Why use a Chartered Architect?

Why use a Chartered Architect?

a collaborative journey

We offer a full architectural service from inception to completion, tailored to the Client's requirements. We start with a meeting to discuss the project in outline and advise on the services we can offer. When the scope of our work is defined, we provide a detailed fee quotation for our services with an indicative programme for consideration.  

A well-defined brief is central to every project, setting out its purpose and aims, together with a schedule of accommodation, site and budget. Project requirements do evolve but, to provide the best service, we need to understand, as fully as possible at the outset, what our Clients are looking for. Sometimes a brief is very clear from the start while on other projects we will work with the Client to help them define their requirements.  

With the brief as our guiding document we lead the design process. Good communication between Client and Architect is essential and we regularly review and agree the design development. We use the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 - the definitive UK model for the building design and construction process. It divides the process into customisable work stages, detailing tasks and outputs required at each stage. Our full service would typically include the phases summarised below - but sometimes a Client's requirements differ and we will tailor the extent of our role to suit.

concept and detailed design - we will produce an initial concept design (possibly more than one) then, with the Client's input, refine and develop the proposals into a detailed design, at which point Planning Permission can be sought. Even in the earliest stages we are thinking ahead, testing ideas to ensure that the concept, as it is refined, will satisfy the technical requirements of Planning and Building Standards legislation.  

technical design - with the overall design fixed and agreed, we will produce a package of detailed technical drawings and specifications. This phase includes a Building Warrant application and all the information a Contractor will need to construct the building. Just as the overall concept is critical to a building's success, so too are the details. We take the time to work through every aspect of the design - liaising with the Client on the choice of materials, finishes and colours. 

construction - depending on the method of procurement, we usually have input to the tender process. For competitive tenders we will agree, with the Client, a list of Contractors, invite tenders from approved Contractors and report back on tenders received. Where the Client has one Contractor in mind, we will assist in negotiating a price with the Contractor of their choice. We will advise on the options for Building Contracts and, where required, prepare the Contract.

During the build we will administer the terms of the Contract, visiting the site regularly to inspect the progress and quality of the work and after Completion to identify any defects to be rectified. We will make financial reports, in conjunction with the Quantity Surveyor, if appointed, and keep the Client informed on costs and programme.

design team management - most projects need input, at certain stages, from other consultants - Quantity Surveyor, Structural Engineer and sometimes Services Engineers. We are very experienced in Design Team management and will advise the Client on the need to appoint other Consultants and co-ordinate their input to the project.


some of our additional services:        feasibility studies       masterplanning      building condition reports       measured surveys       listed building consent SAP calculations     feu plans planning permission in principleplanning negotiations     CDM services       consultant certificates for mortgage lenders