Alchemilla Architects Ltd is a RIBA Chartered Practice based in rural Somerset in the Blackdown Hills with easy access to Taunton and Chard and most of the South-West, currently working as far afield as Cornwall and Oxfordshire.
Our work ranges from extensions and refurbishment projects to single houses and small housing estates. A development of high-end holiday lets, a conversion of a listed building to offices and a swimming pool are part of our current workload. We work with listed buildings and in Conservation Areas, providing designs which will blend into a historic context as well as modern additions where appropriate. We provide an imaginative, personal service, tailored to the needs of our clients whether this means a “Grand Design” or a bespoke new garden room. As a RIBA Chartered Practice we follow a rigorous quality control procedure with all our projects being designed and checked by a Chartered Architect.
We see architecture as integral to the built environment, and pride ourselves in providing a full service from inception to completion. Part of this is a strong commitment to energy efficient buildings with our principal architect recently certified as a Passivhaus designer.
The Passivhaus concept has been developed over the last 20 years in Germany, and is a tried and, more importantly, tested method of construction employing a rigorous quality standard for energy efficient buildings. It can be used for houses as well as offices, schools, etc. and even retrofitting existing buildings is possible. The standard relies entirely on good insulation and air-tightness with heat recovery, rather than the addition of solar panels or bio-mass boilers, which of course can be employed to improve the performance of a “Passivhaus” even further.
As a practice we can help improve existing homes by recommending strategies to reduce energy consumption as well as going the full Passivhaus certification route and all shades of making buildings more efficient in between, whilst maintaining modern comfort levels.
From listening to and formulating our client’s brief, preparing a sketch design or strategy, preparing planning and building regulations applications to site inspections and hand-over our service ensures a quality building, comfortable and easy to maintain. We add value to even the smallest projects by improving sale-ability, whether it is through adding the “wow”-factor, reducing bills, or just pulling a design together so it becomes workable and future-proof. By guiding our clients through the construction phase we help to keep the project on time and within budget.
We charge a small fee for an initial site visit and consultation, during which we will outline our services as well as providing ideas and information about the design options, legal restrictions and requirements and advice regarding other consultants which might need to be involved. With the planning system being in constant flux and requirements becoming more and more onerous we can advise on a route through the “planning jungle”. The initial consultation provides knowledge of the design and building process as well as ideas for the design and energy efficiency of the building.