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Services.

Mellor Architects’ work includes projects in the commercial, retail, healthcare, education, leisure, ecclesiastical and residential housing sectors.

 

We also undertake commissions for private residential clients from in including conversions and renovations to extensions and new builds varying in size and value from £50,000.00 upwards.

Strategic Development (RIBA Stage 0)

Projects which are of larger scope and complexity may involve the architect being engaged to assist with the development of a broad strategy for a site or a series of separate structures. This initial stage is focused on determining the best means of achieving a client’s requirements, even before the development of a brief for a specific building has commenced.

Full Service (RIBA Stages 1-7)

This is what most people would consider to be the ‘traditional’ architect’s appointment, where the architect works with the client from the very first meeting to discuss the project and the relationship continues through subsequent stages to hand-over and occupation of the completed building.

Brief (RIBA Stage 1)

Before any designer can start to develop possible solutions, they need to have a clear picture of what the issues and priorities are. During the briefing period Mellor Architects will meet with you to discuss all aspects of the project and help you to pinpoint what problems need to be addressed, what the priorities are, and whether there are any constraints or obstacles to work around.

Sometimes this stage can even change everyone’s definition of the problem and avoid the design team heading off in the wrong direction.

This process helps both parties to organise their thoughts and start the design process ‘on the same page’.

Outline Concept Design (RIBA Stage 2)

There is seldom a single solution to any particular problem, and it’s important that the architect looks in principle at different ways the scheme could be planned.

Not all options will justify taking beyond initial sketches, but those that have some merit can be tested in more detail to ensure that the client is getting the fullest and most useful response to the agreed brief.

Developed Design (RIBA Stage 3)

Once the sketch proposal have been agreed, we will develop that design bringing in other disciplines such as engineers and quantity surveyors where necessary and agreed with the client.

This stage entails a deeper examination of how the work could be built, how the heating, lighting and ventilation could work, how long it would take to build, including how it may affect any existing occupants. Most importantly it will look at how much the scheme is likely to cost.

The stage is leading up to a submission of a planning or listed building consent application, where these are relevant.

Technical Design (RIBA Stage 4)

Using the most appropriate combination of 2D and 3D CAD drawings and written specifications we are able to develop technical aspects of the agreed scheme, including regular liaison with the other design team members such as structural engineer quantity surveyor and building services engineers.

These documents are used when we submit the scheme to confirm compliance with UK Building Regulations, but are also be developed with much more detail for us to obtain competitive quotations or tenders for contractors, and for the appointed builder to use the drawings and specification to use for construction.

Construction (RIBA Stage 5)

When the construction contract starts on site we will act as contract administrator, which means we take the lead in monitoring progress and expenditure, the issue of information to the builder, authorising payments and making regular inspections of the work, and dealing with any claims by the contractor for delay or additional cost.

The involvement of the architect at this stage ensures continuity and helps to make sure the final outcome is in line with the original concept design.   

Completion and Close-Out (RIBA Stage 6)

Inspections and monitoring carried out with other members of the design team throughout the contract period end with final inspections to agree that the work is contractually complete, and the issue of our certificate.

This also releases part of the money held as a retention against incomplete or unsatisfactory work.

In Use (RIBA Stage 7)

Once the building has been handed over from the contractor to the client there is an opportunity for assessment of the finished building in use and feedback to the design team.

The relationship between client and architect also continues through this period, during which the contractor is responsible for any defective work, and the architect will make a further inspection of the building at the end of this liability period.

Whilst many clients are most comfortable with Mellor Architects providing this complete, full service solution for their project, we are also able to provide services which may involve selected stages in the RIBA Plan of Work:  

Partial Service Option One (RIBA Stages 1-4)

  1. Brief
  2. Outline (concept) design
  3. Developed design
  4. Technical design – including construction drawings

Where a client is confident of appointing their own building contractor but still requires the assistance of an architect to plan and design the project, apply for Planning Building Regulation approvals, and provide construction drawings.

The Technical Design stage includes construction drawings. By using the most appropriate combination of 2D and 3D CAD drawings and written specifications we  develop technical aspects of the agreed scheme, including regular liaison with the other design team members such as structural engineer quantity surveyor and building services engineers.

These documents are used when we submit the scheme to confirm compliance with UK Building Regulations, but can also be developed with further detail to enable the client’s builder to use the drawings and specification for construction.

Partial Service Option Two (RIBA Stages 1-4)

  1. Brief
  2. Outline (concept) design
  3. Developed design
  4. Technical design – including construction drawings

This service is similar to Partial Service One (above) but taken only as far as the production of a Building Regulation set of drawings, and is usually more suited to smaller domestic projects.

Using the most appropriate combination of 2D and 3D CAD drawings and written specifications we are able to develop technical aspects of the agreed scheme, including regular liaison with the other design team members such as structural engineer quantity surveyor and building services engineers.

These documents are used when we submit the scheme to confirm compliance with UK Building Regulations.

Partial Service Option Three (RIBA Stages 1-3)

  1. Brief
  2. Outline (concept) design
  3. Developed design – up to planning application

In some instances a client may only wish to take a project to Planning Approval stage, and the architect would just be engaged to plan and design the building, and then make a Planning Application.

Feasibility studies

Where a client is considering alteration of a building or the purchase of a building or site it is often useful to engage an architect to explore different options and test the viability of each.

Mellor Architects able to help you to see which options show the potential for development and are worth further consideration.

Drawing on our expertise in this field, we work with other professionals to consider all the planning, practical and aesthetic constraints on the site, offering you a range of the viable options to build into your business plan.   

Planning applications

Mellor Architects is able to develop the agreed scheme in drawn and written form to submit the proposal for planning approval, and where appropriate for listed building consent.

Often a planning application for a larger or commercial project will require a number of supporting reports and assessments and we can procure and coordinate these on your behalf.

Of course, not all schemes will require planning approval and in some instances a similar process can be used to acquire a Certificate of Lawful Development which may be a useful legal document in later years when a building changes hands.

Building Regulation submissions

The majority of projects in this country will require approval under the Building Regulations, and we are able to bring together architectural, structural and building services drawings and specifications to submit these either to a local authority Building Control Department or to an independent Approved Inspector.

Condition surveys

Where a client owns, manages or is considering the purchase of an existing building it may be wise to undertake a survey to establish the condition of the building fabric.

Mellor Architects has extensive experience of performing such surveys, whether they are with the intention of making alterations, or as a regular regime for planned maintenance, as with church quinquennial inspections.

Where necessary we will also advise the client on the need for any further investigation of defects by specialists.

Principal Designer

The role of Principal Designer is one established in law by the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015.

It is a role which we can undertake on your behalf but is separate from the role of architect, and is the focus for guiding you as client through the responsibilities you and others have to make the site and construction work as safe as possible.

Further detail about the regulations and how they affect construction projects can be found on the website of the Health and Safety Executive.

3-D Visualisations

Our latest BIM (Building Information Modelling) computer software is capable of producing great three dimensional virtual models of your design, which can also be exported to a number of other programs to generate presentation quality stills and fly-through sequences.

Appointment Documents

The profession is regulated by law, and registered architects must abide by the rules of the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

Mellor Architects is an RIBA Chartered Practice, and therefore must also comply with RIBA’s Code of Conduct. Both bodies require that a written appointment is in place at commencement, clearly defining the scope of the appointment, the agreed remuneration and the terms of the appointment.

For most projects Mellor Architects will use one of the prepared RIBA appointment documents which have been drafted to be both clear and comprehensive, with due regard to consumer protection.

On some smaller projects, an abbreviated form of appointment may be more appropriate, and the options would be discussed with the client at the outset.

Fees

Architects’ fees can be agreed in a number of ways. The traditional method is for architect and client to agree a percentage fee based on the final agreed building cost, and this figure will vary, depending on the size and complexity of the project.

Usually the percentage will be lower on a larger scheme because some of the tasks will repeat. It will also depend on the type of project, with refurbishment and alteration schemes attracting a higher percentage, as the architect’s work is more labour-intensive.

Alternatively, if the scope of the scheme can be adequately defined the architect and client may agree a fixed sum. This gives the client greater certainty for planning the overall project costs, but would have to be re-negotiated should the scope of the appointment later change.

Where the extent of work cannot be defined (and for RIBA Stage 0 work) it is more appropriate to agree a time-charge fee, with a record kept of time spent by the different grades of staff working on the project, ranging from director level to junior assistant.