Government Announces Interim Fire Safety Funding for Celtic Tiger-Era Apartments

A significant development, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has introduced a new interim fire safety funding scheme for owners of Celtic Tiger-era apartments. The initiative aims to provide immediate assistance to the owners of up to 100,000 affected buildings while a comprehensive State support program is being finalised.

Interim Fire Safety Measures Scheme: Immediate Relief for Apartment Owners

Earlier this year, the minister secured Cabinet approval for a €2.5 billion scheme addressing historic fire safety issues and defects in apartments constructed between 1991 and 2013. However, due to the sheer scale of the issue, a code of practice recommended the implementation of interim measures as a short-term solution.

The Interim Fire Safety Measures Scheme, open for applications now, is administered nationwide by the Housing Agency. Apartment Owner Management Companies (OMCs) can apply through the housing agency’s website. This scheme fully funds interim measures, such as fire alarm upgrades and ensuring safe escape routes, providing an acceptable level of fire safety while awaiting completion of full remedial works.

Comprehensive Remedial Works and Future Legislation

Full remedial works, encompassing necessary fire safety measures, water ingress solutions, and structural repairs, will be funded under a statutory scheme set to be legislated for next year. The Department is actively drafting the necessary legislation.

Minister O’Brien emphasised that the interim measures represent an essential next step in addressing defects, guaranteeing the long-term safety of apartment residents across Ireland. He expressed gratitude to homeowners and their representatives, whose insights played a crucial role in shaping the scheme.

Construction Defects Alliance Applauds Progress

The Construction Defects Alliance hailed the scheme’s opening as a significant step forward in resolving issues affecting Celtic Tiger-era apartments. The scheme prompts Owner Management Companies to commission fire safety risk assessments, paving the way for interim works in developments where assessments have already been conducted.

At the request of the Construction Defects Alliance, the Interim Fire Safety Measures Scheme includes making escape routes safe, ensuring proper lighting, and eliminating obstacles. This ensures the safety of residents in complexes where escape routes may be compromised.

Upon a valid application, the Housing Agency will assign a case number within seven to ten working days. An Applicant Pack will follow, providing detailed information on subsequent stages.

Discover more about the Interim Fire Safety Measures Scheme and complete the Interim Remediation Scheme Application Form thoroughly.

Applications must be comprehensive to be considered, we will be happy to assist you with any queries you may have by contacting us at AOCA.


AOCA Engineering Consultants were appointed as Design Lead and Project Manager on this £9m Fire Safety and Cladding Remediation project in the U.K.

NORTHERN IRELAND remediation specialist, Anamore, has completed a £9m cladding remediation and fire compliance project at the Orchard Plaza apartment complex in Poole, Dorset. The 13-storey apartment building remediation works were carried out in three phases. Externally, this consisted of the removal of non-compliant ACM and HPL panels, along with all combustible elements behind the existing façade. This was all attainable through a complex scaffolding system erected on site, which was wrapped in non-combustible monoflex to help ensure the integrity of the building throughout the duration of the project. Working with the client’s design team lead by AOCA Engineering Consultants, the design and installation of the non-combustible cladding system was finalised. Anamore used A1 rated construction materials and the final design incorporated Vitradual aluminium rainscreen panels and the Vitrafix carrier system by Valcan, weather defence external sheathing board, EPDM, Effisus breather membrane, Rainscreen Duo Slab external wall insulation and the full implementation of Siderise cavity barriers. Fire Compliance Internally, the fire compliance works entailed the refurbishment of all internal fire door sets throughout the apartment complex and replacement of a number of others. The communal areas and apartment lobby areas required full “above ceiling” fire compartmentation works. Due to the makeup of the building having an old structural clay pot system, all penetrations from floor to floor such as SVPs required the install of fire/ smoke resistant seals at each point. All communal hallway ceilings were replaced with a new Kemwell suspended fire rated ceiling system, complete with above ceiling fire barriers in each apartment. The intrusiveness of these works having to be conducted with residents in situ was far from easy, the team said. It took a full team effort with constant tenant liaison ensuring works could be conducted in a prompt manner to best suit all involved with as minimal disruption as possible. James McCallan, Co-Founder & Director of Anamore, said: “We are passionate about finishing work to the highest quality, ensuring that homeowners can return to their properties with the knowledge and peace of mind that their property is safe and compliant to all current regulations. The project took a total of 22 months to complete which was both on time and on budget. We had a brilliant working relationship with the Client’s Design Team Lead by Aidan O’Connell from AOCA Engineering Consultants, this ensured a pro-active and open-minded approach to every element of the works”. “As we enter 2024, we’re projecting a significant increase in remedial works as the requirements on developers through the building safety repairs pledge come into force, and the governments Building Safety Fund being rolled out as part of the Building Safety Programme.”

Unfortunate news for homeowners as the wait prolongs for apartment defects remediation until later in 2024.

Unfortunate news for homeowners as legislative hurdles prolong the wait for apartment defects remediation until later in 2024. Deputy Duncan Smith recently sought clarification from the Minister for Housing, Local Government, and Heritage regarding the anticipated timeline for the draft legislation supporting the remediation of defects in apartments and duplexes constructed between 1991 and 2013.

In February 2021, responding to the pressing issue of defects in housing, the Minister for Housing, Local Government, and Heritage established a Working Group. A critical aspect of this initiative involves the formulation of a Code of Practice, aligning with the Fire Services Acts, which was officially introduced in July 2022.

The Code of Practice for the Remediation of Fire Safety Defects stands as a cornerstone, promoting a reasonable and practical approach to addressing fire safety concerns. Its primary objective is to establish a uniform nationwide strategy for remediation, offering guidance to Owners’ Management Companies (OMCs) and the broader industry. Moving forward, this Code of Practice will play a pivotal role in supporting the implement of the remediation scheme, subject to periodic reviews.

Notably, the Code provides crucial guidance to OMCs, building professionals, and local authority building control/fire services. It encompasses interim safety measures within the framework of the Fire Services Acts of 1981 & 2003. Collaborative efforts with the local authority sector, particularly Fire Services, are ongoing to establish processes and structures aligned with the Code of Practice.

The anticipated timeline for the draft legislation, initially expected in the first half of 2024, now suggests a delay. This legislative framework is crucial as it sets the stage for the implementation of the statutory scheme, now projected for later in the same year.

For the latest and most comprehensive updates on the progress of the remediation scheme and other related developments, stay connected with the AOCA website. Alternatively, feel free to contact us, and we will be happy to assist you with any queries you may have.

Celtic Tiger Apartment Defects: Repair Plan Eligibility & Timeline

Celtic Tiger Apartment Defects

The Prevalence of Apartment and Duplex Issues (1991-2013)

Between 1991 and 2013, 50% to 80% of apartments and duplexes were built with significant problems, such as those pertaining to fire safety, structural defects, and water ingress.

Government Action to Address the Problems

The Minister for Housing and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, has received government approval to create a new law to help fix these issues in apartments and duplexes built during this time. This law will establish a formal plan to address these problems and ensure the safety and well-being of people living in these properties.

Eligibility Criteria for the Repair Plan

Who is eligible for this plan? Apartments and duplexes built between 1991 and 2013 qualify for this assistance. The plan will cover the cost of repairing:

  • Fire safety issues.
  • Structural safety issues.
  • Water ingress defects.

Conditions for Plan Coverage

However, the plan only applies if these problems happened because of faulty design, poor workmanship, or materials that did not meet the requirements of the Building Regulations in place when the properties were constructed.

Commencement Date and Approval Process

If you commenced addressing fire safety issues to your apartment or duplex after January 18, 2023, you can be part of this plan. It is expected to be in operation by 2024, pending the approval process. Certain conditions must be met, including approval from local fire authorities before starting the work. This is to make sure that fire safety improvements are not delayed while waiting for the plan to begin. More details about this process are currently being worked out, and additional information will be available soon.

Responsibility of Owners’ Management Companies

Owners’ Management Companies are responsible for arranging repairs in the shared areas of apartments and duplexes. Regardless of the plan, the responsibility for fire safety remains with those who control the property, as outlined in the Fire Services Acts.

Reporting and Assistance

If you suspect or discover fire safety, structural, or water ingress issues in your apartment or duplex, homeowners should initially contact their Owners’ Management Companies (OMCs). The OMC should then employ an Engineer to inspect the building.

Get in Touch for Assistance

If you believe your property has a defect, please reach out to us at or call our Dublin Office on 01 4243035 or Portlaoise Office on 057 8663244 for assistance. We have extensive experience addressing such issues across Ireland and the UK.

Embracing a Sustainable Cladding Alternative

sustainable cladding alternatives


As environmental concerns drive a seismic shift toward sustainability in the construction industry, the significance of a sustainable cladding alternative emerges prominently. Choosing the right cladding for building exteriors is pivotal for achieving eco-friendly construction practices. Today, the need for a sustainable cladding alternative goes beyond optional consideration; it is an unequivocal necessity, underpinned by compelling reasons.

At its core, a sustainable cladding alternative functions as a potent tool in the ongoing battle against excessive carbon emissions, habitat degradation, and resource depletion. This progressive alternative not only entails judicious selection of materials and techniques but also a deep-seated commitment to curbing energy consumption and minimising waste generation across a building’s entire lifecycle.

Illustrating this paradigm shift is the innovative use of fireproof fungus as a sustainable cladding alternative. A recent illuminating article by Engineers Ireland sheds light on this forward-thinking approach. Fireproof fungus introduces a naturally occurring and renewable cladding material. This remarkable solution champions not only environmental friendliness but also robust durability and captivating aesthetic appeal. It offers a captivating and pragmatic opportunity to supplant conventional cladding materials, which, all too often, bear unwelcome environmental repercussions.

The merits of embracing such forward-looking alternatives extend far beyond immediate sustainability. They encompass holistic benefits including heightened energy efficiency, improved indoor air quality, and a decreased reliance on non-renewable resources. Moreover, harmonising with evolving regulations and increasingly conscientious consumer preferences amplifies a building’s market value, making the adoption of sustainable cladding an increasingly appealing proposition for stakeholders.

Effectively integrating a sustainable cladding alternative demands a shift in perspective, a commitment to innovation, and a collaborative approach. This responsibility extends beyond architects, designers, and builders to encompass the entire spectrum of industry stakeholders. By steering the course towards conscientious choices rooted in eco-friendly materials and practices, the construction industry can indisputably champion the cause of global sustainability, aligning with worldwide objectives.

In this epoch of heightened environmental awareness, opting for a sustainable cladding alternative is more than a stride forward; it is a pivotal leap towards responsible construction and resolute environmental stewardship. At AOCA Ltd, we carve structures that stand as emblems of mindful construction, we weave a narrative of environmental commitment that resonates for generations to come.

AOCA Team Spreads Joy Through Community Service at LauraLynn Hospice

At AOCA, we believe in making a difference not only in the world of engineering and construction but also in the lives of those in our community. Recently, a group of our dedicated team members, including Sarah, Eoin, Megan, Finn, and Nessa, had the privilege of contributing their time and skills to a heartwarming initiative at LauraLynn Hospice, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice.

A Day of Giving Back

The spirit of giving back was truly alive as our team rolled up their sleeves to support the LauraLynn Hospice’s preparations for an upcoming Family Fun Day. This event is not just a day of entertainment; it’s a moment of respite, laughter, and cherished memories for families facing immense challenges. With creativity and compassion, our team engaged in various activities to brighten up the hospice grounds. Some of our members, including Sarah and Finn, took on the artistic task of painting decorative windows, infusing vibrant colors into the surroundings. These windows will be a source of inspiration and delight for the children and their families during their stay.

In addition to window painting, our team also took to the hospice gardens, where members like Eoin and Megan dedicated themselves to weeding and nurturing the outdoor spaces. The act of tending to the gardens symbolizes our commitment to providing a nurturing environment for families, caregivers, and children.

Community Bonding and Impact

Participating in this community service was a humbling experience for our team. It allowed us, including Nessa, to connect with the heartwarming mission of LauraLynn Hospice and extend our support to those who need it most. Our team members not only shared their skills but also their care and empathy, leaving a positive impact on the hospice and the families it serves.

At AOCA, we are dedicated to making a meaningful impact in both our professional field and the community around us. We believe that together, through acts of kindness and compassion, we can make a difference that truly matters. As we reflect on our involvement with LauraLynn Hospice, we are reminded of the profound impact that small gestures can have on the lives of others. Our team, including Sarah, Eoin, Megan, Finn, and Nessa, looks forward to continuing our commitment to community service, spreading positivity, and leaving a lasting impression of care and compassion wherever we go.

An Overview of the Enhanced Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme

Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme

The recent amendments to the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme mark a significant development for homeowners grappling with the aftermath of pyrite and mica infestations. This government initiative, now known as the Enhanced Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme, provides crucial financial support to affected homeowners, allowing them to repair or rebuild their homes.

The key aspects of the scheme, as outlined on the government’s official website, cover the majority of repair costs. Homeowners can now avail of 100% funding for replacement or repair of affected homes, up to a maximum of €420,000. This is a substantial increase from the previous limit of 90% funding, offering a lifeline to those burdened with significant repair costs.

Under the scheme, homeowners can apply for grants to cover the cost of carrying out necessary works, including temporary accommodation costs while work is being undertaken. However, it’s important to note that the scheme does not cover the cost of improving the property beyond its original condition.

The Enhanced Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme is a critical step towards offering substantial relief to homeowners affected by mica and pyrite. At AOCA Engineering Consultants, we believe it’s crucial to be aware of these developments and the support available. We provide certified building condition assessments, a required step in availing of the grant, and are here to guide homeowners through this process.

If you or anyone you know has been affected by defective concrete blocks and require assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us at AOCA Engineering Consultants. We’re committed to helping homeowners navigate this challenging situation and ensure they take full advantage of the aid available to them.

Why You Need a Structural Survey When Buying a House

structural survey


Are you on the hunt for a new home? It’s an exciting journey, filled with dreams of the future. However, one crucial step in this process is conducting a thorough inspection of your potential investment. Here, we dive into why this procedure, also known as a structural survey, is non-negotiable when purchasing a property.

Finding Hidden Problems :

A structural survey acts like a detective, investigating potential hidden defects that might escape the untrained eye during a viewing. This comprehensive inspection uncovers any significant structural issues, electrical problems, or potential dampness. With this detailed report, you get an insightful overview of the property’s condition, helping you dodge unwelcome surprises and costly repairs down the line.

Negotiation Power :

This detailed assessment also serves as a potent negotiating tool. If it unearths significant issues that need repair, this could impact the property’s price. You can use the findings to negotiate a lower price, potentially saving you a considerable sum of money.

Planning for Future Maintenance :

A structural survey isn’t just about pinpointing current problems; it also serves as a roadmap for future maintenance. It provides essential insights into the areas that might need attention in the coming years, helping you plan your home maintenance schedule. This foresight enables you to maintain your property’s value and extend its lifespan.

Facilitates Insurance and Mortgage Approvals :

Often, both insurance companies and mortgage lenders require an in-depth inspection of the property. By conducting a structural survey, you facilitate a smoother, quicker approval process for your insurance and mortgage applications.

Peace of Mind :

Ultimately, the most significant benefit of a structural survey is the peace of mind it provides. Knowing that your future home is structurally sound and free from major defects is priceless. It allows you to move forward with confidence, secure in your investment.


A structural survey is a critical step in buying a home. It not only helps you avoid potential issues but also assists in negotiations, future maintenance planning, and facilitates financial approvals. Most importantly, it grants you peace of mind, assuring you of the soundness of your investment. Make sure to contact AOCA if your thinking of getting a survey.

Join The Team

Positions Available

As a rapidly expanding firm, we are currently seeking highly motivated and skilled professionals to join our team in Portlaoise & Dublin. We have exciting opportunities available for a Building Surveyor with a strong background in project management and property assessment, a Structural Engineer with expertise in structural engineering and design, and a Civil/Structural/Architectural CAD Technician experienced in managing and producing drawings and reports. At AOCA, we value collaboration, attention to detail, and strong organizational skills, and we are committed to providing a supportive work environment where our team members can thrive. Explore our available engineering positions below and take the first step towards a rewarding career with AOCA Engineering Consultants.

Senior Building Surveyor

Building Surveyor Engineering Position Available

Building Surveyor – Consultancy

AOCA Engineering Consultants are seeking a highly motivated and skilled Building Surveyor to join our growing team. The successful candidate will have a strong background in project management and property assessment across the construction and property sectors. The role will be based in our Portlaoise office, and the successful candidate will work closely with senior engineers and project managers.
Key Responsibilities:

  • Delivery and management of a portfolio of projects in the residential and commercial construction and property sectors
  • Conduct site inspections and surveys
  • Collaborate with other team members to develop project plans and schedules.


  • Level 7 or 8 in degree in construction or engineering related field as a minimum, preferably Chartered
  • Knowledge of latent defect desirable
  • Knowledge of Building Regulations, TGD’s, Building Control (Amendment) Regulations and Health & Safety (Construction) Regulations in Irish/UK market
  • In depth knowledge of Fire Regulations in Irish/UK market
  • Contract Document knowledge and experience of the Irish/UK market a distinct advantage.
  • A valid and clean driving license.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Proficient in the use of industry-standard software and tools such as AutoCAD
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment.
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skill

Structural Engineer

Structural Engineering Position Available

AOCA Engineering Consultants are seeking a highly motivated and skilled Structural Engineer to join our growing team. The successful candidate will have a strong background in structural engineering and be able to contribute to a range of projects across various sectors. The role will be based in our Portlaoise office, and the successful candidate will work closely with senior engineers and project managers.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Assist in the design and analysis of structural engineering projects ranging from large residential developments to bespoke one-off designs
  • Conduct site inspections and surveys
  • Prepare engineering calculations and reports
  • Collaborate with other team members to develop project plans and schedules
  • Engage with Clients and Design Teams for Project Delivery


  • Level 7 or 8 in Civil/Structural Engineering as a minimum
  • Knowledge of Building Regulations, TGD’s, Building Control (Amendment) Regulations and Health & Safety (Construction) Regulations
  • Contract Document knowledge and experience of the Irish/UK market a distinct advantage
  • A valid and clean driving license
  • Experience in structural surveying and assessments
  • 2-4 years of relevant experience in the structural design
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Proficient in the use of industry-standard software and tools, such as AutoCAD, Revit,
  • Civils 3D, Tedds Structures or similar
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skill
  • Strong Microsoft Office Suite skills, particularly Excel

Civil/Structural/Architectural/CAD Technician

Civil/Structural/Architectural CAD Technician Positions Available Engineering

AOCA Engineering Consultants are seeking a highly motivated and skilled Civil/Structural/Architectural CAD Technician to join our growing team. The successful candidate will have a strong background in the management and production of drawings and reports. The role will be based in our Portlaoise office, and the successful candidate will work closely with senior engineers and project managers.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Manage the production of drawings and reports for projects ranging from residential developments to bespoke one-off commercial designs
  • Prepare applications for approval by regulatory bodies
  • Conduct site inspections and surveys
  • Providing support to other disciplines as required by the office workload and be able to positively advise on aspects of their design as it impacts on other engineering function.
  • Assist in the design, management and delivery of projects
  • Effectively communicate with consultants, specialist suppliers and Local Authority/Statutory Bodies


  • 2+ years of experience
  • Excellent knowledge of engineering and architectural detailing
  • Knowledge of Building Regulations, TGD’s and Building Control (Amendment) Regulations
  • Experience of the Irish/UK market a distinct advantage
  • A valid and clean driving license
  • Proficient in the use of AutoCAD.  
  • Knowledge of Revit/BIM modelling software desirable but not essential
  • The ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, both written and verbal
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skill

Click Here to contact us for more information


We at AOCA Ltd. are delighted to announce that we have been granted full planning permission for Shalom Media Ireland for the construction of a new recording studio inclusive of offices and a chapel at Lismard Business Park, Portlaoise, Co. Laois