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Start 2018 with Planning that all important extension

Been thinking about that extension and been it putting off? Then this article is for you, Below, Barry Stott-Brookes from Architects Atelier Ltd, outlines the typical planning to completion process for a domestic extension project.

Now is the right time to start thinking about more space at home for Autumn 2018. Whether it’s increased living space that you need, improved amenities or an outbuilding for the kids – why not let AAL’s experienced design team help you through the process required, to achieve the space you need in time for Autumn.

Whatever you’re planning the AAL team can guide you through the processes required to realise your construction project.

At AAL, our award nominated design team have extensive experience in:

  • Creating beautiful spaces;
  • Optimising the design to balance your needs against your budget;
  • Guiding projects through the planning process;
  • Developing the design in coordination with our structural engineering team;
  • Advising on ‘best practise’ for neighbourly matters such as party wall agreements.

Of course, you’ll need a builder once the design is signed off – not to worry, working with us gives you access to AAL’s ‘little black book’ of the very best local trade contacts.

If you’re planning to have the space you need this year ready for use in Autumn 2018 the following timeline of a typical construction project demonstrates why NOW IS THE TIME to talk to us:

Now – Start the design work.

March  2018 – Submit to local authority for planning sign-off.

May 2018 – Receive Planning Consent.

June 2018 – Structural engineering design and builder appointment; start party wall processes.

August 2018 – Party Wall processes completed and start building works! Depending on the size of the project it might be a 12 to 20 week build programme, your builder can advise.

November 2018 – Works complete just in time for the school Christmas Holidays 2018!

Don’t move, improve!  Let team AAL help you with your project, contact us today for a no obligation discussion.

Please visit our resources page for a free project planning pack to assist you in your project :


or come and visit us at the Built it Live show in February 2018 at  Kent Event Centre, see Link for details:

Build It Live South East

Contact us on: 01322 837 810

Email: info@thearchitectsatelier.com

Implementing Eco-Friendly Systems

Homebuyers and businesses looking for commercial premises are increasingly interested in curbing the impact the building has on the environment.

Implementing eco-friendly systems, therefore, can potentially improve the commercial return of your development, in addition to increasing the positive impact on the environment.

However, what’s involved in implementing eco-friendly systems?

Using energy from renewable sources, and implementing products, techniques, or technologies that reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the property, can all reduce a building’s negative impact on the environment.

In some situations, it’s possible to reduce the need for a heating or cooling system to almost zero.

The Passivhaus Standard

One way to make the building as eco-friendly as possible is to design and build it according to the Passivhaus standard. This involves building the property in a way that maximises its airtightness. There’s also, usually, mechanical ventilation included in the design.

Of course, this is not an entirely energy-neutral solution. Energy is required to produce the materials needed to build the airtight structure. It is a solution, however, that’s far more eco-friendly than a structure built according to minimum environmental standards and a great selling point.

Renewable Energy

Installing a heating system using a renewable energy source is another way of making the property more eco-friendly. Burning fossil fuels like coal or gas to generate energy is very damaging to the environment. The process releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which contributes to the greenhouse effect and global warming. Renewable energy sources such as those listed below, don’t exacerbate global warming. Also, unlike coal and gas which are finite resources and will eventually run out, renewable energy sources will always be available.

Options include the following:

  • Solar energy
  • Heat pumps
  • Wind turbines
  • Biomass
  • Hydro power

For example, fitting solar panels to roofs and heat pumps that heat radiators and water, will greatly reduce the energy required to heat and power a home or other premises. Similarly, fitting a wind turbine to power a commercial building greatly reduces energy bills and environmental impact.

Other Ways to Improve the Energy Efficiency of a Property

There are a number of other ways to make a property more energy efficient. This includes options for existing properties that can be applied during renovation or refurbishment work.

  • Insulation

Fitting insulation in lofts and wall cavities is a must for all modern buildings. Insulation should be added to older buildings to improve their energy efficiency. This is a more expensive energy reducing strategy, but is highly effective and of huge benefit to the environment.

  • Using Recycled Materials

Manufacturing building materials from scratch uses huge amounts of energy. One of the ways you can reduce this impact on your next development, redevelopment, or refurbishment project is to use recycled materials.

Recycled materials are often cheaper to buy and the impact of their production on the environment is far reduced, because it takes less energy to refabricate them from already existing materials.

Reusing materials in this way means that fewer materials need to be manufactured from scratch. A double positive for the environment and a plus for your pocket too!

  • Leaving Outside areas as Natural as Possible

Creating driveways and paved areas are not particularly environmentally friendly practises. The processes and materials involved in creating hard surfaces for walking or driving, use massive amounts of energy, plus their manufacture disturbs the natural habitat of insects, birds, and other animals.

Meadow gardens and areas with lots of plants, including wild flowers, are much better for the environment and the ecosystems it supports.

However, if you prefer to install a driveway, or paved areas in your development, but you’re concerned about the environmental impact, or you’d like to create a build that lessens the environmental impact, then you could go down the recycled materials route outlined above.

  • Installing LED lighting

LED lighting has a lower impact on the environment. It uses less energy and lasts longer than conventional lighting.

  • Double glazing

Installing double glazed windows, or secondary double glazing, is energy efficient as it prevents warm air escaping and cooler air getting in. This is good for the environment and reduces heating bills.

Taking as many of these steps as possible or focusing entirely on implementing eco-friendly systems will help you achieve your commercial and environmental goals.

The Architectural Planning Process

Are you planning an extension to your house? Or, perhaps a loft conversion? If so, you’ll have considered an architect to help with ideas, fine-tune the design and help manage the build.
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Why Hire an Architect for Your Home Extension Project?

There are many benefits to hiring the expertise of an architect when planning your home extension, loft conversion or other large remodelling project.

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