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Important Video

Taking action on what you learn in this video will be the most valuable thing you can do..

Commercial Architects Cambridge

Similarly to the domestic arm of the business Irvine Jones Design are ideally suited to guide the developer through the design process to realise the full extent of their site possibilities. Having a director that has worked as a contract manager for a local developer, Irvine Jones Design has an extensive knowledge and understanding of the constraints and opportunities associated with building homes for commercial purposes.

Irvine Jones Design have the expertise and are ideally suited to assist a developer in exploiting their building site to its full potential and returning the margin investment value required by banks for lending purposes, usually around 18% as a minimum, more often than not, hitting between 33% and 40%.

1. Needs, Options & The Brief

Pre-Design - Needs & Options Review (N&OR)

  • Low Commitment Consultation - On site
  • Setting of initial brief
  • Production of sketched plans
  • Proposal/discussion of outline Cost/budget notion
  • Conclusion with report issue and outline fee cost

Existing Condition

  • Investigations & studies to explore the feasibility of any potential development (constraints & opportunities)
  • Measured building surveys (by others)
  • Topographic site survey (by others)
  • Arboricultural (tree) surveys (by others)
  • Ecological (wildlife) surveys (by others)
  • Existing Site/building drawings

The Brief

  • Development of the design brief from N&OR - wants-needs-aspirations
  • Produce energy performance strategic brief
  • Develop budget cost strategy with QS.

2. Design & Planning

Concept + Needs & Options Review

  • Review of project constraints and opportunities
  • Simple sketches (outline proposals)
  • Cost/Budget planning
  • Develop energy performance and strategic brief

Detail Design for planning submission

  • Develop design drawings
  • Produc e daylight/sunlight studies as required
  • Submit proposals to planning for determination
  • Review planners intent at around week six of the determination period
  • Discuss planning outcomes with client
  • Advise client on procurement (contract) route options [see construction stage contract options]
  • On positive planning feed-back - Obtain appointment of other professionals to form design team - Builder/Contractor, Quantity Surveyor (QS), Structural Engineer (SE), Energy Performance Consultant
  • Approach builders and form tender list

3. Building Regulations & Tender

Building Regulations (technical design)

  • Discharge planning conditions as required
  • Develop planning design drawings further into technical drawings with notes to satisfy all regulatory and statutory requirements
  • Produce schedules of information, as required.
  • Develop further energy performance strategy (renewable technologies)
  • Produce u-value calculations - understand building fabric element make-up based on energy performance brief.
  • Review and compile other information, structural engineer specification and detail, Energy performance certification +
  • Submit regulations package to building control body for (conditional) approval

Construction drawings, specification & schedules

  • Specify all building fabric elementsand components
  • Confirm sap calculation + U-value suitability
  • Clarify structural details and specification (with structural engineer)
  • Clarify any planning position and pre-start conditions etc.

Tender submission

  • Clarify procurement route with client
  • Produce form of contract
  • Produce form of tender
  • Submit tender/construction set of information to builders/contractors

Tender Review

  • Review tender costs and tender programs received and report to client
  • Agree procurement route and program with builder/contractor
  • Appoint, on behalf of client, builder/contractor

4. Construction

Pre-construction - mobilisation

  • Allow site access for builder/contractor site set-up
  • Generally assist & answer any pre-start questions from builder/contractor


Either, proceed with traditional contract route and;

Administer the terms of the building contract

  • Make inspections (usually weekly) and report on observations & progress
  • Issue Architects Instructions (any variation from contract documents)
  • Review Builder/Contractor cost claims
  • Issue Interim cost (Architects) certification

Practical completion and 12 months (usually) defects liability period

  • Certify (Architects Certificate) practical completion when reached
  • Issue cost certificate and retention costs to builder/contractor
  • Inspect and produce snagging list of defects at interim stages (if any)
  • Issue instruction for defect remedy (as required)

Final certificate and Finalisation of account

  • Issue final certificate at end of defects liability period
  • Settle account and issue final certificate

6 years continued monitoring of building performance

  • Evaluate occupancy and building performance

Or, Consultant switch or ‘novation’ to contractor on Design & Build contract route &;

  • Proceed with technical design as agreed with contractor & client previously (employers requirements).
  • Provide ‘as and when’ required service for contractor. (as contracted)
  • Assist contractually through defects period

Project Kickstart

We are currently offering Feasibility Calls for Cambridgeshire area property owners with plans to build or renovate properties in the next 12 months.

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Irvine Jones Design were originally brought in to get me from a blank canvas stage, design and through planning up to the first day of build for my loft conversion of my Victorian house in London which was all a success. I opted to source the building company and project manage myself and as it happened I didn't make the best choice and many issues ensued turning it into a difficult job, but thankfully I was back on to Daniel quite a bit over the following months and he made the whole ordeal much better. With hindsight I would've gone all in with IJD from start to finish, but you live and learn.


Irvine Jones Design provided an exceptional service with great vision. They took on board all of our needs and requests and produced quality plans and drawings that have enabled us to construct a beautiful home. They also handled all of the planning submissions and communications taking the pain out of that process, while also being available for any questions or issues during the build, and we had a lot. They were a pleasure to work with and I can highly recommend them for your planning and architectural needs.