4orm is an award winning architecture practice specialising in education, charity and housing projects. We are experienced at working with listed buildings, in conservation areas and designing environmentally sustainable buildings. We believe that thoughtfully designed spaces add value and enrich lives.
Who are we?
The Process of Working with an Architect
At 4orm, we work closely with our clients to help realise their ambitions and develop designs to create beautiful and functional spaces. Throughout our work, we keep in mind budget, planning context and constructibility to allow a seamless transition from concept through to construction.
4orm offer a full range of architectural services. We can navigate the client through the project from concept to completion, but often, clients choose to ‘pick and mix’ services. Such services include:
Developing a clear brief
Consultation on strategies for obtaining planning permission, working in conservation areas or with listed buildings
Surveying and preparation of existing site drawings
Preparing and submitting documents required for planning / building control
Design development & technical design
Preparing tender documents (drawings and documents that the contractor can price from)
Building contract administration
Party wall surveying / advice
Acting as Principal Designer (as required by the CDM regulations)
For more information about any of the above please contact us.
Below we outline the typical key work stages and indicate what happens during each of these.
Key Project Stages
1. Feasibility / Concept Design
During this stage 4orm work closely with the client to establish their ambitions and objectives. It is a time for exploring the project's potential and can result in fruitful possibilities that the client may not have considered. As a result of discussions, 4orm explore and prepare options to determine a solution that best achieves the client’s aspirations. Whilst designing we consider parameters such as time constraints, budget, building regulations and the current planning context. We will flag potential risks and advise if the client needs additional consultants. Considering these more detailed factors early on results in a smoother transition between concept design and the next stage of development.
Most construction projects require planning permission in order to be allowed to be built. The planning context is challenging and sometimes confusing. Often there will be more than one way to achieve a consent. 4orm have considerable planning experience, will offer clear advice and will discuss the various strategies that can be used to improve the chances of success.
The planning submission usually comprises a package of drawings and documents that describes the proposal in appropriate detail. 4orm develop the concept drawings and prepare documentation to create a submission sufficient for the type, location and scale of the scheme.
3. Detail Design / Pricing documents
Once a planning consent is obtained, 4orm develop the planning drawings in greater detail and draft a specification or schedule of works. This process is necessary to set out the scope of the contractors work and to enable the scheme to be tendered and the documents are essential as they prevent the need for continual on site re-negotiation during the build.
4orm can also advise on the Building Contract most appropriate to the type of work. For most projects, competitive tenders are sought with the pricing documents sent to a number of contractors, 4orm can manage this process and assist the client in selecting a suitable contractor.
At this time, other construction professionals, such as structural engineers, are likely to be engaged on the project if it is of sufficient scale or complexity, and approvals under the Building Regulations will be obtained.
4. Construction & Completion
Construction can be stressful and complicated and it is essential that it is managed correctly. In the role of contract administrator, 4orm can monitor site operations and administer the terms and requirements of the building contract. 4orm are experienced at inspecting construction work and will be familiar with the drawings and specification, so short cuts or variations made by the contractor are likely to be spotted and addressed ensuring the quality of the project.
During any build it is common for the client to make small amendments to the design or to the specification. 4orm are able to quickly prepare options with the client and as Contract Administrator are able to advise of the implications of the variations to programme or cost.
4orm coordinate the required completion documents such as the Building Regulations certification and Construction Design and Management Regulations documents.
Please get in touch to see how 4orm can help.