Hard won experience and new ideas

IF YOU HAVE NOT COMMISSIONED architecture before, this is the typical process that we go through with a client.


Introduction to JCA, understanding the brief, site visit and agree plan:

  • Meeting with client to introduce ourselves properly in terms of our capabilities, resources and experience
  • Understand and discuss the scope of the project, client wishes, possibilities and budgetary restraints
  • Establish design aesthetics, understand the physical context and requirements, set objectives and priorities, and establish the brief
  • Initial site visit
  • Draft masterplan (sketches) and timetable and set budget estimate
  • Subsequent meetings/discussions to modify and agree plan

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(On commissioning) - Survey and establish regulatory hurdles and requirements:

  • Site survey (Measured Survey) to precisely measure for our architectural drawings.
    Depending on scale of task, this may require a specialist surveyor. Surveyor's measurements will be required for additional building work such as extensions and landscaping. More often Local Authorities require a site survey to establish the environmental impact both for the site, but also the immediate area, such as trees, boundaries and water runoff
  • Establish the need for an Ecological survey
    These have become a requirement in virtually all architectural work and cover bats, newts, reptiles and badgers, but also extend to migrating birds, dormice, invertebrates, water voiles, otters, white-clawed crayfish and red squirrels that might be affected by the works. Notorious for holding up construction work for months, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2012, require surveys be undertaken outside hibernation time. Bats for example, tend to hibernate between November and March so activity surveys will typically need to be carried out as the bats become more active between May and October. Wintering bird surveys are typically carried out during the period between mid-October and mid-March, dormice between April & November, invertebrates between March & October, while badgers can be surveyed at any time of year. Surveys are likely required cover the wider area beyond the site and may extend to 500 metres or more, include water DNA sampling and cover historical records.
    All surveys should be carried out by a licensed ecologist - otherwise they are likely to be refused by the local authority.
  • Establish the need for further surveys
    Further surveys may be required, such as drainage, asbestos, timber decay & damp, subsidence and any structural issues
  • Establish the need for Listed Building consent and if necessary a Heritage consultant
  • JCA can help with the likelihood of which survey or type of survey will be required and can recommend appropriate surveyors and consultants. Good planning is the key as many of these surveys need to be carried out within varying timeframes and will be spread over months to include the report writing. Surveys and reports need to be included with and as a part of the planning application so they are best instigated at the outset once the scope of the proposed work is known. Given the lead time of the design and consultation process these surveys can usually be undertaken in parallel and usually do not delay anticipated construction schedules with the survey "season" accommodated into the schedule.

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Finalise drawings, develop and write Reports for Local Authority approval:

  • Detailed plans, agree project timeline and phases
  • Develop the Design and Access Statements, Heritage Statements, Biodiversity Net Gain Stage Report
  • Apply for planning permission and other consents eg Listed, Ecology licenses

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Agree and modify any plans required for Planning consent and on final Planning approval created detailed construction plans which Quantity Surveyor will send out for costings:

  • Submission of modified or amended plans should planning consent require it - followed by re-submission
  • Detailed construction plans on final approval
  • Quantity surveyor's input to determine material requirements for contractor quotes
  • Selection of contractors and specialists (drainage, groundwork, electrical, lighting, stonework, tree surgery etc)

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JCA Construction supervision, inspection and approval for contractor stage payments:

  • Project management and construction supervision

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Final inspections and contractor snagging supervision for final handover:

  • Snagging and supervision of any remedial works
  • Final client handover

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