- Thinking outside the box

As an experienced Architect, I recognise that every project will have its own unique requirements necessitating a flexible approach to tailor our service to meet the clients aspirations. This allows me to work directly with you to unlock the full potential of the project.

As a guide, the average project build costs we are involved with are between £150k – £1.0million. I do not believe in just the provision of drawings preferring instead to offer the support and advice throughout the entire project. We understand that not every client has the same requirements, budget or outlook so each client and project is dealt with individually







1. Preparation of the brief

- Interpreting dreams

Typically after you make an initial approach to BMA Ltd we’ll meet up to discuss your ideas. We’ll consider your budget and any design or architectural style preferences you may have. Nothing beats walking the site with clients as that’s where we identify the best approach views and outward focal points or areas of interest.

Its always a point of enjoyment when clients share their story of what makes the site important to them. This informs the feasibility stage and gets a general idea of possible orientation, layout and size. Following this we will create a brief that acts as a guide and point of reference throughout the duration of the project.

At this stage, we’ll encourage you to think outside the box- as our logo suggests. We seek to inspire our clients with fresh ideas.

Preparation work also includes:

  • Site appraisals including possible constraints and opportunities on-site, in the surrounding area. This can include ‘Areas of Townscape Character’, Conservation designation, Tree preservation Orders, Air Quality Management Zones, or flooding constraints.
  • Reviewing any existing building surveys or drawings. You may recall from my company profile this is something I particularly enjoy.
  • Preliminary cost indications, helping you to ‘grasp the nettle’ and understand the scope of investment required to achieve the dream.
  • Pre-application planning discussions including potential pitfalls that we could help to overcome
  • Advice on additional external consultants or specialist information that accompany my expertise. This may include a Preliminary Ecological Assessment (PEA) or an Air quality impact assessment, Damp or Insect infestations.
  • Agreeing our scope of services then determines our consultancy costs. Only once you are comfortable and in agreement can work begin for us.

2. Concept Design

- Translating Dreams into Drawings

Further to finding out what you would like to achieve its time for the professional to share the vision for your project. This initial stage is organic and free flowing and starts with spatial flow diagrams, sketching out the ideas that are the basic skeleton of the scheme.

This is where the dream is transferred from mind to drawing board. The cross fertilisation of ideas propagates the preliminary concepts giving you an insight into how we intend to meet your aspirations. This layering up of information continues with using 3D ‘white box models’ really start bring your project to life.

This is where your project gets incredibly exciting – it’s at this stage you will be able to accurately visualise what your fantastic new property could look like. Once this stage of the process is signed off we move onto the developed design.

As well as giving you a good idea of how your property will look, this allows us to efficiently plan, design, construct and manage the project. Furthermore, we will carry out:

  • Design meetings with you to gather your feedback and input
  • Production of ‘wire frame/ white box 3D models for your review
  • Inclusion/coordination of any consultant information
  • Considerations around spatial arrangement, the visual impact and aesthetics of the property, and the best materials to use

3. Developed Design

- Designs on statutory Determination

Following concept design, we’ll create detailed designs for the all-important planning approval process. Planning can be an moveable feast and sometimes challenging to navigate. Whilst a framework of planning policies exists for the entire province, known as the Strategic Planning Policy Statement (SPPS), often how it is interpreted and implemented can vary from council to council. Its our aim is to ensure this stage is navigated as simply as possible for you and we will maintain good communication with you when key milestones are reached with your local planning department. BMA prides itself as having a good reputation with the planning department and its many consultees including DFI and HED ensuring the process is as smooth and pain-free as possible

At this stage, the design concepts transform into clear detailed drawings for the planning department to review. This stage also includes:

  • Submission of planning, conservation area and listed buildings applications
  • Design and access statements (a report that accompanies and supports your planning application setting out the rationale for the design approach)

While no-one can ever guarantee that a planning application will be granted nor that it will never be subject to revisions, our success rate should give confidence in our abilities. We have a responsibility for each stake holder involved, primarily for you as the client, but our social duties extend to the statutory bodies and potential 3rd party interests as they share the environment within which we live, work and relax

Communication is an important factor and our experience in the planning process will ensure that any delays around planning consent are minimal. Once your plans are approved you are well on your way to living the dream.

4 Technical Design

- Detailed designs for construction

After obtaining approval from your planning department, BMA will continue to develop the designs and provide technical information required by Building Control to meet building regulations. Typically a building control drawing satisfies those aiming for a ‘shell fit out’ but it doesn’t automatically include specification for finishes and fixtures. BMA recommend that clients assist with the provision of additional information needed so as to ensure more accurate information is available for contractors/ builders quotations as often build cost for a turn-key project can vary greatly depending on internal finishes specification. Once contractors/ builders have the detailed designs and any accompanying information, they can price up the work and submit their tenders. This is a detailed stage of our work, ensuring clarity, a high-quality building process and a high-quality result

As a design-led practice BMA are committed to providing clear, in-depth construction detailing as this removes ambiguity and ensures quality.

This stage includes:

  • Production of technical plans, sections and details
  • Coordination of all consultant information such as structural engineer guidance
  • Building regulations applications
  • Building specification/Schedule of Works
  • Invitations to tender, tender appraisals and reports
  • Advice on selection of contractors/ builders and building contracts
In accordance with the scope of our appointment BMA happily meet with any short listed building companies to discuss the project and clarify any questions. Our experience will ensure that the chosen building company is reliable, trustworthy offering value for money reflecting the commercial competitive market value at that time giving you peace of mind

5 Construction

-Managing it from 'board to building'

It’s time for your project to move from the blue print ‘drawing board’ stage to the reality of the site office!  It’s a very exciting time for all concerned as everything combinates towards the cutting of the first sod of turf. However, managing a project on-site can be a complex and time-consuming process. Everyone’s professional work life has its own deep rooted ‘buzz words’ that can be daunting when perhaps you as a client who have no previous knowledge of the construction lingo. They can be as confusing as ‘cockney slang’ to the uninitiated. Consequently clients often rely on us to manage this process for them, something we do on a regular basis. If funding is required through a mortgage often it is the banks that rely on the ‘Architects Certificate’ to validate that the workmanship completed reflects the value of material constructed at any given stage. We are more than happy to liaise with your contractor/builders for you and we are accustomed to answering technical questions raised, allowing you to watch your project bud into full bloom without getting weighed down by the detail! We work with the builders to ensure your project is built on time, within budget and to the quality expected

BMA monitor progress and keep you updated on the building work and we can also visit the site with you if required which helps client visualise the spaces in reality, often for the first time.

This part of our process includes:

  • Preparation of contract documents
  • Construction management and regular site inspections
  • Contract administration including architects instructions and certification of payments
We’ll keep a close eye on any deadlines and work with the contractors/ builders to ensure you are using your new space as planned and without unnecessary delays.

6 Hand over

- It's over to you

You are almost able to begin enjoying your beautiful new property as the keys are placed in your hand. The project has nearly been completed and there are just a few checks to go. At this point in the process we will:

  • Make final inspections to ensure your property has been completed to the agreed specification.
  • Provide as-constructed information. (this defines any defects or deviations to the design that may have occurred during construction)
  • Provide advice and support on resolution of any defects within the rectification period stipulated in the contract.
  • Agree the final account and issue a final Architect’s Certificate
We strive for you to look back on the project as being as enjoyable, inspirational and exciting – and you will now be able to make the most of your fantastic space for many years to come.

Member of the Architects Registration Board

Royal Institute of British Architects


Certified Passive House Designer

Tel: 028 92 604609 / 07740501684

50 Ballymullan Road, Lisburn, Co.Down, BT27 5PJ