In a nutshell, artistic design vs technical design…
Architects were traditionally appointed to run the complete design of a building, and in some cases still are. The conventional Architect role would be to interpret the Client’s brief and develop conceptual designs. These would then be taken through the process of planning and building regulations approval, and finally onto construction.
In modern times, the reality is that the majority of practices will use an Architect’s creative skills to develop a concept, which will then be passed onto an Architectural Technologist for development.
The Technologist is more focussed on producing working drawings and developing the building specification. The role requires a detailed understanding of the construction process, designing for compliance of all the various standards within the building trade, ensuring that selected products are site-compatible and that the sequencing of the building process is taken into consideration. All of this is to be considered whilst remaining within the all-important driving factor on most projects, the budget. A Technologist specialises in this type of design, rather than the creative and artistic flair of an Architect.
A Technologist’s drawing package will act as both a set of instructions on how to build, as well as forming a contract as to what is being priced and built.
My advice to new clients is usually, if you know what you want to build, appoint a Technologist directly. If you are unsure and looking for ideas, spend the extra cash on an Architect, but only commit to someone you’re comfortable can see your project through to where you want it to go.
In 1994 The UK Government HSE department brought in what is now called The Construction Design & Management (CDM) Regulations, for ALL UK design and construction projects. The aim is to see that Health and Safety aspects are correctly managed throughout the design and build process.
In recognition that Architects are no longer the only option for building designers, the government has designated roles of “Designer” and “Principal Designer”, each of which comes with requirements for addressing risk management and mitigation. Both Architects and Architectural Technologists can be Principal Designers. By taking on this role they are required to provide documentation to support their designs demonstrating that they have assessed the proposal in terms of health and safety, and provided mitigation and management measures where possible.
In December 2017, the RIBA published research that revealed only around 60% of registered Architect’s Practices offer Principal Designer services.
Once appointed as Principal Designer, as a client you can rest assured that any Aracus drawing packages will be fully reviewed for CDM compliance. All supporting documentation will be provided in terms of designer’s risk registers and method statements for hazard mitigation.
So don’t let HSE, (and your lovely new extension) come down on you like a tonne of bricks. Protect yourself by appointing Aracus Ltd to oversee your health and safety needs.
Sometimes yes, sometimes no, but I would always advise you get the paperwork in place from the council.
Most people seem to loath the idea of obtaining planning permission. But in in truth it’s a fairly relaxed process, providing you are being realistic about what you want to build and where you are.
You generally have the right to a level of development known as “Permitted Development” without planning permission. The rules for this are published on the local authority website and are dependent on your location, (eg. If you are in a conservation area). Certain exceptions also apply to listed buildings.
Any proposal that falls outside of the permitted development guidelines will require planning permission.
In either case, my advice would be to obtain certification from the local authority that your proposal is a legal build, either by obtaining full planning approval, or for projects under permitted development, a “Lawful Development Certificate”.
Documents like this are critical for proof that your building is legally permitted and failing to obtain them can cause problems when selling your property. So always play it safe with planning and pop an email over to us with any questions regarding your ideas.