Architectural Process

Why commission an architect?

An architect can add value to your project in many ways. We are professionally trained to develop creative solutions to challenges and to know what will work and what won’t. Practically, if your project is large enough to need planning permission then you will need an architect, but smaller projects can also benefit from our expertise. You can commission different services: from a one-off consultation, to drawing up a design, to seeing the whole process through to completion – including managing the planning and construction phases. Through our training and experience, we will know how to turn your aspirations into reality while getting the best value for money.

Why choose Koru Architects?

Koru Architects is an award-winning practice with a design-led and client-centred approach. Our director has over 25 years of professional experience and is fully registered with the ARB and the RIBA. We favour creative design solutions and lateral thinking, meaning with us you may have more options than you originally thought. We are also passionate advocates of sustainable design, with a reputation for the creative use of light and space and careful selection of natural materials. If you want to reduce your energy bills while easing your environmental impact, we will add extra value to your project with our sustainable design expertise.

Learn more about our design philosophy here and our certifications here.

What is the full architectural service?

While every project is unique, it will follow this basic process. These stages are based on the RIBA’s 2013 Plan of Work, which you can download for more detail.


Extract from RIBA Plan of Work 2013. All architects are required to follow this basic framework for full architectural projects.

Stage 0/1: Preparation and Brief

This is the most important stage as it determines the rest of the project. You will discuss your goals, ideas, aspirations and budget with us and we will help you assess your options and if necessary carry out a feasibility study. We will also identify what other professionals need to be consulted, for example a structural engineer.

Stage 2: Concept Design

We will respond to your brief with our initial design ideas – displayed in a series of sketches, called a ‘concept design’. Your feedback is crucial at this stage, so we know how to develop the ideas into a full design solution. Together we will agree on a project strategy and timeline, and then we will liaise with local planners on your behalf.

Stage 3: Developed Design

This is where we spend time developing the concept design into something that can actually be built. This more detailed digitalised version will go beyond the shape and style of the building to include all practical considerations and the work of any other consultants. At this stage you will start to get an idea of the cost of the project, and once the developed design is agreed then we will submit it for planning approval.

architectural processStage 4: Technical Design

Although the fundamental design is agreed at Stage 3, a further level of technical detail is required to create precise floor-plans and specifications that can be handed to a building contractor. Any conditions attached to planning permission will need to be resolved at this stage and we will also submit the plans for building control approval. Once this is done, we can start to approach builders, and if desired we can manage them on your behalf.

Stage 5: Construction

The building is now under construction! Throughout this stage, we can oversee and manage the project to make sure it’s built on budget and on time. Any minor deviance from the technical design will be documented.

Stage 6/7: Handover and Use

In this final stage the project is wrapped up and the building handed over to you. We will inspect the building, finalise the building contract and complete any necessary certifications, and you will be able to give feedback. We will both have a chance to evaluate the project and the building is now ready for use.