Briefing & Concept Design
In the initial meeting, we will talk through with the client their ambitions and concerns, as well as timings and budget, and discuss ideas of what should be achievable. This leads on to a briefing summary and fee proposal followed by an appointment for the project design. Once the basic requirements have been agreed, SS4 Architects will progress the design to work up a scheme covering concept, spatial arrangements and essential materiality of the proposed layout, which will then be revised further and refined with the client.
Planning & Other Consents
We can advise if Planning or Listed Building Consent is required and the implications of these on your project. Where the proposal is complex we will often recommend a ‘pre-application submission’ to the local authority to obtain initial comments which can be fed back into the developing design. This helps to save time and to provide the best chance of a positive outcome for the planning application once submitted. SS4 Architects can also provide outline advice on Party Wall matters and explain the necessary process involved in obtaining consent from neighbours ahead of commencing works.
Detail Design & Documentation
Once any initial consents and approvals are in place, we will commence the production of detailed construction drawings which will be submitted for Building Regulations approval; these are generally suitable on domestic projects to open discussion with potential building contractors. The full scheme will normally require the appointment of a Structural Engineer who will be required to submit designs and calculations for any structural changes; SS4 Architects can advise on this appointment if required and will liaise with any consultants as the design progresses. We will at this stage also commence the necessary production information for the project as whole, which ranges from the basic construction drawings through to detailed room elevations, finishes schedules and interior or joinery design if required. This will produce a comprehensive set of drawings, schedules and specifications from which the project can be priced and built.
SS4 Architects have existing relationships with several contractors who we have found to be reliable and of high quality, and can advise on a tender list of suitably qualified main building contractors if required. We can additionally provide a tender assessment service, including negotiation if necessary to finalise the costs and advise on types of contract. During the construction period, we will work with client and contractor on start procedures and programme dates and make regular site inspections. Ideally we will organise formal site meetings which the client is encouraged to attend, however these can be arranged between the architects and contractor with a report made to the clients for their comments. SS4 Architects can also administer the contract between the client and the building contractor, seeing this through to final completion of a project and agreement of the final account.