Purchasing a house, or a building from scratch can be the most expensive investment that you will make in your lifetime. It’s important to research and understand the logistics before beginning the process as it relies on a complicated and intricate system from start to finish. Using an architect from the very beginning means you have the ability to be as creative and imaginative as you would like, with the precise expertise that will help bring these visions to life and maximise the potential of your project/site.
An architect will help you determine exactly what you need and come up with inventive ideas to solve even the most complex design problems. An architect can design a building taking into account orientation, heat source from the sun and bring in natural light into the building thus helping in reducing utility bills. An architect can help you choose the right materials to fit your budget and help you find a contractor who you can trust at a fair and accommodating price. A good architect will save you money- but the best architects will go above and beyond, adding far more value to the finished product. It is important that you choose an architect that has thorough knowledge of construction and the way in which a building site runs.
Finding an architect.
The first thing you need to know about Architects is that there is a public list of architects which is managed by the Architects Registration Board. This is the only and official place where you can find an Architect. If you know someone that claims to be an architect, they should be on that list. (http://architects-register.org.uk) Every year ARB takes to court many people that claim to be architects when they are not, they have been working in the industry and they have experience of doing drawings and planning applications but they are not architects.
Why is it important to use an Architect and make sure they are registered on the ARB list?
In England anybody can submit a planning application even if they are not architects, this has allowed anyone to submit a planning application. Without going into detail, we would like to highlight a few things to explain what’s the main difference between an architect and anybody that submits a planning application.
- An Architect has attended 7 years of course at university and to become fully qualified had to pass their final exam (Part 3) which combines the knowledge acquired at university with the working experience.
- An Architect needs to be registered to the Architects Registration Boards and work according to Architects Code: Standards of Conduct and Practice https://arb.org.uk/architect-information/architects-code-standards-of-conduct-and-practice/
- The architect’s work is covered by their Professional Indemnity, you should never engage with a professional that does not have PI in any case.
- An Architect can sign off the Architect’s Certificate which is the warranty for your new build (similar to NHBC certificate)
- It is Illegal for someone to use the title “Architect” if they are not registered with ARB
- A Chartered Architect is an Architect registered with RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), Franco Scimeca is a Chartered Architect. Most people think that being registered with RIBA is enough to be called an Architect but legally it is the registration to ARB that counts. RIBA is a wonderful support for all architects, it keeps us up to date and gives us a lot of information in support of our work.
- ADS Architects is a Chartered Practice registered with RIBA.
At ADS we have over 40 years' experience in domestic and commercial projects. We can help you find a suitable contractor by sending out information to a select few of our trusted contractors who we are confident can tender to your project’s needs, and then help you select the best one for you. We can provide you with the full service, by agreeing contract terms with the contractor, completing a building contract suitable for the type of project and oversee the building works until completion.
This will include monitoring the project from start to finish. We will liaise with the contractor and yourself on a regular basis, carry out interim valuations at agreed time frames to pay the contractor for the value of work done, and keep monitoring the budget. With the fast-changing method of construction, renewable energy, thermal insulation, requirement of air tighteners within the building all aimed at reducing heat loss and conserve energy, it has become more complicated to find the correct method of construction suitable for a project.
At ADS we are a big advocate of offsite manufacture as we believe that the less wet trade there is on site; the better the quality of detailing and construction. It is quicker, more easily controlled and less affected by weather conditions. We as a company have used on site timber frame construction, as well as off-site manufacturing. We have used market leading insulated building blocks (These are wood chips mixed with cement to create a light weight block) as well as polystyrene building blocks.
Whatever the site conditions are and whatever suits the project or location we can help you to choose the right path for your project.