Architecture & Building

Architecture & Building, Interior Design

Learn all about Architectural rendering and what it’s used for

What is architectural rendering? 

Architectural rendering is the process of creating images that illustrate the planned design of a building or space. The goal is to make a highly detailed, lifelike experience of how the project will look before it is built.  

Pros of architectural rendering –  

There are many benefits to hiring someone to render your project, and some of them are:  

  • It can develop design ideas more accurately  
  • Keeps the client excited about the project 
  • It can identify problems in the early stages, to reduce costs 
  • It’s easier for clients to understand and communicate design ideas  

Realistic quality –  

When it comes to Rendering images, you can make it so it looks like a photo, with realistic quality. In interior renders the precision for details is vital. For example, furniture, lights, shadows, reflections, views, and also where you locate an object.  

What you can achieve with computer renderings –  

  • Still renderings 
  • 3D Walkthrough and flythrough animations  
  • Virtual tours 
  • Floor plans  
  • Photo-realistic 3D rendering  
  • Realtime 3D render 
  • Panoramic rendering  
  • Light and shadow study  
  • Renovation rendering  

The four main types of architectural rendering –  

  • External 3D visualisation  

 This type of render is one of the most widely used ones in the industry. There is no better way to show the outside of the building to a potential buyer than with realistic images.  

  • Interior rendering  

Interior design plays a crucial role in selling and promoting any interior space. Realistic pictures allow designers to present the ability, unity, and spaciousness of the interior space to the clients.  

  • Panoramas 

 There is no better way to show off a building or place to the viewer, than by a real-life 360-degree experience. this is currently one of the biggest trends in the architectural industry. Although, this may take longer to create, many have said it is worthwhile.  

  • 3D animation  

 In addition, this type of 3D rendering has been compared to be like watching a short movie. The render would be able to smoothly go through different rooms of the project. While being able to see every tiny detail. A lot of clients prefer this type of render because it’s more expressive and real. It also helps save time, effort, and cost.  

Architectural Visualisation (Process, Cost & Tips) -

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Architecture & Building

The advantages and disadvantages of buying a maisonette

When it comes to searching for the perfect property, many people are unsure about what a maisonette is. This results in property buyers being hesitant and skeptical about purchasing a maisonette. If this is how you feel, read on to find out the advantages and disadvantages of these buildings.  

What is a maisonette?  

A maisonette is a self-contained living area/ flat, with its own private entrance. Maisonettes are commonly located above shops, offices, garages, or on top of ground floor maisonettes. 

Now you have an understanding of what a maisonette is, let’s get into some of the advantages and disadvantages of the buildings.  

The advantages of a maisonette –  

  • Nice amount of living space  

If you are living by yourself or have a small family maisonette can provide the perfect space. They are usually a bit bigger than a flat but smaller than a house.   

  • They are a more affordable option  

Purchasing a maisonette is usually a more affordable option than buying a house. Similarly, maisonettes share some qualities with flats. If you were to carve out the space of a maisonette in a block of flats, a maisonette would be about 20-25% cheaper than the equivalent space in that block.  

  • Able to have more privacy  

As we mentioned in the definition, maisonettes have their own private entrance, rather than a shared one. Many owners like this because it gives them privacy and personal space. 

Furthermore, the disadvantages are –  

  • Shared facilities  

There are some disadvantages to take into account when purchasing any property. One of the main ones for a maisonette is shared driveways and gardens, with the neighbours. This can cause issues for some people especially when it comes to parking.  

  • Difficult to get a mortgage  

Although it’s not impossible to get a mortgage on a maisonette, it is often not an easy process. The criteria are generally stricter than those of a typical house mortgage. However, if you’re planning to buy with cash, it shouldn’t be an issue.  

  • Noisy neighbours  

If you live in the ground floor maisonette, then there is always a chance of having noisy upstairs neighbours walking above you.   

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Advice Center, Architecture & Building

When is the best time to build a house?

Many people wonder when the best time of year to start construction and build a home is. Out of all of the seasons, spring is usually the best time to start your project. However, materials are often cheaper in the autumn or winter, this is because there is less demand.  

Why is spring the best time to build?  

There are multiple reasons why spring is the perfect time to start building your dream home. Here is a list of the reasons:  

The weather is better –  

In spring the weather is getting warmer and the skies stay clear which is perfect for working outdoors. Because of this, there will be fewer issues when it comes to the logistics and building of your construction projects. Whereas, if you start your project in the winter, the cold, wet, and harsh weather conditions can make it difficult for the builders to work. Starting a project in the colder weather is also not ideal for you as a homeowner because you are open to the elements, and it could take longer because of delays.  

The days are longer –  

Due to daylight saving times, in spring you get more hours of sunlight to work with. This is easier for builders because if they get behind schedule, they are able to work later without the worry of it getting dark. The longer the days the faster the project will be completed. So, doing construction in the spring/ summer is beneficial for both the homeowner and the contractors.  

Get a head start on the build –  

Summer is generally the busiest time of year for contractors and builders. So, the longer you wait and put off the construction the harder it will be to find contractors. This is why spring is the perfect time to start scheduling contractors, electricians, plumbers, etc. 

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Architecture & Building

The differences between commercial and residential

The main differences between commercial and residential –

A commercial building is a building that is used for commercial use and not used as a residence. Such as, 

  •  Firstly, industrial facilities 
  • warehouses 
  • business establishments.  
  • Land investments  
  • Office buildings 
  • Storage units 

Whereas, residential construction is where living accommodation is built. For example,  

  • apartments 
  • Flat 
  • Detached homes 
  • Condominiums  
  • Townhouses  
  • Finally, housing cooperatives  

The differences of Building materials –  

Every building design calls for different building materials. This means that each project will require a unique set of materials in terms of quality and quantity.  

The materials used for residential properties can differ majorly compared to those used on commercial property. Most homes are made of timber frame construction since it is considered more affordable and can be structurally strong. However, most commercial buildings require steel and other complex building materials.  

The differencess in Cost –  

The costs for residential and commercial development vary massively. The cost differences are not only from the materials but also costs related to overhead, labour, and equipment.  

Funding for commercial and residential construction is completed using different protocols. 

People pay for commercial construction by:

  • A corporation with bank financing 
  • A government agency  
  • A wealthy owner or developer 

Whereas, some people pay for residential construction by::  

  • Bank loans  
  • Insurance loan 
  • Cash  
  • Government agency/ non-profit 

Codes and permitting –  

In addition, both commercial and residential properties require permits and building codes. The regulations in commercial property construction are greater and are generally stricter than residential construction.  

Commercial construction projects have pre-set guidelines regarding the materials used. The laws are enacted to ensure that the following aspects of the structures are addressed. 

  • Firstly, electrical systems  
  • Plumbing  
  • Construction materials  
  • Size 
  • Design 
  • Techniques for construction 

Following these requirements until the end will benefit the project in the long run. Safety is important for both residential and commercial structures.

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Architecture & Building

The different types of building foundations

What is a building foundation? 

Building foundations are one of the most critical elements of any project. A foundation refers to the lowest load-bearing part of a building, typically below ground level. So, it is very important that you choose the right foundation for your construction.  

Here are the different types of foundations –  

Shallow –  

  • Firstly, individual footing or isolated footing 
  • Combined footing 
  • Strip foundation  
  • Raft or mat foundation  

Deep –  

  • Pile foundation  
  • Finally, drilled shafts or caissons  

Individual footing or isolated footing – 

Firstly, an isolated footing is one of the most used types of foundation. In order to carry and spread concentrated loads, for example, columns or pillars. Spread footings are unsuitable for the bearing of widespread loads.  

Combined footing – 

So, combined footings are constructed of two or more columns. They are close to each other and their foundations overlap. A combined footing used when it’s necessary, such as:  

When two columns are close together, causing overlap of adjacent isolated footings.  

Where soil bearing capacity is low, causing overlap of adjacent isolated footings.  

The proximity of building line or existing building or sewer, adjacent to a building column.  

updated construction news | civil engineering news

Strip foundation –  

Strip foundations consist of a continuous strip of concrete formed centrally under loadbearing walls. In addition, the wider the base of this foundation type spreads the weight over a wider area and provides better stability. They are also used to accommodate a row of closely-spaced columns. They are used for load-bearing walls. Including footings for extensions, conservatories, and house foundations.  

Does my house need foundations? - Mega Prefab

Raft or mat foundation –  

A raft or mat foundation is a large continuous rectangular or circular concrete slab. So, it carries the entire load of the superstructure and spreads it over the whole area beneath the building. A raft foundation is used when soil is weak. As it distributes the weight of the building over the entire area. In addition, they can be fast and inexpensive to construct.

Pile foundation –  

A pile foundation is a series of columns constructed or inserted into the ground. To transmit loads to a lower level of subsoil. In addition, it is needed in areas where the structures are large and heavy and the soil underlying is weak.

How to Construct a Bored Pile Foundation? - The Constructor


Drilled shafts or caissons –  

Finally, drilled shafts, also known as caissons, are deep foundation solutions used to support structures with large axial and lateral loads. By excavating cylindrical shafts into the ground and filling them with concrete.  

Drilled shafts | Keller North America

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Architecture & Building

How to add roof a overhang

A roof overhang also known as eaves protects the building under it from rain and weather. The overhanging edge of the roof also gives extra shade to the windows, preventing glare and heat from entering the home. Adding an overhang isn’t a very difficult job. However, blending the new overhang into the existing roof requires some expertise.  

Accessing the roof –  

Firstly, start by taking off the existing fascia and any other trim that covers the rafter tails. Once the rafter tails and top of the wall plate are exposed, you should be able to see into the loft.  

Extending the rafters –  

Secondly, cut the rafter extensions three times the length of the overhang you want to add. Then, position the rafter extension against the existing rafter. Make sure that two-thirds of their length overlap’s the rafters, defining the overhang. You should nail an extension to each rafter spaced 6 to 8 inches apart. The overhang should be 2 feet or less to ensure it would be stable.  

Installing fascia’s and soffits –  

Once the new overhang is on you can then start the fascia and soffit installation. Attach a new two-by-four sub-fascia board along the ends of the new rafter tails. The fascia board is nailed it the rafter and usually has a lip for the soffit boards to slot into. To build a soffit, attach a two by four nailer board to the wall of the building, making it level with the bottom of the fascia.  

Adding the roof to the overhang –  

Once the overhangs are framed, you need to cover the rafter extensions with a fresh layer of plywood sheathing. The best way to integrate the new overhang into the roof is to remove the underlay and shingles from the entire roof and put new ones on. If you use new shingles, the new overhangs will disappear into the roof. If you don’t want to reroof, then you’ll have to settle for a less than perfect blend. Your biggest problem may be finding roof shingles to match the ones on your house.   

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Architecture & Building, Interior Design

The basic need to knows of removing a load-bearing wall

Open plan designs are becoming very popular for homes and homeowners. Although, knocking down a wall can be more complicated than you think. Carry on reading to find out what you need to know about removing a load-bearing wall.  

What is a load-bearing wall?  

A load-bearing wall is a wall that is an active structural element of a building, which holds the weight of the elements above it, by conducting its weight to a foundation structure below it. Whereas, Non-load bearing walls, also called partition walls, don’t support loads from above and are simply there to divide spaces.  

How to check if a wall is a load-bearing?  

The easiest way to check if a wall is load-bearing is by knocking on walls. If the walls have a hollow sound that means it’s not a load-bearing wall. Whereas, if there is a hard thud it could be load-bearing. Although, the best way to check is to have a consultant visit your home and do a thorough check.  

You remove them yourself?  

While the majority of homeowners choose to hire a contractor because this project can be quite difficult, however, permitting authorities will allow you to do the work yourself. DIY homeowners must follow the local building requirements and pass inspections just like a builder would.  

However, it is recommended to hire a structural engineer. This is because they will inspect the house, calculate the size of the beams and posts you will need, and determine whether you’ll need to add supports.  

Do you need planning permission and building regulations?  

Unless your property is a listed building, you won’t need planning permission to remove any interior walls. However, if you’re removing a load-bearing wall, you will need building regulation approval from a qualified inspector.  

Usually, the removal of a load-bearing can be completed with a building notice. Although, the inspector may tell you to hire a structural engineer who can specify an appropriate beam or lintel before they grant approval.  

How much does it cost to remove?  

The most commonly removed walls are those between the kitchen, dining room, and living room. On average, the prices range from £1,250 to £1,750 to remove the wall and £800 – £950 to install structural supports. 

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Advice Center, Architecture & Building

The difference between an architect and an architectural technologist

Here at Pro Arkitects we have in-house design technologists that work on all of our amazing designs and projects. In this blog, it will explain the differences between an architect and an architectural technologist.  

Architect – 

What does the title architect mean?  

Firstly, an architect is a qualified professional obliged to conduct their services under the rules of a code of conduct. The title architect is protected by the architect’s registration board (ARB). 

How to become an architect?  

To call yourself an architect you must pass the standards set by the ARB, by completing parts 1,2, & 3 of the educational programs. Typically, depending on the curriculum and length of the program you choose to enroll in, the school can take anywhere from 5 to 7 years. During this time, the students will be following a combination of theoretical and practical training. Some architects also subscribe each year to be a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).  

In addition, architects can offer you full services. Including the detailed construction drawings and specifications. As well as, the construction phase with particular skills in administrating construction contracts.  

Architectural technologists – 

What does the title architectural technologist mean? 

The architectural technologist provides technical building design services. Technologists also have a professional title which is, Charted Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT). CIAT has a similar code of conduct for its members as the ARB. Most technologists have studied a three-year degree approved by CIAT.  

Becoming architectural technologist –  

A technologist is trained less intensively compared to an architect. They will most likely have a degree at best. However, this doesn’t mean that the technologist can’t design buildings.

What do the technologists do?  

The architectural technologists do the following:  

  • Firstly, create drawings and models  
  • Make sure the designs meet building regulations 
  • Prepare contracts and documents 
  • Also prepare cost estimates and instructions for builders 
  • They also work in a similar role to civil engineers.  

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Architecture & Building

The advanced Leica 3D scanner in architecture

Here at Pro Arkitects we are using a state-of-the-art 3D Lazer scanner, to get the technical measurements of your property. If you are interested and want to find out more about the scanner and what it does, read on.     

What is a Leica 3D scanner?  

Leica 3D laser scanning software suite sets the industry standard to capture, visualise, extract, analyse, share, and represent point cloud data. They deliver outstanding range, speed, and the highest quality of 3D data.  

What is 3D scanning?   

3D scanning is used widely in architecture and construction. It is a highly accurate method to capture the details of an existing building or construction site. Laser scanning can help designers visualize their designs by using real building data as a foundation. 

How does 3D scanning work? 

Specialised software drives the laser probe above the surface of the object. The laser probe projects a line of laser light, onto the surface while 2 sensor cameras record the changing distance and shape as it sweeps along the object.  

At pro arkitects we want to provide the best service that we can, and we achieve this by using the Leica scanner. Our drawings have become so much more detailed because the scanner captures accurate measurements and scans.  

Pros and cons of 3D scanning –   

Pros –   

  • Between 1 and 2 million points of measurable data is collected per second.   
  • It takes a fraction of the time compared to measuring by hand.   
  • You will get the drawings quicker.   
  • Helps design teams to save money.   
  • Increases professionalism of your project.  
  • Gives architects confidence in their work.  

Cons –   

  • The laser scanner is very expensive   
  • Errors could happen while the scanner is scanning   

How much does a Leica scanner cost? 

Laser scanners can be quite expensive. However, the level of detail and advanced technology they use. There are plenty of great entry-level options for a couple of thousands of pounds. Although, the mid-range 3D scanners tend to cost between £7,400 – £29,500. The very high-end scanners can reach up and over £737,000. 

Architecture & Building, Materials

All there is to know about Cross-laminated timber (CLT)

What is CLT? 

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a wood panel product, made from gluing together layers of solid-sawn lumber. They’re usually stacked crosswise at a 90-degree angle and glued into place. Using an odd number of layers is most common.  

Advantages and disadvantages of using CLT 

Advantages –  

  • Eco-friendly.  

Cross-laminated timber is a renewable, green, and sustainable material.

  • Prefabrication.  

Floors or walls made from CLT can be manufactured before reaching the job site. Which decreases lead times and could potentially lower overall construction costs.  

  • Thermal insulation.  

Being made out of multiple layers of wood, the thermal insulation of CLT can be high depending on the thickness of the panel.  

  • CLT is a light building material  

Foundations don’t need to be as large and the machinery required on-site are smaller than those needed to lift heavier materials.  

Disadvantages –  

  • Higher production costs. 

The production of CLT panels requires a large amount of wood and other materials compared to stud walls. 

  • Flammability.  

Wood is very flammable, unlike other building materials such as steel.   

  • Limited track record.  

Cross-laminated timber is relatively new material. So, a large amount of research has been done on Cross-laminated timber. However, it takes time to integrate new practices.  

How much does cross-laminated timber cost?  

In addition, the cost of cross-laminated timber is usually around £30 per metre square. Or on the high end of the price spectrum, you can expect it to cost about £50 per meter square.  

The cost of materials and labour may be lower than the traditional steel or concrete. Cross-laminated timber also reduces the carbon footprint of buildings.  

It is durable?  

The CLT product has a life span of 60 years and there are occupied timber buildings in Europe that are over 700 years old. The key factor in the longevity of a timber structure is the management of moisture during the design stage.


Cross-Laminated Timber MM crosslam - MM Holz