Ian Ritchie Architects

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Policies

Quality Assurance

Ian Ritchie Architects Ltd (iRAL) has formal ISO 9001: 2008 accreditation

iRAL aims to provide a consistent, competent and professional service which is focused on satisfying the requirements and expectations of our clients and end users. The qualities which characterize this service are also reflected in our day to day relationships with professional colleagues and other members of the construction team. We have had no claim on our PI insurance in thirty years of practice.

The service is supported by the following additional policy aims:

Management Policy:
To embrace the quality management principles and requirements outlined in ISO 9001:2008 as a framework for improving performance and consistently achieving client satisfaction.

Staff Policy:
To strive to create and maintain a humane work environment where staff are encouraged and given opportunities to continuously improve their skills.

Environmental Policy:
To embrace the principles of sustainable development in our designs.

Health and Safety Policy:
To provide a safe working environment and to incorporate the best health and safety practices in the discharge of our duties as designers.

By means of the development and implementation of the Quality Management System, the Practice demonstrates clear and controlled systematic working methods. This system is subject to regular review to ensure its continuing effectiveness and relevance to the Practice requirements and to provide for continuing improvement.

Quality Assurance Processes

Quality control is central to all iRAL activities. It is the essence of realising our architecture and leaving both a satisfied client and user.

Our work in the Rail Industry has demanded significantly higher standards of quality management consistent with meeting the relevant parts of BS 50126:1999 Railway Applications: The Specification and Demonstration of Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety.
In order to achieve this iRAL have implemented an ISO 9001 compliant Quality Management System with specific additional requirements to meet the Railway Industry Standards on transport infrastructure projects. The combined processes have been extensively audited by independent organizations and a formal accreditation as both architectural and lead designers has been received from London Underground Ltd.

Implementation of the QMS has had a number of beneficial effects and has contributed to a continual improvement in the service that iRAL provide to its clients. iRAL quality assurance processes ensure that client, funder, stakeholder and user requirements are rigorously developed, recorded and monitored. Formal project reviews are carried out by a senior member of staff during key project stages to verify project requirements and all technical and design submissions are signed off by a Projects Director. All project changes are rigorously controlled by a Change Control process. The QMS also has processes which require feedback both during the project development phases as well as post completion.

Our aim is continuously to improve upon our already established standards.

Ethical Policy

iRAL seek to achieve in our work better social and environmental design solutions through genuine collaboration and intelligent design.

Every individual in our office and those with whom we collaborate are treated as equals.

We do not believe that hierarchies should exist in an intellectual and creative atmosphere.

We do not allow prejudice to influence the design process, nor do we accept that design apartheid should exist between professionals.

We recognise that the job, not our job, is the essential driver of working relationships.

Our aim is to achieve the very highest standards in design and in the manner in which we undertake our work.

All individuals in our practice are aware that their contributions are vital to the success of the projects that we undertake together for our clients, and that their actions should reflect the highest standards of ethical behaviour.

Our attitude towards others and the society in which we live directly informs the way we work.

iRAL will not accept commissions that we consider may irrevocably damage the environment, involve military activity, undermine successful social structures or engage with authorities that are party to the abuse of human rights.

We are not prepared to compromise our ethical values for profit.

Employment Policy

iRAL fully adheres to the Equality Act 2010 on equality and diversity which makes it unlawful to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of race, sex, pregnancy and maternity, marriage or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, disability, religion or belief, age or sexual orientation. All applicants will be assessed solely on merit and ability.

Environmental Policy

iRAL has formal ISO 14001: 2004 accreditation.

Our commitment is to:

To meet our commitments we will:

Environmental objectives will be established early with a client in order to address particular sensitivities and provide an agreed reference framework for the design team.

iRAL has been committed to an environmentally sustainable design approach since the practice was established in 1981. Our projects testify to our philosophy not to waste and to construct buildings that optimise carbon free energy and minimise energy bills.
We investigate and assess and, when appropriate, embrace the latest advances in engineering and environmental technology which are intelligent and relevant.

Since 1990, we have sought to use materials and products that use less energy in their manufacture and use and which require little or no maintenance. Well before sustainability was on any government agenda, Ian Ritchie was lecturing on the subject using his own projects as exemplars, beginning with low-cost, self-construct, passive and active solar energy housing (Fluy 1976; Eagle Rock House 1981). We also designed a zero energy cultural greenhouse (theatre/exhibition space, France 1993) which was the only building finalist in the global Design Sense Award sponsored by Corus and the Design Museum.

Ian Ritchie chaired the launch of the first global book on sustainability ‘Blueprint for A Green Planet’ by Seymour, Girardet and Penney’s, at The Ecology Centre, London, 1987

Health and Safety Policy

iRAL considers health and safety at work to be of fundamental importance. We have always strived to create a humane organisation where the welfare of people is of central concern. This applies to our own employees and to those who visit our premises, but it also affects those with whom we collaborate, those to whom we provide our professional skills and the users of the buildings we design. Since operating our Health and Safety Policy from 1990 we have had no reportable incidents.

General Policy

Policy in relation to employees and persons visiting iRAL premises:

Policy in relation to professional services:

Risk Assessment:

The Practice, in accordance with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and using competent persons, will make suitable and sufficient assessment of all relevant risks or hazards affecting:

The assessments will be recorded and any required changes will be made and recorded accordingly.