• 16 Mar 2022

RIAI welcomes judgment to protect the use of the word ‘architectural’

The RIAI has welcomed the District Court judgment made on Friday 11 March in the case of RIAI v Turnkey Planning and Architectural Services Limited (now I Design Planning Consultants Limited).

The case, taken by the RIAI, involved the unlawful use by Turnkey Planning and Architectural Services Limited of the word “architectural” when the business was not under the control and management of a registered architect.

Under section 18 of the Building Control Act 2007, it is illegal for anyone to describe themselves as an architect or to practice or carry-on business under a name containing the word ‘architect’ or cognate uses of the word such as ‘architecture’ and ‘architectural’ when not registered with the RIAI.

The Court was informed that in order to comply with the Act the Company Directors, Ian Daniels and Emma Hurley, had changed the name of the company to “I Design Planning Consultants Limited”. The Company pleaded guilty and received a fine of €1,500.

Speaking after the judgment the RIAI Registrar of Architects, Frank Turvey said, “The 2007 Building Control Act protects the use of the word ‘architect’ or cognate uses of the word such as architecture and architectural in business names by restricting their use to businesses under the control and management of a registered architect. This is to protect the public from dishonest individuals who deliberately mislead people by implying that they are something which they are not.

Through their education, training, and experience a Registered Architect has demonstrated the competence required to practice as an Architect in Ireland. Before engaging an architecture practice, consumers should check that the person who has control and management of the practice is registered with the RIAI. Otherwise, they risk engaging a practice that does not employ any architects and does not have the competencies required to complete or certify the project and its employees are not governed by the RIAI code of conduct.

We in the RIAI welcome the decision of the Court in this case. We hope others see this as a deterrent to using words such as, ‘architect’, ‘architectural’ or ‘architecture’ in relation to their business to deliberately mislead members of the public as to their training and professional credentials.

The RIAI gives every opportunity for those who are found to be misusing the word to comply with the legislation; prosecution is used as a last resort against those who persist in misusing the word ‘architect’, ‘architecture’ or architectural’ in their business name, despite fair warning, as was the case in this instance.”

The Register of Architects can be checked online


For media queries, please contact:
Danielle Martin, Drury, 086 776 1592 | E: Danielle.martin@drury.ie
Dr Sandra O'Connell, RIAI Director of Architecture and Communications, T 01 6691474 | E: soconnell@riai.ie