Designing for Construction

Our multidisciplinary team can ensure that what’s designed on paper is actually deliverable, i.e. the design complies with regulations and is buildable on a technical level. ‘Designing for construction’ is our default approach, from project inception. However, we are regularly asked to get involved in projects post-planning (be that permission in principle , outline planning consent or full planning approval).

Optimizing layouts and room sizes

Part of our training and skillset is being able to look at what’s planned and then refine and develop the design, creating buildings that have:

  • better proportions
  • more usable spaces
  • bigger rooms
  • improved flow

When we are presented with pre-existing designs, we ask ourselves: how can we improve this? What would make it better?

It’s often a balancing act between reducing dead space, making something that flows well, checking the structure is not affected by any changes and that the design is appropriate for the type of building. Getting the spaces right between rooms can be as important as the rooms themselves.

The review process benefits from our collective experience in designing buildings, thinking about buildings for years on end and continuous critiquing of buildings. Every time I enter a room, my OCD is triggered by things out of alignment, space that’s under-utilised and bad positioning!

Simplifying construction

Today for instance, we looked at some developer housing (we inherited a design package that had been submitted as part of the planning process).

With our ‘designing for construction’ heads on, we carried out an internal design review to see if we could improve the layout or increase the space. In the end, we achieved both of these things by reconfiguring the stairs, hallways and rooms. And our revised design will actually make the properties simpler to construct.

Delivering more space at no extra cost

If you play spot the difference with the floor layouts below, you’ll see that we shifted the staircase and removed dead space in the hall to achieve the improved bedroom sizes:

These rooms are in the roof, so head height was an issue to consider. But we work in 3D, so we can see where the pinch points are and understand the spaces available. As a result of the improved layout, without changing the overall footprint, we found an additional 5m2 of usable bedroom space.

Everyone benefits

Our revised design is good news all round. It will give:

  • the developer a more saleable property, at no additional construction cost
  • the contractor a simpler design to build
  • the end user a better space to live in

So, if you have a project that could benefit from some ‘designing for construction’, please get in touch. Call 01273 915010 or email us.

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