Architecture And Design
We believe that good design has the power to make a positive impact on the environment in which people live and work. We aspire to understand, safeguard and improve buildings and their surroundings so, as well as helping the built environment to evolve to meet changing needs, we also leave them better than before.
We are regularly entrusted with working on design proposals for historic buildings, special landscapes and in places of varied character throughout the South East of England. Each project receives an entirely individual approach and we tailor our architectural design solutions according to the client’s requirements, place and context. We are equally comfortable working in both contemporary and traditional architectural styles, and projects range from small domestic extensions and alterations through to new-build housing schemes, commercial properties, conservation projects, community buildings and changes of use.
We will normally arrange an initial meeting without any charge or obligation, to listen to your ideas and goals. We will discuss with you the most appropriate way of achieving them.
Following this meeting we will provide an itemised fee proposal, setting out our charges for each stage of the project. Typically, the work stages are as described in the next few paragraphs, although each project varies, and you may not need all of these services. We will always endeavour to tailor our service to meet your specific requirements.
We will prepare a detailed measured survey of the building or site which is essential to produce accurate existing layouts to work from.
Initially we will develop a sketch proposal in accordance with our first meeting and agreed brief. The proposals can be presented in the form of hand drawn or digital plans, perspective sketches or full 3D digital models depending on the nature of the project and services required. We fully expect to produce various iterations of a scheme to agree the principles of the design to our client’s satisfaction.
As part of a scheme we will advise on any requirement for specialist consultants covering aspects such as historical, ecological or arboricultural. Once all necessary documents are produced, we will submit a planning application on your behalf and liaise with planning officers until a decision is issued.
Building regulations are legal standards covering matters such as structural integrity, energy efficiency and fire safety. We will prepare and co-ordinate submissions to a building control inspector (either local authority or private) to ensure compliance with the regulations. This can also require the services of an energy consultant.
Once planning permission has been granted, we can develop the proposals further, preparing detailed drawings and a written specification as required. These documents will form the basis of the following work stages.
The Tender Process
Several procurement routes are possible, and we will provide advice on this to enable you to select the most suitable approach for your project. This will often be a competitive tender, in which case we will work with you to agree a list of suitable contractors and we will prepare and issue detailed tender drawings and schedules to enable the contractors to return accurate, itemised prices. A fixed time period is allowed for the tender process and when tenders are returned, we will analyse the figures and provide you with our comments to help you choose your contractor.
We will arrange and chair a pre-commencement meeting and, once the building work is underway, we will carry out regular site visits and meetings to check that the work is being carried out in accordance with the required standards and to help resolve any unexpected problems. If necessary, we will issue further drawings and written instructions authorising variations which may affect the cost and time of the project. We will also certify monthly payments and carry out a final inspection on completion of the works and agree a final account for the works. Our service is designed to ensure that you and your builder have the necessary support to create the building that we designed for you.
Health and Safety
At each stage of the project we will provide advice to you about your responsibility for Health and Safety. We are competent, suitably skilled and experienced to act as a Principal Designer under the Construction, Design and Management Regulations 2015 (CDM). We can provide you, the other consultants and the builder advice in respect of these regulations at each stage of the project.