Architect: Richard Andrews Architects, project overseen by Associate Lewis Shaw.
Works undertaken – Feasibility and planning, detailed design and tender plus contract and project overseeing.
Client: Practice Owners of Cwmbran Village Surgery, partly funded by Aneurin Bevan Health Board
Cost of Work: £450,000+
Contractors: White Brothers & Speed
The practice owners contacted us to help resolve several design challenges for their surgery, which opened 25 years prior and was long overdue an update. We quickly established that the surgery's main challenge was that the building was too small for the amount of patients registered – with a poor internal layout and a lack of consulting and treatment rooms. We proposed a single front extension to expand the reception and administration spaces, with a second two storey extension housing consulting rooms to the side. The heart of the design stemmed from creating a centralised waiting room with the treatment and consulting rooms arranged in wings to improve the patient flow around the building. An installation of a lift to the upstairs floor rendered the practice compliable with the Disability Acts Standards, whilst we improved patient experience through light, modern and airy rooms.
The 3D Render Design
The dual extension accomodates 4 new consultation rooms and two new treatment rooms, an enlarged waiting/ reception area plus a reconfiguration of the adminstration and staff spaces. This particular project required the use of all three of our stages of work. The first of which was feasibility, planning and design. We gave a number of design options for the practice and worked together to choose the most practical. We then prepared the final design to be put through Torfaen County Council planning department. We submitted the planning application on behalf of our clients (including all forms and administration) and liaised with the Torfaen council to achieve a positve result.
The next stage was to provide a detailed design. Using our extensive knowledge of constuction and regulations, we created detailed drawings for the builders to work from. Following which we consulted with engineers, building control and other professionals as necessary to ensure the project fully buildable and compliant. We then administered a tender package to a number of building contractors to assure the best price and quality for the build works.
Our clients choose White Brothers and Speed to complete the works, which took place from early summer 2017 to completion in April 2018. We administered a contract between White Brothers and Speed and Cwmbran Village Surgery, based on our detailed drawings, our understanding of construction laws and contact negotiation. We then throuh regular site visits checked the building work to ensure the work was being delivered in line with our drawings, regulations and was to the standard allowed for in the tender.
Testimonial from Practice Manager Sian Whitcombe
To Lewis and the team at RA Architects. A big thank you for all your hard work and dedication to this project. Your professionalism has been exemplary and we would not hesitate to recommend you to others.
We will be publishing a video documenting a behind the scenes look of the works undertaken to the surgery within the next couple of weeks. Make sure you follow us on social media to keep up to date!
There are a number of ways a person may seek to find an architect – most commonly through word of mouth referrals, via search engine sites or by asking on social media for recommendations. If using the latter how do you know which firms are competent and reliable to do the work you need, in the way you imagined?
Our top tips for choosing an architect!
- The first necessary step is to check they are registered with the ARB. (Architects Registration Board). The ARB was set up by the government to keep an official register of all individuals and practices who are legally entitled and qualified to use the patented term ‘architect’. You can check the architects register here – http://architects-register.org.uk/
- Whilst not a necessity we strongly advise using a RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Chartered Practice. (Click here to read why you should a choose a RIBA Chartered practice.)
- Thinking about your project do you need a specific skillset or service? For example, if you are working on change of use scheme it would be beneficial to choose a practice which can demonstrate experience within that sector. We recommend asking how many projects of that type the practice has worked upon, if there are any finished buildings you can visit or if they can supply a contact for testimonial.
- Put together a shortlist of architects to speak to in person about your plans. Most firms will offer a free consultation or initial discussion. This is a great opportunity for architects to demonstrate their creative ideas and general enthusiasm for your project.
- Ask the practice for their track record with approvals – try and suss out if they have a good relationship with local planners.
- The fee proposal – don’t necessarily go for the cheapest bid. Weigh up everything you have learnt about your potential architect so far. A good practice will always devote time to explaining their fee proposal and clarifying any points you may be unsure of.
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We would love to discuss your plans and ideas, contact the team today on 01633 744144 to arrange your free one hour consultation!