We really do enjoy every stage in the building process, right from the very first time we meet a potential client and discover what it is they hope to achieve. Once appointed, preparing concept designs and seeing their reaction when we present exciting ideas and options they hadn’t thought of is a hugely rewarding experience. Equally being able to tell them that planning permission, listed building consent or building regulations approval have been secured are high points along the way.
Many architects do not provide full architectural services. Instead they leave the tendering process, choosing a suitable form of contract and managing the construction phase to their clients. Of course there are occasions when our clients want a service which is tailored to their specific needs and we are sometimes asked to assist ‘as-and-when-needed’ when the work is on site, but more often than not we are asked to manage the entire process to completion and handover.
At any one time we tend to have a number of projects which are at different stages in the process – some will be at the early design stage, others will be awaiting planning consent, yet more will be at the technical design stage and yet more will be out to tender or on site.
As we approach Christmas 2018 we have a number of projects on site; two are nearing completion, another is well advanced and one has only just begun. Early in 2019 two more will progress to site and we have many more which are not far behind.
It is not at all unusual for a project to take more than a year from start to finish – frequently it can be eighteen months or more. Naturally we meet regularly with our clients throughout, and any project necessarily involves a huge number of people who contribute to the process as a whole. We enjoy all types of project – new-build and heritage houses, community and commercial developments large and small - as well as the involvement of other design team members, manufacturers and suppliers, contractors and specialist subcontractors.
The secret of success is to ensure a collaborative approach and team spirit, something we pride ourselves on here at RPA. All of this adds up to the variety we love – the spice of architectural life!