About

Providing designs for individuals and organisations which respond to the design brief. Renovations for derelict builds, commercial fit-outs and architectural projects designed with the aim to reduce low carbon emissions through materials.

We propose both horizontal and vertical landscape design ideas. The addition of greenery gives an aesthetic consideration to the building and by introducing various species; it also contributes to the climate stability.

With over 10 years within the construction industry, we believe in building from the ground up. We project manage land development projects for our clients, from conceptual design through to site completion, meeting all RIBA stages.

Sarah Mpolo Ekanda (BA(hons), MArch, MLA, ARB) is an RIBA Chartered Architect. As a developer architect, Sarah has gained significant experience from working for leading construction companies in the UK; which has helped refine her attention to detail, design and clients’ expectations.

 

OUR VISION

We believe in green design architecture and in providing sustainable designs through the use of building materials, air quality, water and energy conservation. We assist with Planning, Building Control and construction management throughout the building process. Great services and competitive fees are provided, covering primarily the regions of North and East London areas, to help shape your creative vision.

10 Questions You Need Answered
Before Starting a Project

1. WHY DO ARCHITECS’ FEES VARY?

Each architects’ fee varies due to the size of the project, the time your design will take and size of the practice. An architect will outline a scope of services and breakdown fees that are either hourly based, a percentage of the construction cost or a lump sum.

2. WHO CAN COMPLETE A PLANNING APPLICATION?

Anyone can complete a planning application to receive permission from thelocal authority. A response will usually be received between 8 weeks (for non-complex applications) to 13 weeks (for large complex applications)

3. DOES AN INITIAL FEE ONLY INCLUDE DRAWINGS OR SUBMISSION TO PLANNING AS WELL?

An architect will clearly highlight the services in the fee proposal such as VATs or local authority fees. Any abortive work should also be written by the architect, agreed and signed by both parties as the project progresses.

4. WHAT DOES A BUILDING CONTROL OFFICER / INSPECTOR DO?

A BCO is there to inspect that you have met the building regulations requirements, for the health & safety, quality and longevity of the build. This is done by checking the specification of the materials used throughout and any hazards. You can either appoint a local authority inspector or private BCO.

5. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BUILDING NOTICE AND FULL PLANS FOR BUILDING CONTROL?

A Building Notice helps to carry out work without prior approval – usually used for smaller projects. A Full Plans application includes working drawings that have been checked and approved by the Building Inspector. A full set of drawings can also be useful for the builder to give a fixed quotation.

6. I GAVE MY ARCHITECT PHOTOS AND PREVIOUS PLANS OF THE PROPERTY BUT THEY STILL WANT TO VISIT?

An architect will need to visit your property to understand your requested design and discuss any complexities. A survey will also be required before any works commence, so this visit can be crucial for the overall design development of the project.

7. MY ARCHITECT DIDN’T GIVE ME A CONTRACT TO SIGN. IS THIS LEGAL?

An architect should always provide you with a contract that needs to be signed by yourself, as the client, and by the architect as well. You both need to hold copies of the contract. Should any problems arise in the future, the contract will act as your proof of appointment.

8. CAN I CHOOSE MY OWN BUILDER OR CONTRACTOR?

You can choose your own builder or ask your architect for recommendations. A local builder is likely to provide you with a competitive quote.

9. DO I NEED PLANNING FOR LANDSCAPE DESIGN?

Planning permission for a landscape is required e.g when the design for public realms needs to discharge conditions, if your garden decking is more than 30cm high, if rainwater at the impermeable hard surface has no where to run-off or if the area of the hard surface exceeds 5 sqm.

10. WILL THE SAME UK STANDARDS AND FEES BE APPLIED IF I BUILD ABROAD?

A UK architect would typically design and provide a fee proposal based on the methods taught in the UK. As factors such as climate, materials and site location can affect the design abroad, the architect will take this into account. The design will need to suit and be influenced by the regional building standards.