What sort of help do you require?
If you require an Architect, Architectural Designer, Architectural Technologist, Architectural Technician, or a Surveyor, to design a new home, an extension, a loft conversion, barn conversion, restoration, renovation, home improvements or the design of a commercial building, you will find them on this website. Architects are generally recommended for most design projects as they are highly trained and can bring a high level of design flair and experience. Large projects are usually designed, and also often project managed, by registered Architects but many smaller projects are done by Architectural Technicians or Surveyors. There are no hard and fast rules. If you are about to embark on a project it will probably be best for you to talk to a range of potential suppliers and then start to identify what sort of supplier will be best for you.
What are your requirements?
Your chosen supplier will be able to help you consider what you want out of the project and how your requirements are likely to change in the future. You will also need to consider the requirements of the local planning authorities, possible limitations of the existing building or site, and other regulatory requirements. Historic buildings will also have further requirements and permissions that will need to be taken into consideration.
As well as discussing your requirement and your options in detail and producing drawings, your chosen supplier may also be able to help you with planning applications, party wall issues, and sourcing builders and contractors to undertake the work. Some suppliers will also provide management services to oversee the whole project if required.
What questions should you be asking?
A good Architect, Architectural Technician or Surveyor providing an Architectural Design service, will have a lot of experience of producing innovative designs for a wide variety of conditions. Some of the points that they will be considering will be:
- How can the project be planned to best suit your requirements and those of the planners and other regulatory bodies?
- How can costs be kept to a minimum but without cutting corners?
- How can the project be carried out using sustainable methods to reduce the impact on the environment?
- Does anything need to be considered to ensure that the resulting building is free from toxic emissions?
- How can the building be made reasonably airtight to keep unwanted draughts out but at the same time ensure adequate ventilation?
- How should insulation be used to keep the building warm?
- What consideration will need to be given to the use of breathable materials to allow moisture to satisfactorily pass through the building fabric? The new building should not suffer from condensation problems.
- How can solar energy be captured to help keep the building warm during cold periods?
- How can solar shading be used to ensure that the building does not get too hot in the summer?
- What are the options for the use of natural and renewable energy like wood for heating, and wind and sun for electricity generation?
- How can water usage be kept to a minimum? Is there scope for rainwater capture for washing machines, toilets and garden irrigation?
- What are the requirements for sewage waste and treatment on site?
- What materials can be sourced locally, using a smaller carbon footprint?
- Are there any party wall requirements that will need to be considered?
- Should an old building be pulled down, or can it be renovated, in a way that uses less new materials and generates less waste?
- How can a new building be constructed so that at the end of its life as much of the materials as possible can be reused or recycled in a more sustainable way?
General information about Architects
For projects requiring the expertise and design flair of a qualified Architect, a question that sometimes arises is; which suppliers are Architects and which suppliers are not Architects?
Anyone calling themselves an ‘Architect’ must be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB). This is a requirement under Section 20 of the Architects Act 1997. ARB is the UK’s statutory regulator of architects. They keep a public register, which is searchable online, of around 33,000 architects (www.arb.org.uk). Every architect on their register has met the required standards for education, training and practice.
Many Architects are also members of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) (www.architecture.com). This is in effect a trade organisation that champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and the excellence of its members. ‘Chartered Architects’ are those that comply with the RIBA’s strict criteria. In a similar way, Architectural firms can become a ‘Chartered Practice’ provided they meet the strict requirements of the RIBA’s accreditation scheme.
Other people who might be able to help you
Once the design is complete, you may also require a Structural Engineer to carry out the necessary structural calculations. If you require a list of Structural Engineers who can provide Structural Calculations please click here.
If you require help with a planning permission application, click here for a list of suppliers who can help you.
If you require help with building regulation approvals click here for a list of suppliers who can help you.
If you require help with a party wall issue click here for a list of suppliers who can help you.
Whether you like modern architecture or old, we can supply contact details for a range of people who will be able to help you.
Do you provide Architectural Design Services?
We ask all of the people who run an enquiry on our wensite to give us feedback on any of the Suppliers they appoint. Below are some of their comments: