Process

From the decision to carry out a building project, to stepping through the entrance of your finished building, the overall process of procuring a building can seem confusing and complex. This is why we have broken down a typical process of how we work, based loosely on the RIBA 2013 Plan of Work.

Bear in mind that every client, every brief and every design is different and we celebrate these differences to ensure an appropriately bespoke architectural solution.  Therefore, let the information below act as a guide to help demystify the process, but know that it is flexible and will be tailored to suit each individual project. Fundamentally, the process is a collaboration between you and us.    

   

  • First | Choosing CaSA
  • First | Choosing CaSA

    We realise that selecting the right Architecture firm is perhaps the most important decision you will make in the entire process. We take enormous pride in our work, which in a way speaks for itself. The ability to work closely with our clients is just as important to us as having the required experience and design skills. From the outset, we are firm believers that building a level of trust and understanding between client and Architect is crucial for the success of any design project.  

    We therefore normally offer to come out to meet you in person, free of charge, so that you can hear our initial thoughts, discuss how we might approach the project and allow you to assess if we would work well together.

    Just give us a call on 01225 851 871 or send a message and we can arrange to set up a meeting.

  • 1 | Define the brief
  • 1 | Define the brief

    Defining the brief is simply CaSA working with you to understand what you want. This can cover an infinite range, from questions as simple as ‘what functions do you need?’ and ‘who will use the space?’, to something as niche as a client letting us know they want the design to incorporate a full height bookshelf wall. Ultimately, if it is important to you then we want to know about it.

    From this CaSA can define a brief and design in a way that is personal to how you want to live. That being said, we see our role as the Architect is to be an active contributor to your project - we will not shy away from using our expertise to challenge your brief and perhaps suggest entirely new ways of fulfilling it.   

  • 2 | Sketch Appraisal
  • 2 | Sketch Appraisal

    Once we have met with you and the brief has been analysed we can start to explore ‘strategic options’ for the project. Depending on the project this often involves identifying the opportunities and constraints of the brief and enables us to design a number of alternative sketch options for you to consider. All projects are different and this stage really teases out those special elements that make your project unique.

    Sketch design typically culminates with a meeting between client and CaSA to share and discuss the alternative options available and start to hone in on the preferred direction for the proposal. We love the creativity involved in this approach but it also offers the very practical benefit of a sound strategy being adopted before further investment (time, mental and financial) is made through detailed design development of the scheme. 

  • 3 | Developed Design
  • 3 | Developed Design

    The developed design stage focuses on working up the proposed sketch scheme to a level of detail suitable for a planning application submission. It may be that there is a clear choice at sketch scheme stage or it may be that different elements from the alternative options are combined at this stage. Either way, this is the stage where the three dimensional and material qualities of the design will become more defined and presented to the client for further comment before application submission.

    CaSA have extensive experience in completing necessary documents for planning and, when necessary, coordinating other relevant consultants that may be needed; from landscape architects to historic building consultants.

  • 4 | Technical Design
  • 4 | Technical Design

    Technical Design comprises of working up the detailed architectural, structural and building services information. Structural Engineers and any other relevant specialist consultants will need to be appointed at this Stage, if they have not been already. CaSA often provide two options at this stage; to produce the information needed for a Contractor to be able to price the work, or to provide the full construction package needed to be able to build it. This will usually depend on the project’s procurement route, for example, do you have a preferred builder you definitely want to work with or would you like the work to be priced by multiple builders as a competitive tender?

    CaSA have extensive experience in managing different types of procurement and while any option has its pros and cons, these will be thoroughly explained at this stage. We also have a network of trusted builders, structural engineers and environmental engineers among others, who we know share our passion for creating quality, lasting and beautiful architecture.   

  • 5 | Construction
  • 5 | Construction

    The construction stage is fairly self-explanatory. Whether a project is prefabricated off-site and craned in to fit together like a jigsaw or it is being built onsite from scratch by your local one-man building contractor, having an Architect on board throughout the Construction Stage is often vital to achieve a high quality final result.

    Through managing the building contract, CaSA’s role in this stage is typically to make sure everything is carried out as per the Technical Design information. This includes the financial valuing of the building works as they progress and enforcing a high attention to detail and quality of finish that we expect on any of our designs, no matter what the size or budget.  

           

  • 6 | Handover
  • 6 | Handover

    Once the building works are complete it is time to move in and enjoy combined efforts of the client and the project team. At this Stage the conclusion of the building contract takes place along with any final touching up of the building works as part of ‘snagging’. It is normal for new buildings to take time to expand, contract and settle and typically the contractor will come back after an agreed period to touch up any areas needed as a result of this bedding in period.

    It is our strong view that investment in the early Stages of design is the best way to ensure the right result once moving into the space. Be it workplace, small extension or a whole new home, we are driven by design that is transformative to our day to day lives. We do this by tailoring the design to the individuals at the start of the process, and ensuring this is carried through in everything we do up to the Handover of the building. 

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  • Above all | Embrace the process
  • Above all | Embrace the process

    Anyone who has watched ‘Grand Designs’ will know that procuring a building project can be a stressful but ultimately rewarding process. We firmly believe that good design adds significant value to the way we live. In our experience, the most effective catalyst of good design is a strong relationship between Architect and client, where both parties fully embrace the process together; its challenges, its complexities and its huge rewards, from the first sketch to turning the key.

    A solid relationship with our clients is something we are committed to throughout the project and beyond, and this is illustrated through clients who have worked with us over multiple projects, sometimes years apart.  

    Give us a call on 01225 851 871 if you would like to discuss a potential project.