Starting a new project can be a little daunting, with so much ahead it can be tricky to know where and how to start. Doing things in the right order not only leads to the best finished scheme, but can also save money and time. Below is a guide to the process I follow, setting out the key work stages and what should be done when. This programme follows the RIBA Plan of Works 2013, a tried and tested structure.
I apply this process whether working on residential, commercial or conservation projects.
Preparation & Brief
Work Stage 1
I'll get your brief nailed down: what do you want to achieve, what are the key considerations, limitations and objectives? What permissions are required and how may this effect the project? What other consultants may be needed: ecologist, structural engineer, M&E etc?
Preliminary planning advice from the Local Planning Authority may be sought at this stage.
Visit, understand and survey your site
This work stage should wrap up with a written brief and a set of record drawings of your site, as well as understanding of the feasibility of your project.
Work Stage 2
All the information from Work Stage 1 gets brought together into a first outline scheme. As well as spatial and aesthetic considerations, the structural strategy will be explored.
At the end of this work stage you will have a set of outline plans along with a physical or 3D concept model, hand drawn sketches and/or concept images.
Not until you are happy with the concept design will the project progress to Work Stage 3.
Work Stage 3
The concept design gets honed and adapted into a full scheme ready for submission for Planning Permission (if required).
The structural and services scheme will be considered further.
Any other supplementary planning documents are prepared.
At the end of this Work Stage you will have a full set of architectural drawings at 1:100 scale, showing the proposal in Plan, elevation and section.
Work Stage 4
The structural and technical scheme for the proposal is developed, resulting in a full set of detail Construction Drawings sufficient for submission to Building Control for approval and/or for tendering purposes.
Consultation with any required Structural Engineer, M&E consultant or specialist sub-contractor etc is made during this work stage.
Detailed specifications and/or schedules of Works are drafted.
At the completion of this work stage the project can be sent out for competitive pricing (tendering) by contractors.
Work Stage 5
Once your contractor has been chosen the project moves forward to getting on site.
The best suited building contract is chosen, prepared and signed. You can chose to have the contractor administered (managed) by your Architect, or to go ahead yourself. If you chose to use your Architect they will make site inspections during the works, manage payments to your contractor, deal with variations to the original scheme and more.
The project is constructed!
Handover, Close Out + In Use
Work Stages 6 & 7
The build is finished and the building is handed over to you. The work will be monitored for the next year, with any defects or issues noted and dealt with by the contractor.
Fees can be calculated as a fixed fee per Work Stage based on an hourly rate, as a percentage of the overall build cost, or on a running hourly basis.
Following our initial meeting, I can prepare you an Offer of Professional Services, which outlines the work involved and my associated fees.
The first meeting is free. Call or email to discus your project and set up your consultation.
T: +44 (0) 7882679076
Why hire an Architect?
Having the involvement of an Architect on your project will ensure you get a fully bespoke design that considers: the site, the users, the budget, environmental considerations, maintenance and longevity, atmosphere, time constraints and much more.
A wealth of experience and knowledge will be applied to your scheme, be it a small extension or a large commercial project. This knowledge also extends to the planning system, building control requirements and working with consultants (ecologists, structural engineers, M&E consultants etc).
Your Architect can be much more than a concept designer, they can be the lynchpin that brings together all aspects of the design and construction process.
A good Architect should pay for them selves, saving you money during your project by:
- ensuring the design is properly honed before getting on site, on site changes are stressful and expensive
- ensuring your scheme is well designed in terms of space use and material specification
- ensuring the final building is energy efficient, saving you money on energy bills
- using formal safeguards: helping you set up and manage the building contract to ensure you only pay for work that has been completed and to a high standard, and making sure your project runs to time, with any unreasonable delays paid for by your contractor
- Providing inside understanding and knowledge of the building process from the outset