this is simon brown, the hub of the practice. the spokes are the practice’s associates...

  • architects

  • ecologists

  • surveyors

  • developers

  • technicians

  • energy consultants

  • structural engineers

  • planning consultants

  • landscape architects

  • community engagement and funding specialists, etc...


a professional network developed over three decades, allowing  the assembly of a hand-picked team for your project...from a simple extension to a multi-million pound development...all with our core strength of eco-design. 

we offer the full range of architectural services...

our standard services sheet below provides an overall framework, but we tailor our services to each project... to do as much or as little as required

proposal

after an initial meeting, we will offer a proposal document, outlining  the project brief, the services required, fees, timescale, etc...you are then of course free to accept  this proposal... or not !

starting out

we normally require initial survey information and will obtain fee quotes from surveyors to provide a digital base drawing of the existing site and/or buildings

other consultants

most projects require other specialist consultants, e.g: structural engineer, energy consultant, landscape architect, etc. we will:

  • arrange fee proposals from appropriate consultants, and 

  • co-ordinate their work in an overall design management role

health + safety

all projects involve the client in health and safety obligations, under the construction [design and management] regulations [cdm].Wewill inform you of your legal and moral duties.

the practice’s approach is driven by values:

 

honesty

we will give open and honest appraisals of projects from day one,

regarding likely cost, time-scale, design options, planning issues, etc

 

integrity

all dealings with our clients and others are undertaken with integrity

 

professionalism

regulations, guidance and best practice are ever-changing

and difficult for all professionals to keep up with... however, we keep

ourselves up to date, and work with the latest cad software  to

provide a very cost-effective and efficient service

 

empowerment

like most professions, architecture has its share of jargon.

we aim to avoid this wherever possible, and to guide the client, 

likely outside their normal field of experience and knowledge, 

through the often bewildering development  processes -

see our jargon-buster

design quality

although highly subjective, we believe “good design improves lives”

 

eco-design

nearly all our projects involve some element of ‘eco-design’ - a field of challenging decisions and constantly changing technology and funding, needing expert guidance 

we have developed an initial appraisal tool ‘how green you are’ 

to assist in the briefing process, and whilst committed to the lowest impact design and emissions possible, will always be guided by the client’s choices

personal delivery

as a small practice we can offer the closest personal attention to your project - a single constant point of contact - and a rigorous determination to drive the project to a successful conclusion.

we pride ourselves on our ‘bedside manner’

design quality

design quality...

 

these pages offer ideas about design quality and influences...

 

from the elegant unity of amsterdam’s terraces...

 

through victorian haight ashbury and new orleans’ french quarter terraces...

 

the romance of fairgrounds + gaudi’s parc guell benches...

 

through lloyd-wright’s fallingwater + guggenheim...

 

gormley’s angel and gaudi’s sagrada familia...

 

... all exciting places to visit.

materials

are crucial to the substance, longevity and essence of a building. stone and concrete, steel and timber all have their roles, their strengths to play to, and their weaknesses

 

openings

windows + doors have so many symbolic meanings, and so many ways of approaching their design, delicate or robust frames on our world

 

 

cathedrals of commerce

some of the most spectacular buildings were built with utilitarian simplicity and purpose.

 

here we reference two we have stumbled upon:

 

harmondsworth barn

“The barn is 192 feet long, 38 feet wide and 37 feet high. Most of the timbers are original and are dated to about 1426...”

to quote the wonderful www.greatbarns.org.uk

which is big, even in metres

 

we discovered this cathedral on the today programme in January 2012, who reported its purchase by English Heritage, the historic buildings quango

 

budapest market hall

from a more recent era, 1890’s this top-lit masterpiece of lightweight iron and timber construction is another delight built from clear commercial  motivations, but achieving elegant beauty -  

 

 

the westfield centres of future centuries ? perhaps not !

jargon-buster

 

ac/hr | measure of airtightness - air changes per hour 

acl | the air control layer - the principal means of controlling airtightness 

building control | local authority building inspectors - the process of inspecting and approving technical, safety, and energy in a scheme 

code | code 3 | code for sustainable homes | the government’s 10 year plan to achieve zero-carbon new homes - imperfect but now sadly abandoned

cold bridge |  does what it says - forms a bridge through the insulated layer for cold to flow in / heat to flow out - to be avoided ! 

eco-footprint | a measure used in TAN 6 ‘one-planet’ developments and elsewhere, representing the total ecological requirements of a household in terms of global hectares

EIA | an Environmental Impact Assessment required for more complex or sensitive schemes, e.g. some larger renewable schemes

enerPHit | the passivhaus standard for refurbishment, recognising the additional difficulties of dealing with existing buildings

feed-in tariff | FiTS | government subsidised scheme reducing payback fro photo-voltaics and other micro-generation | see links

lifetime homes | voluntary 16-point standard to allow for use of a house by those of all ages, with minimal adaptation | see links 

listed buildings | buildings listed by the government for their architectural or historic interest, with extra legal protection

mvhr | mechanical ventilation with heat recovery - the ideal way of providing fresh air to draught-free buildings

lpa | local planning authority

passivhaus | a 25 year old german standard, increasingly used in the UK | see links

phpp | the passivhaus planning package - the software used for passivhaus performance design + evaluation

pv or photo-voltaic | panels which generate electricity from sunlight

pi cover | professional indemnity insurance

planning | control of new development by the lpa, mainly concerned with the type and appearance of the scheme | see links

pressure testing | the method used to test the airtightness of a building - using a door-mounted fan

renewable heat initiative  RHI | government subsidised scheme reducing payback fro renewable-based heating | see links

structural engineer | consultant required on most projects to advise on structural design, calculations, ground conditions, etc.

suds | sustainable urban drainage scheme - to minimise run-off into the main drainage of the area, reducing  risk of flooding

u-value | measure of the insulation value of a building element - wall, floor, roof, window. lower = better

sustainbydesign