Building design

Alchemilla Architects has experience with many different building types. From high-end residential, self-build houses, developer housing and extensions, to village halls, offices and holiday lets. We have even designed a large energy efficient kennel building for an animal charity. Initial brief taking and the first concept design is all about determining your needs, ideas and expectations for your building. Sometimes you might be very clear what your requirements are, sometimes it will take several attempts, but designing a building is always an iterative process and it is very important to come to an understanding about your priorities. Whether you are after a “Grand Design” or just your very own special little building project, we would love to hear from you.

Energy Efficiency

Designing new buildings is only part of what we do. Achieving a reasonable level of energy efficiency is part of every project, we can provide advice whether you would like to convert your “energy-guzzling” 1960s bungalow into a beautifully efficient home or whether you need to minimise your business’ energy bills.

Perhaps you are considering a wood-chip boiler or solar panels? Are these the right measures for your home or your business or even your village hall? As architects we take a more holistic view, ensuring you make the right investment. Our Principal, Wiebke Rietz, is a certified Passivhaus Designer, which is the gold standard for energy efficient building.

Planning, Listed Building Consent and Conservation Area applications

Achieving the necessary consents to build, alter or extend is getting ever more complex. Alchemilla Architects not only provide advice and guidance but will take the project through the whole process. Often other specialists have to be consulted such as wildlife and landscaping experts, archaeologists, noise consultants or structural engineers. We also work with a Planning Consultant who can help with particularly difficult applications.

Working Drawings and Building Control applications

Working drawings are a detailed and accurate description of how to construct your building. Without them your builder cannot price the works accurately and you would have no come-back if works are not carried out as you wanted them. We prepare working drawings for the building regulations application which are detailed enough to price and build from and give you the reassurance that potential issues have been thought through before works start.

Contract Administration and Site Inspections

We don’t like to leave you alone with a construction site, so are happy to write a specification, help with the selection of a contractor and then make regular site visits, approve payments and keep a watchful eye over proceedings. This keeps the contractor on the straight and narrow thereby preventing problems on site and after completion. Working with a JCT Contract ensures that you never pay more than for the works which have been carried out and it keeps payments frequent thereby providing regular cash-flow to the contractor.

Insurances and Certifications

Apart from being an RIBA Chartered Practice our Principal is a certified Passivhaus Designer. As ARB registered Architects we are covered by professional indemnity insurance.