Living Space Architects awarded Best of Houzz 2018 award

Big things expected from Living Space Architects after completing ‘BIM’ training

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This week, two of our architects attended a three day ‘Building Information Modelling’ (BIM) training session in Bristol, equipping them with the insight and tools to more efficiently design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure.

BIM is an intelligent 3D model-based process that uses innovative software to better quantify data and manage information and costs for elements of the build. It is often used by large firms, as it increases the ability to deal with larger scale builds. It also allows architects to make more informed design decisions, build more efficiently and cost-effectively, and maintain buildings with greater ease.

A rising number of government and commercial organisations are making the use of BIM mandatory, and with increased work with local authorities and larger scale projects, Living Space Architects were pleased to be able to participate in the training.

“BIM training allows a firm to develop from a micro-practice and take on larger-scale projects” said Stuart Bayley, Director of Living Space Architects. “With the training, we can continue to step up and achieve the scope of our ambition.”

BIM is managed by Autodesk, which claims that the software not only allows businesses to operate more productively, but also produce higher-quality work, attracting new talent and winning new business. The benefits of the software are evident throughout the project building lifecycle, from enabling better design decisions, to accommodating efficient building and  guaranteeing predictable managing costs.

“We had a great grounding in all of the software functions which will enable us to get modelling our schemes from an early stage” said Living Space architect Kate Sammons, who attended the training. “It allows us to gradually build up the levels of detail and building information until we have a really intelligent model.”

With this competitive edge, Living Space Architects is looking forward to realising its creative visions using these innovative technological solutions and fulfilling its promising potential

“The training was excellent” Stuart commented. “It was very detailed but also quite interactive. We’ve come away with the feeling that we can take it on and get stuck in!”

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Design Award from Devon Historic Buildings Trust

Policy changes to accessible housing standards across England ‘optional’


Important policy changes to accessible housing standards across England came into force on 1 October 2015.


While the new accessibility standards will be included into the Building Regulations, there are concerns about adoption as the government’s new standards are optional.

In effect to comply with the new regulations, a housing provider need do nothing more than comply with the old ‘Part M’.  This seems very short-sighted, as there is a lot to be gained from creating homes that are more accessible to all.


Housing Association Habinteg specialise in the provision of wheelchair accessible homes and have written a briefing document for the Housing LIN giving seven points about the latest standards.

This briefing makes the case for an increase in accessible housing, with an approach that acknowledges the benefits and savings available when building to higher access standards.

Some of the suggested benefits include reducing the number of accidents in the home, reducing the time required in hospital and enabling people to live in their own homes for as long as possible, without having to be moved into residential care.

According to HabintExtracteg, one week in a residential care home can cost up to £550, yet increasing the specification of a home to meet Lifetime Homes standards would likely more than offset this cost.

There are calls to make it mandatory to provide homes to the new Category 2 (Lifetime Homes similar), something that would appear to be common sense when overall costs and actual value are taken into consideration.

At Living Space Architects we endeavour to design all our projects to Lifetime Homes standards.  We believe it not only benefits older people and those with disabilities, but also creates homes that are better for all of us to live in.  This can give improvements not only for health, but overall well-being and enjoyment of life.

We hope that the government will be brave enough to review the standards, so that we have support in giving clients the best design solutions and providing long term improvements for communities.

Read Habintegs briefing for Housing LIN here: www.housinglin.org.uk/Design

 

Published in Real Homes Magazine

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Our beautiful house extension and refurbishment project in Grey Wings, Cornwall has been featured in the ‘Design Guide’ for Real Homes Magazine under ‘Sustainable Style’.

This was a wonderful project to be part of, and we worked with obsessive detail to make the property the best it could possibly be.

The result was a highly sustainable and innovative design, embraced the stunning views and location of the property in a contemporary, stylistic manner.

To read more about the design, and see more pictures of this impressive extension, click here.

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We have moved to a new office!

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Having outgrown our office in the Senate we have now moved to 18 Southernhay West where we have a lovely new studio and  Interior designer Hannah Martin is helping us with our fit out.
Living Space Architects was established in 2004 in Plymouth with the aim of creating vibrant contemporary architecture that is appropriate for its site, its history and its environment. We relocated to Exeter in 2010 and have continued to grow.  After 4 years in the Forsyth Centre in the Senate we finally outgrew the space and wanted to find a new office better suited to the way we work.  Our new office is on the 2nd floor of one of the beautiful terraces on Southernhay and we now have views of the garden and the Cathedral to inspire us.

The team at Living Space Architects hope you will have a chance to visit us soon.

18 Southernhay West, Exeter, EX1 1PJ. Telephone : 01392 270420

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Grassroots Football

Investing in youngsters

As you read the latest football news, it notes radical proposals for the restructuring of English football in the report of the FA commission. This is an important issue for us “If Football Association chairman Greg Dyke’s Commission really wants to study why fewer English youngsters are breaking through into the country’s top teams, it may want to consider the importance of the facilities on which the next generation of footballers depend”blog1

In one of our recent projects at Tavistock Community Football Club, the principle aim has been to facilitate the development of essential football playing facilities and junior involvement for Tavistock and the surrounding areas of Devon.

We have created 12 new pitches with new ground levelling and grading works to encourage good natural drainage on the flat new playing fields.

 

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The pitches redevelopment project remodelled the end of the swale to allow water to exit the field and to retain the features of the floodplain of the local area. Previously rainfall had run off the compacted plateau into the central swale and collected a considerable depth, causing a bund of soil at the end of the swale preventing escape.

The new Tavistock Community Football Club building creates a  building that is easy to find your way around and allows the children to be easily monitored and controlled.  Issues of child protection are very important in a scheme of this kind and the changing facilities have been developed in line with current Football Foundation guidelines to ensure the children’s safety, especially on days where the building is used by both the CRA and TFC.

As well as providing safe areas, by creating communal facilities and a combined entrance, the scheme encourages more integration between the clubs and the opportunity for junior players to feel they are part of an organisation, where they can progress to a higher level in the game as they develop.  Communal facilities at first floor create areas for coaching and for new members evenings.  They also create spaces where both clubs can come together for social events, something that is currently not possible, as the existing TFC Black and Red Club is a licensed facility and therefore not open to children.

A community room was provided giving the overall importance of this complex for football senior/junior coaching; social events; committee meetings; fund raising events. Its prime use is for football development in the area – however more widely it is able to house community and business functions as a whole to provide an income stream for football development.

TFC, Tavistock Fotball Club, Devon, UK, December 2009, Joakim Boren PhotographyTFC, Tavistock Fotball Club, Devon, UK, December 2009, Joakim Boren PhotographyTFC, Tavistock Fotball Club, Devon, UK, December 2009, Joakim Boren PhotographyTFC, Tavistock Fotball Club, Devon, UK, December 2009, Joakim Boren Photography

Architects in Residence at The Maynard School Exeter

Over the past year Kirsty Curnow Bayley has been working closely with architect Nick Gilbert Scott at The Maynard Girls School in Exeter as Architect in Residence.  The project involved a number of workshops with the year 8 students, where the girls tackled issues such as site planning, scale and sustainability as well as having fun drawing and making models.

The project culminated with a presentation of the girl’s ideas for a new Performing Arts Centre on their site in St Leonards, Exeter.  The girls showed an amazing level of thought and creativity during the project, choosing their own site and making an analysis of the factors that would influence the design.  It is hoped that some of the ideas will be taken forward in the future for a new building for the school.  Living Space are looking forward to working further with the school later this year.

Electric Car for Living Space Architects

electric carAfter deciding we should be practicing what we preach we now have a new electric company car.

We decided to purchase a Nissan Leaf which has a range of around 100 miles, but this does depend on how many hills you drive up. Thankfully the regenerative breaking helps restore the range on the way back down!

Office to become new homes

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Empty offices above shops could soon be converted into flats if proposed changes from the government come into force next month.
Currently planning permission is required for material changes of use of land or a building even if no building work is required. Converting an office above a shop to a residential use would therefore usually require planning permission but from October 1st this could all change.

After an announcement made by the government Permitted development rights look likely to be extended to include the conversion of parts of certain offices and shops to two residential flats.  There will still be exceptions as local authorities can remove permitted development rights where they think they may cause a problem – for example in conservation areas.

Under the 1995 Order, local authorities can remove permitted development rights in geographic areas where they think these new rights might cause a problem. They can do so by making an Article 4 direction, the effect of which is to a require a planning application which in other locations would not be necessary. Article 4 directions are commonly found in conservation areas.

Announcing the proposed changes Mr Pickles said:

“These are common sense planning reforms that will deliver more affordable homes in areas where there are good transport links whilst ensuring better use of existing developed land. Cutting this red tape should be a shot in the arm for the high street increasing footfall and providing a boost to regeneration.”

We look forward to finding out if the new permitted development rights will be as revolutionary as Mr Pickles hopes when they are brought into force in October.