When design is first considered many people’s thoughts turn to images of grand designs but there is far more to ‘good design’ than aesthetics.
Good design requires good aesthetics, simple but effective detailing and methods of construction that are robust, efficient and perform their intended function.
It is common for a building to be designed and specified based on using a particular product/material for it then to be substituted during the construction phase (normally to reduce costs with little thought of the consequences). These types of changes can completely compromise the performance characteristics to the point that the building fails performance requirements or significantly changes its character.
At Robinson & Hall our Architectural Design team detail buildings to match our clients’ space, aesthetics and budget requirements. We also consider material risks, security risks, future needs and potential adaptations, together with ensuring the correct statutory regulations are met or bettered.
The design process is also utilised to maximise the client’s requirements whether to achieve the best return on investment, a certain size of building or other aesthetic or practical requirement; in effect to ‘design in added value’ whilst eliminating risk as far as possible.
The amount of legislation and guidance covering design and construction has changed the emphasis of good design from aesthetics to meeting ever increasing performance requirements, whilst providing a stylish appearance.
THE PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS INCLUDE:
THE BUILDING REGULATIONS
These regulations have become increasingly stringent – a guide is available here.
ENERGY PERFORMANCE AND AIRTIGHTNESS OF THE PROPERTY
The forthcoming minimum energy efficiency regulations will curtail the ability to rent out the worst performing residential and commercial buildings.
ACCESS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY
The building regulations and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 require minimum standards to be met or reasonable provisions/adaptations to be made.
THE REGULATORY REFORM (FIRE SAFETY) ORDER 2006
This requires occupiers to conduct fire safety risk assessments, and put in place management policies and control measures. These often require early consideration to ensure the design functions in the way the property is to be managed to prevent difficulties and costly adaptations.
Our team of chartered surveyors, planners and architectural technicians can advise on the suitability of a plot or building for the anticipated use, carry out the full design of new builds, refurbishments or conversions, together with providing budgeting advice.
Our services are bespoke and we offer a range of drawings from 3D visualisations to detailed working drawings so all elements of a property can be studied, detailed and specified to avoid costly mistakes during the fast paced construction period.Back to articles