More about discover
More about design
More about develop
More about deliver
We start the process by getting an understanding of your requirements and aspirations for the project, together with information about the site. This enables us to put together a brief and to look at any opportunities and constraints that might exist in relation to this.
Initial Consultation & Project Brief
We make an initial visit to the site and meet with the client to obtain a detailed understanding of their requirements. A discussion about priorities, budget and timescale is held at the outset so that we can clearly set out our services and fees.
Measured building surveys are usually undertaken directly by Mass Architecture, which enables us to gain intimate knowledge of the property. Topographic surveys are carried out by appropriately qualified local surveyors. Other surveys may be needed, for example where asbestos is potentially present or bats. We can provide guidance at the outset and procure specialists to cover these requirements.
A feasibility study explores and evaluates a number of possible strategies to assist decision making in moving a project forward. Often this relates to developing a concept and positioning major elements of a scheme within the site; to test how it meets the brief, whether it would encounter planning constraints and what the budget requirements might be.
We are passionate about design and hope to bring something special and unique to your project. The process is collaborative and evolves through a series of discussions with the client and any other consultants whose input might be fundamental at this stage. Good design for us is where the spatial organisation, structure, building services, and external environment are considered and integrated ‘holistically’ from the start.
Using a combination of 2D and 3D sketches, CAD models, photomontages and precedents, we interpret your brief to produce a series of design options. The client’s response/feedback over a series of meetings then closely informs how the design evolves.
Once the design has been agreed, we prepare and submit Planning,and where required, Listed Building Consent applications. We have developed an excellent record for obtaining permissions on challenging sites through high quality design and extensive experience of the local authority, connexional and diocesan planning systems.
Developing the detailed design and specification is another process of close collaboration with the client and design team. We co-ordinate the structural and services’ designs into the overall scheme, as well as managing the building regulations approval.
Building Regulations Approval
This approval satisfies the local authority or private approved inspector that the way in which you intend to construct the project meets the requirements of the Building Regulations. With non-domestic developments, a ‘Full Plans Application’ must be made prior to commencement on site. During the construction phase a building control officer or approved inspector, would come and inspect the work at key stages. With domestic projects a ‘Building Notice’ can be submitted 48 hours before starting on site.
Technical Development & Construction Information
Producing information for the purpose of obtaining tenders consists of a series of related construction drawings and specification documents. The type of information and extent of detail required is dependent on the nature of the project and the route to selecting a building contractor.
Through our experience of working with building contractors, we aim to achieve the best possible outcomes in terms of cost control, change control, timescales and quality of finish.
Project Management of the Construction Process/Contract Administration
We can advise on the most suitable type of building contract for your project. Standard forms of contract are a well-tested, formal agreement as to what is in and out of the scope, how payments will be made, completion dates, insurances and what to do in the event of a dispute.
As Architects, we are able to administer these contracts as well as inspect and certify work during construction, to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible and that the end result is of the highest possible standard.
After 6 to 12 months following completion of the building works, we would make an inspection with the contractor to identify any latent defects, shrinkage cracks etc. An agreed process is then put in place for the rectification of these to a satisfactory level of finish.