2017 Summary at Allan Corfield Architects
In the past year, ACA saw many changes, challenges and much success. Our team grew, and with this, all of our skillsets developed, making our service even better! We were involved in many amazing projects and our efforts and success were recognised, by many happy clients.
We started the New Year even more motivated and ready for new, ambitious challenges. We are getting closer to launching our new website with a carefully designed Learning Centre that will help you become a better self-builder. Although our focus is on the future and achieving success in 2018, we thought it would be nice to take a moment to reflect on ACA’s achievements in 2017. Therefore, we would like to invite you to have a look at our summary of 2017 in Allan Corfield Architects.
January served as a good warm-up month for us. We started the year with our friends and fellow entrepreneurs from the Content Marketing Academy in an annual Kick-off event, that prepared us for a successful year ahead. With our growing client base, we became aware that our team also had to grow in order to meet demands.
Allan was splitting his time between working with clients on their projects, co-operating with his peers from Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine and recruiting new staff – who could strengthen ACA’s team.
Following the recruitment process, ACA secured two new talented team members. The first being Angus, a Chartered Architect joining the team at the beginning of February. You can read more about Angus here.
We also started implementing Virtual Reality technology in our design projects, which enabled our clients to have a virtual tour around their future dream homes.
“At the stage of planning submission, all initial design drawings will be upgraded to planning level, including plans, sections and elevations and a BIMx model (if you go with us!) of your house will be prepared. This will enable you to simulate a walk around your home on your PC, iPad or even use VR goggles to maximise the experience in 3D”. Watch the video above.
Our Modern Barn Conversion and Extension project in Fife, got to the wind and watertight stage.
“ACA provided a number of basic options which were used to submit a pre-application enquiry with the local planning team, which gave an idea of what would be supported. The successful pre-app lead to a clever design solution of converting part of the large barn into 2 levels of entertaining space and master bedroom suite. Then a large 2-storey timber clad extension (housing 3 further bedrooms and bathrooms) would be connected via a glazed walkway.” Read more here.
In, March we welcomed another new member to our team, Steff. He strengthened our team with rich experience in passive house design which he acquired during his contract work in Germany and when running his own practice – Future Komfort.
Later that month, Allan took part in the National Homebuilding & Renovating Show in Birmingham. As the Self Build expert, he delivered talks and gave advice to individual self-builders. The turnout of people motivated to build energy-efficient homes at the show was very impressive. Here are some examples of the feedback Allan received from the visitors at his seminars:
Sustainability is very important to us and we always strive to make the smallest impact on the environment as possible. Therefore, we decided to install 2 electric charging stations at our office, so that our employees and clients would have the option to charge their EV for free!
Soon after Steff joined the team, we began offering a new service – Passive House Design & Certification. Houses that meet Passive House Standard are the most environmentally-friendly buildings that you can build.
We received planning approval for two houses in Devon. “The design process for the two low energy eco homes was going to be tricky due to the tight site constraints and potential for overlooking.
Detailed 3D models were made of the surrounding properties and our proposed homes, which were then used to consult with the local planning team. Due to the contentious nature of the site, the planning application for the low energy eco homes went to committee for review. After 2 committee meetings, a site visit and presentation by Allan – the application was approved”. Read more here.
In May, the Homebuilding & Renovating Show came to Glasgow. Allan continued to share his Self Build knowledge with a Scottish audience by delivering talks and meeting individual self-builders during Ask The Expert consultations.
June was a very busy period for our team. First, Allan and Przemek attended Content Marketing Academy Live, the best content marketing conference in the world! During two very interesting and inspiring days, we learned how to better help our clients and support them to become the best self-builders they can be.
At the end of the month, Allan and Iga visited the factories of the leading ceramic experts, Porcelanosa at their HQ in Spain. Following this visit, we prepared a visual blog full of kitchen and bathroom design inspiration. You can read it here.
July brought us another talented member, Calum. He joined the team as a Part II Architects Assistant, who will be sitting his final Architects qualifications this year.
During one of our Continuing Professional Development session, we hosted a mortgage specialist Tom McSherry from Buildstore, who educated our team on how we can help our self-builders to effectively organise their finances for their self-build project.
Our low energy project in Suffolk was finished. From the outset, the client had a strong vision and lots of ideas of what they would like to create in place of the house they had purchased.
“This clear vision made the design process very efficient, going from initial design proposal to a design freeze in a matter of weeks. Through these weeks the 3D model of the Self Build was developed and fine-tuned to the exact requirements providing realisation of the initial vision”. Read more here.
For the last 3 years, helping and educating self-builders has been the core of our philosophy. We created a Self Build Blog which now attracts around 3,000 visitors monthly. In August we decided to take it to the next level and we started the design process of our new website. This will result in changing our Self Build Blog into a multimedia Self Build Learning Centre, full of Self Build advice that will maximise your experience.
The new website will be launched alongside the previously announced Ask The Self Build expert show, which you will be able to watch on our YouTube channel soon.
Another month, and another HBR Show. This time, Allan was talking to the people of London. If you have still not been to any HBR Show, you can read about the benefits it can bring to your project here. You can also have a look at Allan’s tour around ExCeL London before the door was opened to get a taste of the highest class homebuilding event.
In October, our team was strengthened by yet another talented Architect, Fiona. If you want to get to know her better read our interview with her here.
This month, HBR Show came to the Scottish capital city, Edinburgh. It was the last event of the year for Allan. We also signed several more projects which got us closer to another milestone, which we then achieved the next month…
We got planning approval for a low energy project in Berryknowe, which was designed using Passive House Planning Package. The initial designs created a central 3-storey core element, with split level living areas connecting through the 3-storey core.
“The contemporary approach; featuring charred black timber, grass roofs and large triple-glazed curtain wall sections – was approved by the local planning team in mid-2017 – without any objections. The house is being designed to Passive Standards, utilising SIPS construction, MVHR, solar panels and a battery store, as the clients wish to live off grid“. Read more here.
November was a very exciting month for all of us at ACA and showed that hard work really pays off. It was almost a year ago we celebrated our 200th project. In less than 12 months we achieved another milestone – project number 250. To mark this occasion, we will soon publish the interview with Allan that summarises ACA’s progress last year.
Another achievement, this time more personal to Allan came with the recognition of ACA’s progress and our commitment to the philosophy of Content Marketing. Allan was invited to be one of the speakers at CMA Live 2018 – the best marketing conference in the world! Allan will share his story on how Content Marketing helped his business (and his clients). If you want to learn more about Content Marketing and take part in this amazing event, buy your tickets for the Edinburgh’s event now!
With the festive spirit approaching, December started with a very interesting business trip, in which Allan and one of our self-build clients visited Germany, along with the designers from Mihaus UK – to pick the finishes for their soon to be a dream home. They visited the showrooms of two of the top bathroom and kitchen manufacturers, Kueco and Warendorf.
Later, Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine announced Allan as a permanent member of the HBR team as an energy-efficient Self Build expert! In December’s issue of the magazine, you could read Allan’s article about designing a low energy home using Structural Insulated Panels.
Satisfied but motivated to work even harder in 2018, our team had a well-deserved Christmas break…..bring on 2018!