Whether you are looking for tradition or innovation, boldness or understatement, an architect can lift your project out of the ordinary. Many people will offer to alter your building. It takes an architect to maximise its potential and to do it with flair, imagination and style.
What is an Architect ?
We spend a lot of money on our property. It is one of the biggest investments that we are likely to make in our lifetime. Protect your investment by working with a team that can give you reliable advice, starting with your architect.
Architects provide a service that extends well beyond producing a set of drawings. Architects can guide you through the complex procedures of planning permission and building regulations and monitor the builder’s programme of works through to completion. RIAS members are obliged to carry professional indemnity insurance – giving you peace of mind.
In the UK, the use of the title ‘architect’ is protected by legislation. This legislation recognises that in order to protect clients and their property, it is necessary to provide assurances regarding the quality of the services provided to them. Only those who have successfully undertaken the required training are permitted to describe themselves as architects. Architects are also required to conduct their business to a high standard of professionalism. Every architect in the UK is listed on the Register of Architects and any member of the public can search the register online to check the credentials of their architect.
There are many businesses offering ‘architectural’ services. This description can lead to misunderstandings. It is a term often used by those who offer technical services but who have not completed the professional training and examinations required to meet the standards of the governments registration body.
If in doubt, check the online Register of Architects or ask the service provider for evidence of their membership of ARB. Details for the architects’ register are available here.
What is a Conservation Architect ?
Renovating traditional buildings can present particular and unique challenges to anyone who is unfamiliar with them.
A 'conservation architect' is also a registered architect. They have undertaken the professional training of an architect and in addition to this have undertaken further training specific to the restoration and renovation of traditional and historic buildings. To qualify as a conservation architect, a registered architect must have a minimum of 5 years experience working in the conservation field, have carried out approved training and have had their expertise and experience evaluated by a panel of conservation experts chosen by their professional body.
Funding and regulatory bodies such as Historic Scotland, Historic England, the Heritage Lottery Fund etc. may insist that a conservation architect be included in your team if the building is historically significant or if they are providing financial assistance.
There are practitioners that will present themselves as experts in building restoration even though they are not accredited.
An Accredited Conservation Architect will be registered with appropriate conservation body such as the RIAS. Details for the accredited conservation architects are available here.
Why use a conservation architect ?
Many people (including builders) often don’t realise that modern materials and methods of construction are incompatible with traditional building materials such as stone, lime and slate. They can cause a great deal damage to historic buildings which may not be visible to the untrained eye. On other occasions, the potential of older properties is hidden by unsympathetic alterations or poor maintenance that has left them looking ugly and distressed.
These are costly mistakes that cause a great deal of disappointment and heartache and that could have been avoided, if a conservation architect had been engaged.
A conservation architect has the skill and knowledge to properly understand your property and identify appropriate solutions. Their design flair will bring fabulous results that will lift the spirits.
MAAC studio are accredited conservation architects working with traditional buildings throughout the North of Scotland.