I now have an Architect

After much deliberation I have selected Justin Smith to act as my Architect. Justin is a member of RIBA and runs a small practice based at Friar Gate Studios in the centre of Derby.

Justin and his team specialise in residential custom-build projects and have a lot of experience of working with planners and building contractors in the Derby area. They also make extensive use of IT systems for document management and project planning as well as for 2D and 3D design, which should make it easy for me to collaborate with them and to keep up to date with how things are progressing.

CC BY-SA 4.0 I now have an Architect by Marsh Flatts Farm Self Build Diary is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

2 thoughts on “I now have an Architect

  1. I would be very curious to understand what your process of deliberation and selection for an architect was. What steps did you take to discover and then evaluate which architect you finally landed on?

    • Hi Kevin. Good question!

      On reflection, I should probably have given it more careful consideration. I’m happy with the outcome but it’s a big decision that has a huge influence on the success of a project.

      I always knew I wanted a RIBA-certified architect (rather than someone who was simply good at technical drawing) and I wanted someone local, for ease of frequent site visits and with a working relationship with the council’s planning control officers. There’s a good “Find an Architect” search on the RIBA website (https://find-an-architect.architecture.com/FAAHome.aspx) which addresses RIBA membership and location and lets you further refine based on type of project. After ruling out the practices who specialise in commercial developments and looking at previous projects I arrived at a short list of a handful of architects. Of those, it was Justin Smith who seemed most in tune with my thinking and who offered the most competitively priced service.

      One thing I must note is that my plan to aim for a Certified Passivhaus build only emerged during the initial design process. Had I decided that sooner I would probably have selected an architect who was a member of the Association for Environment Conscious Building (https://www.aecb.net) with more experience of Passivhaus design and construction. Justin and his team were very good in accommodating this extra requirement but I did have to supplement their expertise by engaging a Certified Passivhaus Designer, at my own expense.


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