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D A T H A N N A    A r c h i t e c t u r e

. . . .    c o n s e r v a t i o n    p r o j e c t s  . . . . 

Deirdre Keeley of Dathanna Architecture is accredited in conservation at Grade III and has a wide range of experience in working with protected structures, from residential properties to buildings of national and state importance, having worked on projects with the Office of Public Works in both Leinster House and Dublin Castle in recent years, and in private practive on projects such as Killeen Castle, with Fitz.Gerald and Associates (surveyed reflected ceiling plan - right). 


Such experience has led us to developing a comprehensive package of services to owners and occupiers of protected structures at Dathanna Architecture.  


A sample of the services provided are outlined below.  Do contact us directly if you would like to discuss your property and its particular requirements with us.


C O N T A C T    U S    T O D A Y

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We carry out a wide range of surveys for protected structures and their associated context.  The scope of a historical survey may vary quite widely depending on the particular requirements, and may include some of the following:


- Written account of the existing structure, to include but not limited to historical background, significance, account of the building historical development, relevant historical research, cartoraphical analysis, history of building occupants and relevant uses, analysis of recent development / planning history, etc

- Survey drawings (plans, sections, elevations and where relevant, reflected ceiling plans, detailed surveys of relevant joinery, plasterwork to include taking record profiles etc)

- Photographic survey / room by room survey

- Advice if specialist surveys would be recommended (eg paint analysis, investigation and research; wallpaper analysis; non-destructive timber testing and strength grading; damp masonry analysis / environmental monitoring etc)


The following is an excellent resource in reviewing what is involved when surveying a protected structure:





We have successful experience in preparing grant application submissions for the Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme. In 2014, a grant application submitted by Dathanna Architecture to Dublin City Council for consideration was successful, and monies have been awarded towards the conservation and refurbishment of early 18th century sash windows on a prominent building on James Street. 





This scheme is progressed by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, with €2 million funding available in 2016. Administration of the scheme is carried out by local authorities.


Dathanna Architecture manage the grant scheme on behalf of the owner / occupier, as follows:


We prepare on behalf of the owner / occupier all grant application documentation, apply for the associated relevant statutory approvals, tender the relevant construction works, liaise with the local authority for the duration of the works, carry out periodic inspections on site to ensure works are being carried out in accordance with the relevant local authority guidelines, and organise for all relevant paperwork to be completed in order to successfully draw down the grant upon satisfactory completion of the works.



The Irish Georgian Society alsolaunched a new Conservation Grants Scheme to provide financial assistance for works to structures of significant architectural merit.


Further information may be viewed at


Dathanna Architecture offer a similar management service to that of a project under a Built Heritage Investment Scheme grant.




Dathanna Architecture prepare and submit Section 5 / 57 Declaration submissions on behalf of owner / occupiers for works to a protected structure where the extent of works do not require a full planning application to be submitted, but require clarification from the planning authorities as to the extent of works permitted subject to an exemption declaration, for example carrying out refurbishment works to existing historic sash windows, carrying out sympathetic roof repairs etc. Further information on the various processes is outlined below.



Under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000-2002 any person, on payment of the prescribed fee, may request in writing from the planning authority a declaration as to what in any particular case is or is not exempted development within the meaning of the Act. The person shall provide to the planning authority any information necessary to enable the authority to make a decision on the matter.


The required documents to be prepared as part of a submission include:

  • Site location map

  • A photographic record of the historic fabric to be affected / impacted upon by the proposed works and a general photo of the building

  • An outline explaining justification for and assessment of the impact of the proposed works on the protected structure

  • A method statement outlining the proposed works to include a specification of the materials to be used

  • Elevation, plan and detail drawings where appropriate


All proposed works should also refer to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Advice Series documents, outlining best practice advice for conservation work.



Under the Planning and Development Act 2000-2002 works which would normally be considered exempted development under Section 4(i)h of the Act may not be exempt in a Protected Structure or a Proposed Protected Structure. Section 57 of the same Act allows for the owner or occupier of a Protected Structure or a Proposed Protected Structure to make a written request to the planning authority to issue a declaration as to the type of works which it considers would or would not materially affect the character of the structure or any element of the structure, thereby clarifying which works would be considered exempted development.


Such a declaration assists the owner of a protected structure to carry out routine maintenance, secure in the knowledge of what is and is not considered to be an issue in terms of exempted development



If the building in question is a protected structure, or is located in an architectural conservation area, it is a general requirement that advice from an architect with specialised skills in conservation will be required.


While the planning application process is generally the same for a standard planning application, the level of detail required is much greater. Drawings are required at a larger scale, with existing, demolition and proposed works clearly identified.


A photographic survey of the existing structure is required to accompany the building.


Likewise, an architectural heritage impact assessment may be required to accompany the application, depending on the extent of works involved. This involves the collation and presentation of the following information:


  • Core data – purpose of the assessment, name and location of the structure, a description of the structure, details of the statutory protections, details of the individual / agency who prepared the report

  • Description of the structure(s), noting all the relevant salient features, to include a statement of significance.

  • Analysis of the existing structure

  • Cartographical analysis & relevant historical analysis (eg. Reference to Thoms Directory, Census records, Griffiths Valuation etc)

  • Impact assessment – an evaluation of the quality and importance of the structure & implications of the development for the character of the structure and the area in which it is located

  • Recommendations and Conclusions – to include mitigation measures where appropriate.



Fire Safety Certificate Applications & Disability Access Certificates when dealing with protected structures must balance the protection of historic fabric against meeting building regulations. New interventions must carefully be designed to satisfy both the conservation officer and the building control authorities. 



Tender and construction stages when dealing with protected structures require detailed relevant method statements, specifications and recording methodologies to be in place to ensure that all proposals adhere to recommended conservation guidelines.  In some cases, enabling works / investigation contracts may be required to carry out limited opening up / lifting of floorboards etc to establish a cohesive approach to a larger programme of works. A high level of co-ordination is required with the contractor / specialist sub-contractors throughout.


Window, James St © Lambstongue
Replica ovolo sash, James St
Window repairs by Lambstongue
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