Experience shows that buildings’ quality is rarely limited by low budgets nor assured by large ones. We take a broad and flexible view of how best to spend what is, after all, not our money!
USAR. Careful consideration of some of the fundamental decisions have given an extremely economical building.
Quantity Surveyor, Waite Associates, Bristol.
“The design and built cost per sq m offers excellent value for money – Costs in some cases are half of similar size projects around the UK”.
Terry Osmond, Avon Fire & Rescue Service.
Careful resolution of construction helps to make buildings easier, cheaper and quicker to construct and to construct well. We try to make simple, well resolved buildings, using straight-forward techniques and durable materials, to give buildings which are better built, easier to maintain and longer lasting, all of which help to save both money and resources.
USAR: A timber frame proved cheaper than the more obvious steel, no fireproofing needed, carbon neutral. The result is both robust and handsome.
Structural Engineer; Structural Solutions, Bristol.
Most modern buildings are inherently complex, often with numerous materials, components and disciplines involved. Lack of care in detail and co-ordination can give clumsy, untidy and badly-made buildings which are difficult to build and difficult to supervise under construction. The pleasure in good detailing is not just visual, but gives durability and clarity which are valuable in the long term.
Clifton Lido: Pre-cast concrete (treads), hardwood, steel. Robust materials, carefully built.
Cambridge Architectural Precast.
The “Green Agenda” is awash with exaggeration, misinformation and plenty of plain lies. But the issues of sustainability of materials, energy and other resources are serious and not simple.
We try to look carefully at proven and promising products and technologies and to use clear workable methods. We question doubtful claims and try to discourage spending limited funds on very slow paybacks.
Retaining and adapting existing buildings can be a valuable saving of both culture and resources.
720 evacuated tube solar collectors provide savings on energy with both rapid payback and freedom from unpredictable subsidies. Large, simple moveable blinds control solar gain.
Services Engineer, Hoare Lea, Bristol.
We try to avoid “style”, believing that buildings which are well thought-out, carefully detailed and well built, in good materials, tend to have an inherent quality which no amount of gratuitous contortions and architectural gesticulation can give. Buildings are inevitably “of their time”; there is no need to add ‘style’.
USAR: carefully installed steel panels and a robust brick plinth.
Cladding contractor, S & J Roofing.
Even relatively simple modern buildings have large numbers of components, materials and design disciplines which give an inherent richness and complexity. Careful and calm resolution of this complexity can compensate for loss of richness which is often perceived to diminish modern architecture.
On site, simple details get built and perform better than complicated ones.
Oakridge: Insulation placed on the outside is easier to install, supervise and finish well.
Project manager, Matthew Webb.