Longboat Quay architect ‘would be happy to live there’

Eugen van Jaarsveld, architect of Longboat Quay apartments inDublin, which residents may have to leave due to fire safety fears.

The architect who oversaw the construction of Longboat Quay has said he would be happy to live in the complex with his children.

Eugene Van Jaarsveld told RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline the 298-unit apartment complex was a “quality build”.

He said that there was no problem whatsoever with it when he signed off on it upon completion.

Speaking from Ghana, where he is currently working, Mr Van Jaarsveld said he does not know what the problem is with it now as he has not seen any reports highlighting deficiencies.

Two fire consultants, Ryan & Associates, and Michael Slattery and Associates, as well as Dublin Fire Brigade, have all compiled reports detailing glaring deficiencies in the complex, which was completed in 2006 by a Bernard McNamara company.

The estimated cost to complete the remedial work is €4m, but Mr Van Jaarsveld says he knows nothing about any shortcomings.

He told Joe Duffy that Longboat Quay was built according to design and all regulations were adhered to.

Mr Van Jaarsveld is a South African-born architect who was employed as one of Mr McNamara’s lead architects during the boom.

Mr Jaarsveld told the programme that Dublin is still his home, but he would not be back from Ghana until December or January.

When Mr Duffy asked him how building regulations in Ghana compared with Ireland, the architect replied regulations were “non-existent” in the African country.

Meanwhile, the Irish Examiner understands that up to €10m was spent in completing fire safety remedial works in another McNamara development, Elm Park in south Dublin.

The safety issues were similar to those that have arisen in Longboat Quay, and the works were paid for by the receiver for more than two thirds of the 350 apartments in the development. The receiver was acting on behalf of Nama, which ultimately picked up the tab.

Last week, Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh told the Public Accounts Committee the agency had spent millions on remedial work on another McNamara development, but he did not name the development.

There has been no further offer from the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) to residents of Longboat Quay to pay for the €4m remedial works.

Last night, resident and director of the management company, Richard Eardley, said that neither had they received confirmation from the receiver for the McNamara apartments to pay €750,000 as pledged last week.

The residents had said if no firm improved offer was made by today, they would go down the legal route . The DDDA and the receiver have pledged to put up €1.5m of the €4m, leaving residents to foot the remainder of the bill — a scenario which they find unacceptable.

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