First ever profile poles going up…

There are a few things that I would have had no experience of in the UK before moving to work as an architect in Ireland;(probably the most important are the technicalities regarding septic tanks and effluent treatment systems) but the subject of this post is the widespread use of profile poles to assist in making Planning decisions.

For the uninitiated, profile poles are set up on a site in order to show the Planning Officer the eact height and profile of the proposed construction. The timbers are obviously at the correct length and height for the proposed house (which is where they are most requested) and are frequently held together with high-visibilty rope or string.

On first working in Ireland, I never really understood the benefit of using such profile-poles; but their advantage is that they are an excellent way of working with your planner and showing him/her exactly the proposed height and scale of the development.

Up until this I’d used technology to show this size and scale (and still do, mostly with VectorWorks), the image below shows the original CAD image of our own house, that was used at pre-planning stage:


Original CAD image of our house

(Interesting comparing the original concept to what actually got built )
The image shown on the banner of this website was also a photo-montage for a proposed house nearby that was used for planning and publicity purposes. (Image by

Well anyway, my first set of profile poles are going up and they do actually work, they also aid in setting up the photo-montage where I can manipulate the 3D model to line up with the poles.

Profile poles going up (work in progress)

Profile poles going up (work in progress)

Would love to know any other countries that have adopted a similar practice; rural UK, USA?

Comments as always welcome…

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