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LACK OF INFORMATION - WHAT TO DO?

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  • 09-03-2009 11:51am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 103 ✭✭


    What's the best way to handle a distinct lack of information when compiling a BER assessment? When you've contacted the architect, builder and plumbing/heating contractor and just cannot squeeze the required information out of any of them, where do you go from there?

    The dwelling in question is a five year old apartment, gas heating and fire (no sign of the boiler though, what's that all about?), no info regarding ANYTHING in the apartment.

    My concern is that the rating is now going to be way lower than it actually should be because I just can't get the information needed to complete the BER.

    I'm at a loss to be honest and the SEI are worse than useless, haven't replied to any queries either on the phone or by e-mail.

    Any suggestions? Or just some words of wisdom to make me feel like less of a total failure? ;)


Comments

  • Subscribers Posts: 41,559 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    dsg wrote: »
    What's the best way to handle a distinct lack of information when compiling a BER assessment? When you've contacted the architect, builder and plumbing/heating contractor and just cannot squeeze the required information out of any of them, where do you go from there?

    The dwelling in question is a five year old apartment, gas heating and fire (no sign of the boiler though, what's that all about?), no info regarding ANYTHING in the apartment.

    My concern is that the rating is now going to be way lower than it actually should be because I just can't get the information needed to complete the BER.

    I'm at a loss to be honest and the SEI are worse than useless, haven't replied to any queries either on the phone or by e-mail.

    Any suggestions? Or just some words of wisdom to make me feel like less of a total failure? ;)

    If its a 5 year old apartment, then its up to YOU to do a site investigation to ascertain the data for YOURSELF.

    Anything you cannot ascertain, you default to the worst value.

    what kind of an effort have you made? was the builder on site to point out the boiler to you?

    To be honest, i cannot see where you have an issue. You must be professional in your practises, with the confidence to back up your actions should the need arise.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭topcatcbr


    dsg wrote: »
    What's the best way to handle a distinct lack of information when compiling a BER assessment? When you've contacted the architect, builder and plumbing/heating contractor and just cannot squeeze the required information out of any of them, where do you go from there?

    The dwelling in question is a five year old apartment, gas heating and fire (no sign of the boiler though, what's that all about?), no info regarding ANYTHING in the apartment.

    My concern is that the rating is now going to be way lower than it actually should be because I just can't get the information needed to complete the BER.

    I'm at a loss to be honest and the SEI are worse than useless, haven't replied to any queries either on the phone or by e-mail.

    Any suggestions? Or just some words of wisdom to make me feel like less of a total failure? ;)

    I recently came across this also where the gas boiler panel was removed and i was left with no identifying marks or logos. I got the info i required from a recent service invoice from an bord gas for the appliance. The service tech wrote down the make and model number on the docket. A bit more investigating should do this. Take plenty of pictures and bring them into a gas or oil boiler supplier or service tech and they should be able to id it.

    All the other info should be straight forward as Syd said look and you shal find.

    I hope this is of some help.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 103 ✭✭dsg


    sydthebeat wrote: »
    If its a 5 year old apartment, then its up to YOU to do a site investigation to ascertain the data for YOURSELF.

    Anything you cannot ascertain, you default to the worst value.

    what kind of an effort have you made? was the builder on site to point out the boiler to you?

    To be honest, i cannot see where you have an issue. You must be professional in your practises, with the confidence to back up your actions should the need arise.

    Thanks for that. I did go to the apartment obviously and I tore the place apart looking for the boiler, nothing to be found. Spoke to the builder on the phone and put my queries to him (followed up by e-mail) and he didn't know what to tell me about the boiler! Or anything else I asked him. The owner is away at the moment so can't contact them either. That's my next step.

    I suppose my point is that I'm going to end up defaulting pretty much all the pertinent information and this apartment, which is fairly new in the overall scheme of things, is going to come out with a rating that doesn't reflect the apartment as it is built. I know that's the point of the defaults, to use when you don't have the actual information to hand, but it seems ridiculous to me.

    Home owners just don't seem to understand the constraints we're under as assessors. I really don't want to get into an arguement with this guy about his "new" apartment....

    Off topic slightly, but I met recently with a prospective client at their home, they walked me through their "fabulous" extension, talked me through all the work they had done over the last few years, told me they were fairly confident their house would have a great rating, then lost the plot with me when I explained that unless they could provide all the back up info that I couldn't use any of the info on their say so, explained defaults etc.

    They basically called me a chancer and a scam artist and told me they were getting on to the SEI about me! What do you make of that? Surely I'm not the only one to come up against that?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 103 ✭✭dsg


    topcatcbr wrote: »
    I recently came across this also where the gas boiler panel was removed and i was left with no identifying marks or logos. I got the info i required from a recent service invoice from an bord gas for the appliance. The service tech wrote down the make and model number on the docket. A bit more investigating should do this. Take plenty of pictures and bring them into a gas or oil boiler supplier or service tech and they should be able to id it.

    All the other info should be straight forward as Syd said look and you shal find.

    I hope this is of some help.

    Ah thinking outside the box, I like it. Will get onto that straight away today.


    This BER lark is more trouble than it's worth!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 103 ✭✭dsg


    dsg wrote: »
    Ah thinking outside the box, I like it. Will get onto that straight away today.


    This BER lark is more trouble than it's worth!

    Sorry forgot to say I didn't actually find the boiler.

    There is a cupboard beside the gas fire and inside that was this, the pump. I know I'm coming across as a complete thick but I'm ready to give up on this and want to do everything possible to sort it all out.

    Thanks for all the helpful replies so far. Keep them coming.


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  • Subscribers Posts: 41,559 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    did you check under the sink for a combi boiler?

    was there a water cylinder?

    dsg, can i ask, without trying to be disrespectful and for my own curiosity, but

    1. did you complete the 'existing' part of the course?
    2. do you work in a construction related profession?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,489 ✭✭✭No6


    Perhaps the building is heated with a gas group heating scheme, one boiler for the whole building with meter points in each apartment.


  • Subscribers Posts: 41,559 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    No6 wrote: »
    Perhaps the building is heated with a gas group heating scheme, one boiler for the whole building with meter points in each apartment.

    surly the builder would have said there was a District Heating System.....

    but thats a good suggestion


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭topcatcbr


    dsg wrote: »
    Sorry forgot to say I didn't actually find the boiler.

    There is a cupboard beside the gas fire and inside that was this, the pump. I know I'm coming across as a complete thick but I'm ready to give up on this and want to do everything possible to sort it all out.

    Thanks for all the helpful replies so far. Keep them coming.

    It is possible that the boiler is in the fireplace. I.e. gass fire with backboiler.
    Ask the homeowner how they heat their home. They should know where it is. Ask a Neighbour if it is in an estate.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,489 ✭✭✭No6


    sydthebeat wrote: »
    surly the builder would have said there was a District Heating System.....

    but thats a good suggestion
    If he has build a lot of apartments in the same area in the last number of years he may not remember. For an existing building the op should be assessing what is there not generally chasing builders for information, if there's no visable heating system or the gas boiler is missing then default to electric heating!!!:eek: and give them a bad rating!!!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 103 ✭✭dsg


    sydthebeat wrote: »
    did you check under the sink for a combi boiler?

    was there a water cylinder?

    dsg, can i ask, without trying to be disrespectful and for my own curiosity, but

    1. did you complete the 'existing' part of the course?
    2. do you work in a construction related profession?

    no offence taken syd, and to answer your questions, yes and yes!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 103 ✭✭dsg


    topcatcbr wrote: »
    It is possible that the boiler is in the fireplace. I.e. gass fire with backboiler.
    Ask the homeowner how they heat their home. They should know where it is. Ask a Neighbour if it is in an estate.


    Backboiler is a possibility yes.

    Neighbours weren't exactly forthcoming, told me to get off the property even after I explained who i was and why i was there. And this was in an open apartment complex, I suppose they were just being security conscious though.

    OT I'm tired of being shouted at by homeowners on the phone and at their houses and ridiculed via e-mail etc. just because I'm trying to do my job properly and explaining the ins and outs of the system and defaults etc.


  • Subscribers Posts: 41,559 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    dsg wrote: »
    no offence taken syd, and to answer your questions, yes and yes!

    Thanks dsg...

    I always firmly leave the responsibility at the clients door. I explain if an area is inaccessible it will mean defaulting to the worst rating.

    i have had cases where the oil burner was in a garage that was locked, after i explained i needed to see it. well, i simply defaulted to the worst oil burner for that age band.

    I feel for your frustrations. you are trying to give your client the best rating possible.. but there is always a breaking point.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭topcatcbr


    dsg wrote: »
    Backboiler is a possibility yes.

    Neighbours weren't exactly forthcoming, told me to get off the property even after I explained who i was and why i was there. And this was in an open apartment complex, I suppose they were just being security conscious though.

    OT I'm tired of being shouted at by homeowners on the phone and at their houses and ridiculed via e-mail etc. just because I'm trying to do my job properly and explaining the ins and outs of the system and defaults etc.

    Tough job.

    From experience i have found not to get into conversation if possible. Get in do the work and get out. Dont discuss their opinions on the merits or otherwise if possible. Mostly they are getting it done because they have to. If this is the case then i found it is best to do it on this basis. They dont want you there so be there for as short a time as possible.

    I have not encountered any serious hostility yet.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 103 ✭✭dsg


    sydthebeat wrote: »
    Thanks dsg...

    I always firmly leave the responsibility at the clients door. I explain if an area is inaccessible it will mean defaulting to the worst rating.

    i have had cases where the oil burner was in a garage that was locked, after i explained i needed to see it. well, i simply defaulted to the worst oil burner for that age band.

    I feel for your frustrations. you are trying to give your client the best rating possible.. but there is always a breaking point.

    Yep, you're right, I'm going with the info I have and explaining the reasons for it to the client and going to leave it at that. I just want to do my best that's all and hopefully not have anything come back and bite me.
    topcatcbr wrote: »
    Tough job.

    From experience i have found not to get into conversation if possible. Get in do the work and get out. Dont discuss their opinions on the merits or otherwise if possible. Mostly they are getting it done because they have to. If this is the case then i found it is best to do it on this basis. They dont want you there so be there for as short a time as possible.

    I have not encountered any serious hostility yet.

    Oh trust me I don't get into conversation if I can help it, I just want to get in and out as quickly as possible too. Unfortunately some people (certain men) haven't wanted me to leave.....say no more.

    Well the replies so far have been helpful so thanks a lot lads.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,025 ✭✭✭d'Oracle


    I have real sympathy for the Assessors on the ground.

    People can be such muppets.
    Especially the house proud "Eco" people who have popped up in the last few years.

    The type who watch grand designs and think they are frickin' Duncan Stewart.

    Bad Eggs.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 166 ✭✭SilverBER


    I had a situation where the apartment I assessed rated as a C2. It was a midfloor end of terrace with a full exposed gable wall and no draught lobby. He freaked out because his neighbour had a B2 for his apartment. Part of my problem was that the walls were 480mm thick but there is nothing in DEAP to allow for that and there was no paper confirmation of the wall construction so what could I do?
    I got paid but it leaves a sour taste.


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