Sunday, 20 July 2014

Why should I use an Architectural Practice?

If you require design for a domestic project, generally, what most people do is ask about and eventually obtain the contact details for a local draftsmen or cad technician either from a friend or out of the local rag...  this, without wishing to cause any offence, generally results in an uninspired standard out-of-the-box design has been used a million times before or one that is just a duplicate of the neighbours - hey there's nothing wrong with that if it's what you want!

Anyway, if you use an Architectural Practice or Architectural Professional you'll get a unique, tailored and well crafted creative architectural solution designed to integrate within the existing property from a wholistic perspective - not just bolted on without thought.

Build costs are normally identical for say a 6x3m extension - it's almost the same number of bricks, roof tiles, amount of plaster and windows...  It's only difference is the architectural form. 

Good domestic architecture will add value to your home via desirability and increased visual impact!

Architectural Practices explore design options - whether it be traditional, modern or a fusion, establish client needs and desires whilst complying with planning frameworks and building regulations.

To generalise, Architects are very creative but sometimes lack technical design skills whist Architectural Technologists combine technical knowledge and architectural design. Not to be biased, ideally a multi-disciplined practice is best combining Architecture and Architectural Technology - one that integrates Structural Engineering is even better!

Either-way its important to meet at least 3 professional practices/individuals - think of it like a job interview, ask questions, discuss your needs - what you want the space to do and feel like, review examples of previous work and talk to existing/previous clients.

All the best! - ME

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Do Loft Conversions require Structural Engineering?

Question: Do loft conversions need or require any structural engineering?

Answer: Almost every proposal for a loft conversion requires the modification of the existing roof structure to remove any obstructions within  the proposed loft space.

Make sure you a competent structural engineer to carry out the design... This is REALY IMPORTANT! 

The photo above shows a 'fink' type truss, these are normally found in modern properties, where the existing common rafters have been strengthened - by fixing a larger timber along side to prevent excessive sagging once the struts are removed, and intermediate volumes are installed, in the form of a dwarf-wall, to transfer the roof load to the supporting steel beams. These steel beams also support the independent timber floor joists.

When designing the steel beams consideration must be given to lateral torsional buckling as the beam is unrestained and potentially allowed to twist when loaded.

Anyway, you can find an Engineer from CABE, ICE and IStructE or send the drawings to us and we'll do your structural design...