that we offer

Comprehensive Service

Full architectural serviceWalters Architects undertake a variety of commissions ranging in scale and complexity for a number of different clients. The practice is mainly involved in Full Service appointments which run from conception to completion.

We are also happy to assist clients in isolated project stages which can vary widely from Sketch Schemes to Contract Administration services.

Examples of Services Include:

Riba conditions of engagementThe RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) sets out Work Stages under its outlined Plan of Works which highlights all aspects of the architect’s involvement within a Full Services commission.

These works stages, A to L, consider every aspect of an architect’s role from initial site appraisals to post construction duties.

Not all commissions require Full Services appointments and schemes can incorporate any aspect of the Work Stages from individual to multiple stages.

Walters Architects complies fully with the guidelines set out in the RIBA Plan of Work.

For more details please visit the RIBA website via our links page.

interior designSome schemes only require small internal alterations, modifications or refurbishments which may not necessarily require any statutory approvals. These alterations may be commercial or domestic and simply require specifications for fixtures, fittings, finishes, furniture or materials.

If interiors require major alterations, such as the removal of internal walls, floors or staircases, Building Control or other statutory approvals may be required.

Some interior design schemes can involve a specific change of use, such as offices to retail etc, in which case a Change of Use application would be required from the Local Authority’s planning department.

Walters Architects has been involved in a variety of interior refurbishments, from lecture rooms to restaurants.

ExtensionA majority of properties have the potential to be extended for additional use, either for domestic or commercial benefit. These extensions can vary greatly in a commercial setting but domestically they are usually single or two storey extensions.

Most building extensions require Planning Permission and Building Regulations Approval. Some buildings fall under Local Authority Permitted Development rights which means the scheme may be exempt from Planning Permission but all building works must achieve Building Regulations approval.

Walters Architects is happy to advise on Permitted Development issues but for further information visit the Planning Portal via our links page.

Master planningSome larger-scale developments may require the production of a Master Plan to assist a planning application. These plans demonstrate a broad overview of the proposal and can vary enormously in size from a small residential development to large scale commercial proposals.

Master Plans are designed to give an indication of how streets, public spaces, social infrastructures, public services and neighbouring sites interact.

These plans are not particularly detailed and are usually intended to assist planners and neighbouring residents to understand how a large-scale proposal will look and integrate with an existing environment.

Walters Architects is involved in a number of residential and commercial master plans and has been successful in securing planning approval for a variety of clients.

Sketch-SchemeClients sometimes only require an indication of how a project may look or how a particular layout may work. Rather than engage in a Full Services appointment in order to establish the outline of a project, a sketch scheme may be required.

Sketch schemes may take a number of forms such as freehand perspectives, 3D visualizations, freehand layout drawings or basic CAD drawings.

These images may be used to communicate ideas to planners, sponsors, funding boards or contractors.

Walters Architects offer a variety of sketch scheme options, which have proven to communicate ideas successfully for a wide range of schemes for domestic and commercial clients.

3d3D imagery is a growth area of the services of an architect. They can be used for a variety of functions, from forming part of a detailed planning application to demonstrating the intentions of the client to a wider audience; such as estates departments to local communities or retailers to customers.

3D imagery can be created in a number of ways from hand drawings to paintings and life like computer renders.

Walters Architects has provided images for a range of sectors including retail, commercial and education.

New buildClients may have land to build new properties or may want to demolish an existing building to create space for a new build.

There are many considerations when undertaking this type of project and early involvement with an architect and the associated planning department is essential. Also, depending on the location, type and scale of the project, there may be the need to appoint a number of separate consultants, such as ecological surveyors, topographical surveyors, drainage engineers, planning consultants and energy consultants.

Walters Architects have experience in new build residential and commercial building projects on both green field and brown field sites and is happy to provide Pre Planning Advice.

Pre PlanningMost Local Authorities provide a Pre Planning Service, which allows clients to make initial enquiries about intended applications, with feed back from the associated planning department.

All Pre Planning feed back is non committal and may not fully represent the views of the planning department at full application stage. While Pre Planning advice may be free, some Local Authorities charge a nominal fee for this service.

The Pre Planning enquiry could be a simple letter or a freehand sketch, which helps establish if a proposal is feasible, or if planning permission is required.

Walters Architects is happy to offer the most cost effective way of forming an appropriate Pre Planning enquiry.

For more details visit the Planning Portal website via our links page.

Building RegsAll new buildings and many modifications to existing buildings will require a Building Regulations application in order to obtain Building Control approval.

These applications must comply with relevant parts of the current Building Regulations. They are submitted as a set of drawings and building notes to the appropriate Building Control department at the relevant Local Authority or via an Approved Inspector. This information is approved at Plan Submission Stage and then inspected by the Building Control Officer on site during the construction phase.

Approved Inspectors are privately owned companies which are certified by the government, to inspect and approve Building Control applications on behalf of the Local Authority.

Some domestic schemes can serve a Building Notice, which can eradicate the need for the Plans Submission aspect of the application, and only deal with the Building Inspector during the contract period.

Walters Architects have made successful applications for a range of projects to both Local Authorities and Approved Inspectors.

For more details visit the Planning Portal website via our links page.

conservationAreas of historical or architectural interest are sometimes protected by Local Authorities in order to preserve their unique characteristics and are referred to as Conservation Areas. Building work carried out in these areas is controlled and monitored closely using specific Works within a Conservation Area application, they ensure that new development takes place in a considered way.

These specific planning applications are assessed by specially qualified Conservation Officers as well as undergoing the usual Local Authority procedures.

All applications for Works within a Conservation Area have to be accompanied by a Design and Access statement which explains the designer’s intended design ethos.

Walters Architects has been successful in a number of applications and is happy to be involved in any preliminary discussions with the Conservation Officer, in order to obtain the most site-specific solution to our clients’ requirements.

For more information please visit the Planning Portal via our links page.

Riba conditions of engagementWhere building works involve the inclusion or affect a neighbouring wall (Party Wall) the Party Wall Act 1996 must be adhered to. This involves serving a Party Wall notice before works commence to inform the neighbour of the schemes proposal.

The proposals need to be agreed by the neighbours and a record must be kept to acknowledge what has been agreed between the two parties.

Walters Architects are able to serve initial notice on behalf of their clients but if the agreement falls into dispute, a Party Wall Surveyor or solicitor should be appointed.

For further information see the Party Wall Act on our links page.

Planning-ApplicationsMost property developments and building extensions need to obtain Planning Permission from their Local Authority’s planning department.

The Local Authority needs to understand what the alterations to the site are, the purpose of the development, what the proposal will look like and how people will access the site and building.

To assess a proposal correctly, the planners will need a series of existing and proposed site plans, floor plans, elevations, sections and a Design & Access statement as well as a number of completed application forms.

Planning applications vary depending on the intended works. Applications can range from a House Holders Planning Consent to a Listed Building Consent application.

The planning process usually takes between 8 – 10 weeks after the application has been deemed complete by the Local Authority.

Walters Architects have a high success rate with a variety of Planning applications with many different Local Authorities all over the country.

For more details visit the Planning Portal website via our links page.

TenderIn order to obtain a competitive construction quotation a detailed Tender Pack should be submitted to contractors.

The Tender Pack will include associated Planning Approval, Building Control Approval, a Building Specification and any other relevant information such as a Party Wall agreement. This information allows the contractor to produce an accurate quotation. If relevant statutory approvals are not in place or the specification is incomplete there may be amendments to the contract price which would incur additional costs at the construction stage of the project.

The Tender information is usually sent to three main contractors who will be allocated a set period of time to compile a detailed quotation and programme of proposed works.

All contractors’ enquiries will be dealt with via one point of contact, usually the architect. Any queries are answered and amendments distributed to all contracts to keep the tender documentation comprehensive and up to date.

For more information about Specifications please visit the NBS (National Building Specifications) via our links page.

listed buildingsBuildings of historic or social importance may receive a Listed Building status from the Local Authority, which protects them from development that may alter or detract from their existing characteristics.

The extent of permitted alterations to a Listed Building will depend on the listing classification (grade 1 – 3).

Listed buildings can be altered but clients will need to obtain Listed Building Consent from the Local Authority’s planning department via a designated Conservation Officer.

Walters Architects undertakes all aspects of works to Listed Buildings and Buildings within Conservation Areas, but for more information please visit the Planning Portal via our links page.

Contract AdminWhen undertaking building works, of any scale, a client and contractor should always engage a building contract which outlines the agreement between both parties.

The Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) produces standard building contracts which consider every procurement situation and suit every size of project from Minor Works to Major Projects.

All JCT contracts are administered by a third party Contract Administrator (not the client or contractor), who is responsible for making sure conditions of the contract are adhered to throughout the contract and post contract period.

Building contracts consider such items as Contract Period, Interim Payments, Liquidated Damages, Contract Amendments and Defect Liability Periods.

Walters Architects offer a Contract Administration service for all projects regardless of size.

For more details visit the JCT (Joint Contract Tribunal) website via our links page.