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A Guide to Commercial Buildings

What is a commercial building used for?

A commercial property is a space that allows you to use the space for commercial activities such as food service, retail or any other business. Commercial buildings have been split into classifications designated into class A, B and C. 

Class A buildings are usually newer construction properties with better amenities and infrastructure. However, this could be an older building that has been remodelled. Usually located in a popular area. 

Class B buildings are maintained and well managed. Not always a new build but can be easily transformed by some renovations. 

Class C buildings are often old properties, located in unbeneficial areas that are less maintained. There are building tends to need more work done. Landlords will charge less due to the work needing to be done. 

Classifications  

Classifications for each building:

A1 – shops such as:  

  • Retail (not hot food) 
  • Post office 
  • Hairdressing 

A2 – Professional services 

  • Banks 
  • Health and medical services 

A3 – Food and Drink  

  • Cafes  
  • Restaurants   
  • Anything that serves hot food 

A4 – Drinking establishments  

  • Bars 
  • Wine bars  

B1 – Business 

B8 – Storage and Distribution  

  • Wholesale warehouse 
  • Distribution centre  
  • Repositories 

C1 – Hotels  

  • Hotels  
  • Guest homes  

C2 – Residential institutions  

  • Boarding schools 
  • Training centre 
  • Hospitals  
  • Nursing homes  

Do I need planning permission?  

Yes, you do, it is essential that you have planning permission for commercial buildings.

When do you need commercial planning permission? 

You will definitely need to have planning permission if you intend to: 

  • Add an extension or large-scale renovation. 
  • Build a new property. 
  • Change the use of the building. For example, changing the use from commercial to residential or residential to commercial. 

Do I need Planning permission if I work from home? 

Using space in your home will not usually need planning permission. However, you should get planning permission if: 

  • Your business is unusual to be in a residential area. 
  • Your employees work from your home. (But are not occupants) 
  • The number of customers visiting your home increases. 
  • Your business could disturb your neighbours. 

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House Renovation, Interior Design

10 ways to modernise your old house and make it feel brand new

As the saying goes don’t move, improve. Especially if you love your house but want to modernise it to become more of your style. Adding affordable improvements can also add value to your home and can maximise how you use it.

Remove walls – 

removing the walls between the dining and living room or even the kitchen can transform an older home. Creating an open plan living space and making the room feel airy and modern, without damaging the character too much. 

How to Divide an Open-plan Space With a Half-wall | Houzz UK

Replace or clean the flooring –  

If the older house has a dirty carpet, it would be best to either clean it or buy a new one and make the space feel fresh. And if the flooring is wood or dark in colour to modernise the place you should opt for a lighter colour choice. 

▷ How to replace carpet with vinyl flooring? And why? | L'Antic Colonial

Paint the walls – 

The walls in outdated houses often have crazy wallpaper or dark paint on them. To make your home modern you need to choose colours that will tie your home together. This is an affordable easy way to transform your house quickly.  

Bright Pieces gallery wall - White and gold - desenio.co.uk

Install larger windows –  

By replacing the old windows with larger ones or by adding bi-fold doors it can open up a space. By doing this you will be creating indoor/ outdoor living which has become a very popular style of home design.   

50 Living Rooms with Big Windows (Photos) - Home Stratosphere

Replace old fixtures  

From light switches to cabinet handles, fixtures can really date a home. Update these common fixtures in your home and they will bring your design.  

  • Light switches 
  • Outlets and plugs 
  • Cabinet hardware 
  • Door handles  
  • Indoor and outdoor light fixtures 
Modern Nordic Lighting | Wayfair

Hide the clutter –  

Having numerous ornaments, pictures and magazines can instantly make a home feel outdated and uninviting. Having multi-functional furniture and hidden storage is a simple way to declutter and give your space a modern feel.  

Amazon.com: HOMCOM 39" Modern Lift Top Coffee Table Desk with Hidden  Storage Compartment for Living Room, Coffee Brown Woodgrain : Home & Kitchen

Add new lighting to your home – 

Having proper lighting can bring a room to life. A poorly lit room looks small, dark, and cramped, while a bright room appears open and welcoming. The easiest way of doing this is by adding lamps to dark areas and replacing the ceiling lights.  

Lenny Smoked Glass Table Lamp | Dunelm

Landscape the garden – 

 Landscaping is often overlooked. Planting more trees and flowers or having freshly cut grass can transform the garden and the look of the house. Many outdated houses have overgrown plants or plants that need a lot of love. To modernise the house, you should show just as much care to the outside as you do on the inside.  

9 Peter Fudge Gardens ideas | modern garden, landscape design, outdoor  gardens

Revamp the fireplace –  

A fireplace is a great focal point to a room. However, because fireplaces first became popular in the 70s and 80s you may need to make some changes for them to become modern. 

Traditional or Modern Fireplace? | Heat & Glo

Refresh or replace internal doors –  

You can give any room an update with a new door. By repainting or adding glass windows to the doors it can transform the entire layout of a home. Glass doors create an open-plan area without removing any internal walls, which is perfect for families.

An inspiring guide to French door perfection.

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Design and Inspiration

Everything You Need to Know About Installing a Balcony

How much does it cost to add a Balcony? 

Depending on the complexity of the job would depend on the price. The estimated price to installing a balcony would vary between £1,500 – £5,500. 

The estimated cost would cover: 

  • Size
  • Design  
  • Labourer costs 
  • Material costs 
  • How complex the job is. 

Types of balconies  

  • Stacked – The most popular and common. Easy to install. 
  • Juliet/Faux – This is a faux balcony that may contain a small standing area but usually does not. A Juliet balcony contains a balustrade connection to the building without flooring to walk on. 
  • Hung – This structure is made out of stainless-steel cables that are fixed on the sides of the structure. These balconies are less common but have great strength. 
  • Cantilevered – This structure can be made from concrete, steel or timber. This type of project needs to be planned accordingly as the job is quite complex. 
  • Mezzanine – They have a large decking area with railing. This structure gives you more space. 

Do I need planning permission to install a balcony? 

If your home is in a conservation area or your property is listed you must apply for planning permission. 

In other cases, if your balcony is smaller that 300mm you may not have to seek planning permission but it is always best to do so. When submitting your planning application form expect to pay a fee. 

Installing a Juliet/Faux balcony means you won’t have to apply for planning permission, unless you decide to add flooring to walk on and then you must. 

Will it raise my house value? 

There are no guarantees that this will raise the price value, but they have been known the raise the value up to 12%. 

What are balconies used for? 

Balconies are used for extras space, kind of like an outdoor room. Many people like to use their balcony like a garden. For example adding a barbecue or flowers onto it. Others like to use their balcony to admire the views the structure allows them to see and relax on it. 

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Architecture & Building, The science of a happy home

Designing A Home For People With Disabilities

For those who have a  disability, the opportunity to adapt their house or create some more space could dramatically improve their quality of life. However, the inclusive design goes much further than making a house wheelchair-friendly. 

Willingness to make a house useable to the greatest extent to every individual. Regardless of their physical condition and ability leads to the development of an idea called “universal design” for homes.  

What is universal design?  

Universal design is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood, and used to the greatest extent possible by all people. Regardless of their age, size, ability, or disability.   

Making a more accessible home –  

Building an accessible home could mean catering for those with impaired movement, failing eyesight, or reduced hearing. You may need to make your home accessible if you have become temporarily disabled. For example getting an injury, illness, or even pregnancy.

Movability within and outside the home – 

People with limited mobility may find standard homes a little too cramped and hard to move around in. Wheelchair users need their homes to be wider than usual. A good way to ensure that limited space doesn’t become an issue is by creating an open-plan space. By having an open plan living area, you would be able to get around easier if you struggle with mobility, or impaired senses.  

You should replace all doorknobs with lever handles. So, that they can be used by everyone. They can be easily grabbed by a person with arthritis or Parkinson’s issues. They can also be opened with an elbow if need be.   

The outside designs need to offer straightforward access between the car and the house. The driveway and pavement leading to the house should be wider than a traditional house. And there should be a ramp instead of stairs leading to the house. 

Building an inclusive layout –  

Having a standard layout will not work with a wide majority of disabled people, the goal is to make sure those with reduced mobility can use everything in the house. 

 Storage is a big thing to keep in mind when designing this type of house. Having plenty of built-in storage is useful because it helps to avoid clutter.

Including a wet room is great for accessibility because the shower area can be an extra maneuvering zone. Plus they allow for someone to wash while seated.  

Installing handrails and bars to hold on to all over the house will also be beneficial to the people living in the house.   

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Design and insperation

Eco-Friendly Ways To Improve And Create An Eco-House

Building an eco-house has never been easier than what they are now. They have become the new focus for many new builds, wanting to help the environment.  

What is an eco-house? 

An eco-house is a type of home that tries to lessen its impact if the environment. This affects everything, including the materials chosen to build it. Also, the water and energy usage are set up to be as efficient as possible. 

Are eco-homes good to live in? 

One of the biggest benefits of choosing to build with eco materials is that they are free from harmful chemicals, finishes, and potential environmental pollutants. This makes them safer to build and a healthier home environment.  

Do you need planning permission for an eco-house? 

Getting planning permission for an eco-project will be similar to planning permission on a traditional build. Whether you get accepted will depend on the location and the overall look and design of your project.   

If you are planning to build an eco-house here are some things you should include:  

  • Double or triple glazed windows  
  • Large windows that increase daylight – larger windows means that more sun light will light up the house. This will help you save energy.  
  • High levels of insulation – increasing the amount of thermal insulation is the main component of preventing energy loss.  
  • High levels of airtightness 
  • Heating and/or hot water provision from a renewable source (solar panels, heat pump) 
  • Renewable energy systems, such a solar PV and solar thermal – placing solar panels towards the sun means that you will be getting free heat and electricity gained from the sun 
  • Build with sustainable materials  

How much does it cost to build an eco-house? 

Eco-houses and their various features can be more expensive than traditional homes. However, you should keep in mind that you are making an investment in the environment. In Scottland, it cost around £325,000 to build an eco-house in the Unst, but because of the extra costs, it would come to around £195,000 – £200,000 on the mainland. 

Why are eco-friendly homes important? 

Green homes are environmentally friendly because they make use of renewable and plentiful clean energy sources. They also help reduce your carbon footprint; this would help slow climate change. They reduce air and water pollution and helps maintain clean water resources.  

Alternative Sources of Energy and Eco Homes - Environments in Danger
Advice Center, Architecture & Building

Find Out The Fastest Way To Get Technical Measurements: 3D Laser Scanning

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 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. The laser scanning can help designers visualize their designs by using real building data as a foundation.  

Laser scanning in architecture –  

The ability to scan buildings in high detail makes 3D scanning a very popular request when it comes to surveys. With the high accuracy information, it saves productivity and time which is important when delivering results to a client.  

How does 3D scanning work?  

 The laser projects a line of laser light onto the surface. While 2 sensor cameras, continuously record the changing distance and shape of the laser in 3 dimensions as it goes along the object.  

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  

Functionality –  

The purpose of a 3D scanner is to create a 3d model. However, the 3D models often consist of a point cloud of geometric samples on the surface of the design.  

The scanner shares similar traits with a camera, and like cameras, they can only collect information about surfaces that are not obscured. While cameras collect colour information about surfaces within their field of view, a 3D scanner collects distance information about surfaces.  

However, a single scan will not produce a complete model of the building. You will need to do multiple scans, in different directions to get the information of all sides of the project.  

Notre Dame fire will accelarate the adoption of 3D scanning of historic  sites

Architecture & Building

The Beginners Guide to Knowing About Staircase

If you’ve decided to take the risk and move the staircase in your home, you might be feeling a little anxious about the project. Moving your stairs can be a big job and expensive job depending on if you want new stairs and where you want them. 

How Much Does Moving Your Staircase Cost? 

The average cost for moving stairs is around £3,000. Why? This cost will cover removing the old stairs, replacing the new stairs and the labourer costs. After all of this you will most likely need to replace your flooring materials around the area which could add to the costs.  

How Hard Is It to Move a Staircase? 

Moving a staircase is best to be left the professionals as it’s a complicated process. Not only would you have to seal the gaping hole left in the floor you would also have to cut one into the floor for a new space for the stairs. This also means adding new floor joists and flooring materials. 

Do You Need Planning Permission to Move Stairs? 

There isn’t one chance that you wouldn’t need a permit that involves changing the location of a staircase. Moving around stairs without doing your due diligence is highly dangerous. Why? When you move or remove the stairs there will be an open hole that will need to be framed in which requires adding structural members to the open space, such as sistering floor joists. Moving stairs usually involves replaces the flooring. 

How Long Does It Take to Move Stairs? 

It is difficult to estimate the exact time it would take to move stairs but will likely take 3-4 days. A complex design could take a while depending on the complexity of your design, you may need an architect to draw up the design which could make the process longer. The actual removal of your old stairs will most likely be the longest part, depending on where your stairs are located. 

Can You Move Basement Staircase? 

You need to remember that the framing in the basement holds up your entire home, so when you decide to remove a wall or cut into your main floor joists you need to make sure they have been supported correctly. If you do not support these properly this cause huge damage to your property. No, your house wont collapse but it could shift your main beam or crack the drywall in your home 

Types Of Staircases 

  • Straight – The most common type of stairs, straight stairs are very popular and affordable. 
  • Quarter turn – Quarter turn stairs are usually more visually appealing. 
  • Half turn – With a landing or resting space half way. 
  • Winding – Winding staircases take up less space and can be used throughout several floors 
  • Spiral – Usually constructed with metal, spiral stairs fit perfectly in complex designs. 

Different Materials Used for Staircases  

  • Softwood – Often used for straight staircases, softwood is cheaper and easier to work with. 
  • Hardwood – Pricier than softwood but a lot stronger. 
  • Metal – Strong and durable. It is mostly used for spiral staircases but are very noisy. 
  • Glass – quite expensive but gives off a really nice modern finish. 

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Architecture & Building, Materials

Frequently Asked Things About SIP Panels: Get To Know

What is a SIP panel?  

A structural insulated panel (SIP) is a sandwich structured composite. Consisting of an insulating layer of rigid core sandwiched between two layers of structural board, used as a building material.  

The board can be sheet metal, plywood, cement, magnesium oxide board, or oriented strand board. In addition, the core can either be polystyrene foam, extruded polystyrene foam, polyurethane foam or be composite honeycomb.  

How sustainable are SIPs?  

Structural insulated panels are one of the most environmentally responsible building systems available. They are constructed offsite and the elements are fully manufactured in a controlled environment. This minimises the loose materials sent to the site you are balancing the risk of waste. Also, all of the materials used in the manufacture and construction are recyclable.  

Installing and longevity of SIP panels –  

When using SIP panels, the build speeds are a lot quicker than the normal construction methods. This is due to the number of elements you need for a build. The panels just need slotting together, once they have need delivered.

The life span of structural insulated panels usually lasts around 60+ years. This is because they are a high-performing system that is extremely strong.  

Are SIPs cost-effective?  

SIP panels are usually the same or sometimes less expensive than using other building systems. They are known to be 90% more energy-efficient than a traditional home. This is because of all of the insulation and airtightness they provide. The panels are also a cheaper option because there will not be many construction and labour costs.  

Advantages and disadvantages –  

SIP panels have many pros and cons, and they are the type of product you should investigate before committing to them on your project.  

Advantages –  

  • They are considered to be up to 6 times stronger than a timber frame.  
  • Can me manufactured off site – this means the build will be less costly and will take less time to construct.  
  • Fire resistant – they have tested to offer 73 minutes of resistance, which exceeds British fire safety regulation.  
  • Highly thermal – they have also tested to outperform fibre insulation. 

Disadvantages –  

  • Require additional ventilation – this is because of the heat trapped inside. To avoid built up condensation you need to use the vents.
  • It is harder for changes to be made once you have decided on the design of you SIP home.
  • Need additional airflow sources – because of the tight seal you need more airflow. If not, the walls can become damp, and even mouldy.  
  • Relatively new to the UK – therefore, finding professional builders with experience can be hard.  
SIP panel

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Advice Center

Everything You Need To Know About Commercial Architecture

If you are looking into building a commercial property or renovating an existing one, then hiring the right architect is key. A professional, architect can help turn your dreams into reality. 

What is commercial project architecture?  

So, commercial architecture is to design functional buildings and structures that will be used to provide a service to people. Commercial properties could include offices, restaurants, shops, warehouses, hospitals, and so on. As a result, this type of architecture focuses on combining function with style. This helps to meet the needs of the business. 

What is the architect responsible for on a commercial project?  

The architect is in responsible charge of construction means, methods, techniques, safety procedures, and precautions of everyone working on the project. In addition, the architect must also obtain proper licenses and contractors’ general liability policies in order to perform construction services.  

The architect is responsible for the total cost of the design and construction, as well as, the timing and stages. For instance, dates and time frames of when the projects should be completed.   

There are three main categories in commercial architecture. This includes:  

 residential architecture –  

Firstly, residential architecture is the design and development of properties used for living. For example,  

  • Apartments 
  • Family homes  
  • Flats  
  • Maisonettes  

office development –  

So, Office development is about creating a new space that helps the business and employees thrive and achieve their goals. For instance, the types of offices are:

  • Corporate headquarters 
  • Studios 
  • Office buildings  

 industrial architecture –  

For example, the types of industrial buildings are:  

  • Warehouses  
  • Factories  
  • Breweries  
  • Manufacturing  
  • Powerplants  
Commercial architectural

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hello, how are you Commercial architecture is the design of buildings and structures for use by businesses?

Change of use Architecture is an architectural practice comprised of Planning Consultants, Architectural & Interior Designers, and Senior Architects. We also have a branding facility, which offers corporate identity design to blend with your newly refurbished space.

Our team is proud to have a proven track record in planning submissions. With over 1400 changes of use and residential applications to date, we understand the importance of successfully obtaining planning permission with your first application. This is because it facilitates future applications from the change of use landlords or tenants.

Advice Center, Planning Permission

How To Get Planning Permission On A Grade 2 Listed Building

Firstly, getting planning permission for a grade 2 listed building isn’t as straightforward as it is for a regular house. And this blog will help advise you on the best way to achieve planning permission.  

What makes a grade 2 listed building?  

A grade 2 listed building is defined as a building or structure that is of special interest. Warranting every effort to preserve it. In addition, grade 2 is a classification that can be applied to a wide variety of buildings and other structures. In a range of ages, styles, and locations.  

Will I need listed building consent?  

You will need listed building consent if your project requires all works of demolition, alteration, or extension. That affects its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. Unlike other forms of planning permission, the listed building consent is free of charge.  

Here are a couple of tips to getting planning approved –  

  • Research the area. If you discover another developed listed building in your area there is a higher chance that your planning permission might get approved. If you find any, I would advise checking the council planning portal and see what architect worked on the project.  
  • Choose your architect wisely – architects play a major role when it comes designing your project and getting the planning permission.  and choosing an architect with a good knowledge and understanding of listed buildings is really important.  
  • In your plans, you should plan to use the same materials and design elements that were used originally to construct the existing building. This way the new design will not stand out. Then there’s a higher chance of getting planning approved.  

If you carry out work without listed building consent it is a criminal offense. So, it is important that you follow the rules and go through all of the correct applications.  

How long does it take to get planning permission on a grade 2 listed building?  

Local authorities say they aim to return a decision within 8 – 13 weeks. However, they may ask for an extension on the permission if they are busy. 

What are the Differences Between Grade I and II Listed Buildings? -  Concrete Renovations

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