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.

Why You Need A Structural Engineer For Your New Home Build

Structural Engineer

The importance of a structural engineer in the construction process cannot be overstated. These professionals are at the heart of ensuring the longevity and safety of your new home.

1. Safety Assurance

  • At the core of a structural engineer’s role is the assurance of safety. They possess a deep understanding of the principles of physics and material science, using this knowledge to ensure your new home can withstand environmental pressures, gravitational forces, and human use. They meticulously assess every aspect of the structure to prevent any safety hazards, providing you with peace of mind.

2. Enhanced Cost-Efficiency

  • Involving a structural engineer in your new home build is an investment that can save significant money in the long term. By ensuring that your structure is designed and built correctly from the onset, they help eliminate the risk of structural failures that can lead to costly repairs or rebuilding. They can also recommend the most cost-effective materials and construction methods without compromising safety and quality.

3. Compliance with Building Regulations

  • Every construction project must adhere to specific local and national building codes and regulations. A structural engineer is well-versed in these rules and standards and ensures your new home build complies with all of them. Their involvement can save you from potential legal issues, fines, or penalties due to non-compliance.

4. Unlocking Design Possibilities

  • Structural engineers bridge the gap between architectural aesthetics and structural feasibility. They work closely with architects to turn design ideas into reality while ensuring they’re structurally sound. This collaboration opens up a world of enhanced design possibilities, allowing for innovative and creative solutions that meet your design aspirations.

5. Professional Expertise and Guidance

  • Structural engineers offer invaluable guidance throughout the construction process. They provide expert advice on materials selection, design limitations, and potential construction challenges. This professional input helps prevent unforeseen issues during construction, saving time and stress.

In conclusion, enlisting the services of a structural engineer for your new home build is not just a necessary step; it’s a wise decision. If and when a potential design challenge arises on site the Structural engineer offers quick and effective solutions to remediate the issue and allow the construction to carry on with minimal time disturbance thus allowing the project to progress and evolve naturally. At AOCA Engineering Consultants, we’re committed to providing top-tier structural engineering services that ensure the safety, efficiency, and beauty of your home.

Using AI in Assessing Damage in Reinforced Concrete Structures


Crack In Building



Using AI in Assessing Damage in Reinforced Concrete Structures




Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing many industries, and the field of engineering is no exception. In a recent Engineers Ireland article, the potential of AI in assessing damage in reinforced concrete structures is explored.

Cracks in reinforced concrete can threaten structural integrity, a critical aspect of all engineering projects. The ability to identify and categorize crack patterns early on can differentiate between timely, safe interventions and severe structural issues. Traditional crack analysis methods can be time-consuming and subject to human error, but AI promises to transform this landscape. AI technology can comprehensively scan the surface of a structure, identifying and categorizing cracks with remarkable precision. It can even predict the future progression of these cracks, shaping preventative maintenance and repair strategies. This potential innovation could bolster the effectiveness of engineering consultants, impacting firms like AOCA Engineering Consultants indirectly.


At AOCA, we are always on the lookout for technologies that can enhance the engineering industry as a whole. The application of AI in the assessment of reinforced concrete structures signifies a fascinating development, and it’s a development that we’re keeping a keen eye on. While we are not directly involved in the development of such technology, the potential application of AI in our industry could revolutionize how structural assessments are conducted, bringing unrivalled accuracy and efficiency to engineering projects. As keen observers of this evolving landscape, we anticipate the myriad benefits this could bring to our clients and our industry.

As the future of engineering leans increasingly towards digital solutions, at AOCA, we’re excited to observe this evolution, always ready to support and invest in cutting-edge technologies that promise to create safer, more efficient structures.


5 Simple Steps To Detect Pyrite In Your Home

5 Simple Steps to Detect Pyrite in Your Home

What is Pyrite?

Pyrite, a naturally occurring mineral found in stone, can cause significant structural issues in homes. It’s important for homeowners to be aware of the signs of pyrite damage to catch it early and mitigate any potential harm. If you’re concerned about pyrite in your home, follow these five simple steps to detect its presence.

Pyrite Floor

How Do I Detect Pyrite In My Home?

1. Look for Signs of Heaving or Lifting: Pyrite can cause a phenomenon known as ‘heaving’ where the floor lifts due to the expansion of the hardcore under the floor slab. This is often more noticeable in areas with tiled flooring, as the tiles can crack or lift due to the pressure from underneath. The first step in detecting pyrite is looking for signs of uneven floors.

2. Check for Cracks in Walls and Floors: Pyrite damage is often characterized by the appearance of cracks in walls and floors. These cracks usually form diagonally and can often be seen around door frames or windows. Over time, as pyrite expands, these cracks may start small and then progressively grow larger.

3. Inspect External Walls and Pavings: Pyrite isn’t only an indoor problem. It can also cause external walls and pavings to crack. Bulging, cracks, or distortion in your external brickwork or pavements around the house can be indicative of pyrite.

4. Monitor Over Time: Pyrite damage can take time to become visible. If you suspect your home might have pyrite, monitor the potential signs over several months. A worsening of the cracking or floor lifting could be indicative of the presence of pyrite.

5. Engage a Professional Inspection: If you’ve noticed any of the above signs, it’s time to engage a professional. A Building Condition Assessment (BCA) carried out by certified engineers following the I.S. 398 standard, like our team at AOCA Engineering Consultants, can confirm if pyrite is present. We will carry out a comprehensive inspection and provide all relevant certifications associated with the inspection.

Early Detection of Pyrite

Early detection of pyrite can save homeowners a great deal of trouble and expense. Don’t ignore the signs – if you suspect pyrite, take action. Get in touch with AOCA Engineering Consultants for expert advice and thorough pyrite inspections.

World Environment Day: Embracing Sustainable Practices

World Environment Day

On World Environment Day, we take a moment to reflect on the significant role that engineering plays in the global movement towards environmental sustainability. At AOCA Engineering Consultants, we’re deeply committed to aligning our practices with this vital cause, continually striving to incorporate and promote sustainable solutions across all our projects.

One of our core areas of focus is renewable energy. Sources such as wind, solar, and marine energy present vast opportunities for us to reduce our carbon footprint and work towards a resilient, clean energy future. We understand that their potential extends far beyond merely generating power — they offer us a chance to redefine our relationship with the environment, and envision a future where human activities harmoniously coexist with nature.

As engineers, our involvement is not limited to simply incorporating renewable technologies into our projects. We are positioned to effect change at every stage of the engineering process. From the initial concept design, through material selection, to the implementation of energy-efficient systems and practices, we take an integrative approach. This comprehensive method allows us to deliver projects that are not only technically proficient but also environmentally considerate.

As reported by Engineers Ireland, a revolutionary motionless wind turbine is here, boasting an impressive 50% more efficiency than regular turbines. This turbine, innovated by Aeromine Technologies, also generates renewable energy up to a 100mph wind speed!

At AOCA, we firmly believe that engineering can and should be a powerful tool for protecting our planet. Renewable energy, including wind, solar, and marine, is one of the primary ways we can reduce our environmental footprint. This new wind turbine technology can significantly change the energy landscape by making wind power more efficient and viable.

In all our projects, we strive to incorporate the most efficient, environmentally friendly technologies available. We’re excited to see how innovations like the motionless wind turbine from Aeromine Technologies can help us in our mission.

Join us in observing #WorldEnvironmentDay, and let’s continue working together towards a more sustainable future!

Aidan O’Connell’s Engineering Journey: An Exclusive Podcast Feature

Chartered Engineer Aidan O’Connell’s engineering journey has been discussed while he recently appeared on the Engineers Ireland podcast. Dusty Rhodes, the host, engaged Aidan in an enlightening discussion. As the Managing Director of AOCA, Aidan shared the story of his captivating journey into the world of engineering.

His encounter with pyrite in 2006 marked a pivotal career moment. He spoke about this mineral’s impact on building structures. Aidan’s commitment to finding solutions led him to set industry standards for dealing with pyrite. Now, AOCA is a trusted name for handling pyritic heave problems.

Aidan’s leadership skills and hands-on approach shine through as he recounts the challenges of establishing AOCA. From competing with established local councils to driving innovation, his journey is an inspiring story.

Interestingly, Aidan also touched upon the role of the younger generation. He believes that fresh perspectives are essential for the industry’s evolution. The podcast truly showcases how Aidan values new ideas, and how he plans to integrate the idea into the business.

A highlight of the conversation was when Aidan discussed his recognition as a Fellow of Engineers Ireland. This honor is for individuals who have significantly contributed to the engineering profession. His advice for those aspiring to this status was incredibly insightful.

For those who aim to grow in engineering, this podcast is a treasure trove. Aidan O’Connell shares his wisdom on tackling engineering challenges and leading in the industry. Don’t miss out on this must-listen episode.

You can explore the full podcast here to gain in-depth knowledge and insights. Immerse yourself in Aidan’s world of engineering leadership and learn about professional growth at AOCA. We’re setting industry standards and ensuring building safety.

Join us on this insightful journey as we delve deeper into the world of engineering and discover how to navigate the challenges that come our way. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated.

Modern Construction Methods Demand Updated Fire Safety Regulations

Dennis Keeley: Chief Fire Officer of Dublin Fire Brigade

The advancements in the construction industry have ushered in an era of modern methods and materials which will help fire safety regulations be updated in construction. However, these progressions pose new challenges to fire safety, prompting a call for updated regulations. Dennis Keeley, the Chief Fire Officer of Dublin Fire Brigade, brought this matter into focus recently.

As per a report by the Business Post, Keeley highlighted the increasing prevalence of timber frame and modular construction in contemporary builds. These techniques, while time and cost-efficient, require more intricate fire safety considerations.

“Building regulations need to keep pace with new methods of construction. We cannot ignore the speed at which these new forms of construction are being developed,” Keeley was quoted as saying in the report. His sentiments underscore the imperative need for adaptability in our regulatory structures, as the industry continues to evolve.

While traditional masonry structures offer greater resistance to fire spread, timber frame and modular buildings necessitate advanced fire safety measures. Keeley’s plea for revised fire safety regulations reflects the importance of adapting safety standards to accommodate these evolving construction techniques.

At AOCA Engineering Consultants, we acknowledge the pivotal role of fire safety in building design and construction. We are keenly aware of the latest developments in construction methodologies and fire safety regulations.

With every project, our aim is to ensure that buildings we contribute to are not only structurally robust but also adhere to the highest safety standards. This includes collaborating with our clients to implement fire safety strategies tailored to the construction methods employed.

Keeley’s statements underscore the need for continuous adaptation within the construction industry. As engineers, our duty extends beyond structural design to ensuring our practices evolve alongside the industry, always prioritising safety.

AOCA Engineering Consultants is dedicated to integrating the latest and best safety standards in all our projects. We ensure every structure we work on is not just built to last but also safeguards its occupants.

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


Government signs off on €420,000 grant cap for Mica redress scheme

Cabinet ministers have signed off on a €420,000 cap on a revised mica scheme.

Homeowners of mica-affected homes will be able to seek redress from the State of up to €420,000, minister for housing Darragh O’Brien announced today.

See the full article in the link below 👇👇