.
We had a policy of retaining staff so that they can be fully familiar with our work methods, and we encouraged them to take professional development courses on a vide variety of subjects. Following the death of the Celtic Tiger, we have downsized , but have maintain contact with most of our former staff members that are available to return if required.
Since 1996, we have had associations with international architectural practices, firstly in Canada; currently in New Zealand since 2000, and in Poland. Using a broadband connection to the Internet, we can transfer drawings and specifications by e-mail. Because of the time zone differences, they can work during our night, which gives us the facility to turn documentation around very quickly, and gives us the capacity to handle greater volumes of work in an efficient and orderly manner!
We have the skills within our office to prepare to prepare line drawings and digital drawings for design purposes and for presentation.
Following Michael Leahy’s appointment as Board Member to An Bord Pleanala in 2012, the practice became Paul Conway Architects.
Paul Conway graduated with a BArch from UCD in 1980, and became a member of the RIAI in 1992.
We have worked with a wide range of other construction professionals including such conventional design team members as civil and structural engineers, mechanical & electrical engineers, interior designers and quantity surveyors through to archaeologists, environmental engineers, landscape designers, traffic engineers, acoustic engineers, etc… and have come to understand and integrate their special skills into the design process. We have, also, worked with a wide range of building contractors from the small scale “man with a van” variety through to the largest corporate organizations, and have come to understand the positive advantages, but also the potential disadvantages, at the different extremes and everywhere in between.
We have embraced the challenges brought on by the many changes to the legislative structure affecting the building industry in the past many years, from the increased scope and complexity of the Planning and Development Legislation; to the welcome introduction and extension of the Building Regulations; the Health and Safety Legislation, and most recently, Building Control Amendment Regulations. In addition, we have tried to take the lead in the field of Architectural Conservation; Sustainability; and Universal Access. The Principal and staff regularly attend lectures and courses on all of these subjects organized by the RIAI and others, and maintain vigilance in reading the relevant trade literature.
The practice has been a Registered Practice of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland since 1989, which became the Registration Body for the profession of Architecture under the Building Control Act 2008.
Paul Conway is the Principal, with over 20 years’ experience as Principal in an R.I.A.I. registered architectural practice. It is the practices’ policy that the Principal becomes the lead Designer, and lead Project Manager for each project that comes into the office, taking responsibility for ensuring that the architectural design and management of your project is to your satisfaction at all stages. He will establish your brief and the scope of services, budget and fees etc… at an early stage.
The Principal will work with our professional staff to develop the architectural and technical works, and supervise the building contract. These staff may deal with your or your organization on routine matters during the course of the project, but the overall responsibility lies with the partner.
The practices’ management style is to keep in touch regularly with the individual client, client’s representative or organization; all members of his own team within the office; other members of the design team; local authority officers; building contractor and subcontractor firms. Design Team meetings will include the client body, and are held with a view to establishing responsibilities of all parties at an early date. Client will be kept informed at all stages of the design process, with copies of all relevant correspondence and minutes of meetings.
An important element of office management is that projects are delivered on time and within budget. To ensure this, it is essential that the client is involved at all stages of the design decisions and project planning. In this way, clients will be kept fully informed of any potential difficulties that may arise in a project programme or costing, and, if necessary, appropriate action can be agreed in a timely manner with the client and all the members of the design team.
The Principal will at the initial stages meet with the clients to agree project timescale and a programme of works. Appropriate action is agreed with the client should this timescale is delayed for any reason e.g. Third Party Appeal, delays in planning etc. Regular meetings are held internally within the office to assess workload and to ensure that specific deadlines will be met.
This practice is particularly conscious of the clients’ needs to meet deadlines and will not be responsible for delays on a project.
The partners have significant experience in dealing with main contractors, clients and subcontractors and as project architect ensures that all players in the construction team deliver their element of the project on time and specification.
It is a policy of the practice, as soon as a new project is commenced to put a project plan in place and to identify a target date for completion which will also involve key target dates such as, completion of sketch design, meetings with the client, lodgement of planning application and fire safety certificate, production of budget target, tender date, commencement of construction, certification and completion.
The firm and all the individuals involved have been involved in work carried out for both public and private bodies. Working with the Quantity Surveyor, Civil/ Structural Engineer, Services Engineers and any other necessary members of the design team, we are proficient at ensuring that projects are delivered within budget and in accordance with the cost guidelines issued by clients.
In regard to sustainability and cost in use, the office works with mechanical and electrical consultants to ensure adequate levels of day lighting and minimization of unnecessary heat loss and all designs are carried out with lifecycle costs and costs in use, in mind. The firm has extensive experience in dealing with the building environment in Ireland and in ensuring that buildings which we design are able to withstand the climatic variations experienced in the West of Ireland.
The practice has been in operation in Clare, since 1986 and has extensive knowledge of the local building industry.
Building finishes in terms of maintenance are discussed with the client at the early stages of design.