Category Archives: design

PCMS Design Shortlisted for Building Excellence Award

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Our team was delighted to hear last week that we have been shortlisted for a Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Central Region Building Excellence Award 2019.

We are hopeful that our new build sports hall and six classroom construction project at Henlow Academy will achieve success in the ‘Best Educational Building’ category. The project team including Central Bedfordshire Council, Henlow Academy, Cox Clifford Partnership, BSD Consulting Engineers, Marstan BDB and Borras Construction are very pleased that the project has been nominated.

This is our eighth consecutive year of being shortlisted for an Award, and we are all looking forward to attending the black tie Awards Ceremony in Milton Keynes in April. Regional category winners are put forward to the National LABC Awards.

 

 

 

Design Brief Submitted for Residential Development

Monday, January 28th, 2019

A milestone has been reached in the project to consolidate Lord Williams’s School onto a single site. Consultants acting for the Thame-based academy have submitted the Design Brief for residential development on the Lower School site to Thame Town Council.

This stage in the process is required by the Neighbourhood Plan, and follows a consultation process in which neighbours of the school and Thame residents were shown potential concepts and feedback was sought.

PCMS Design has been involved in advising Lord Williams’s School, liaising with Oxfordshire County Council and assisting with the appointment of planning consultants Lanpro.

The Design Brief before the Council is for a compliant 135-dwelling scheme, and has responded to the feedback received. Housing that is sympathetic to existing adjacent dwellings is being proposed, and the scheme includes public open space, sustainable drainage infrastructure and retains key hedgerows. The proportion of affordable housing will be determined later in the project.

The adoption of the Design Brief will help to deliver the aspirations within the Thame Neighbourhood Plan for housing, and also for consolidating the school at the current Upper School site on Oxford Road.

New Sports & Community Pavilion Gets the Go Ahead

Monday, January 21st, 2019

Aylesbury Vale District Council has today granted planning permission for a new community pavilion building in the Buckinghamshire village of Haddenham. Located within the heart of a new residential development, the pavilion will provide both recreational and sports changing facilities for the nearby football pitches. Our design also encompasses space for other sports such as table tennis, martial arts, yoga and fitness classes, and includes a kitchen, office and plenty of storage for equipment.

This mixed use development will be of benefit to the expanding local population and also those from further afield too, when league teams visit the village. Haddenham Youth Football Club in particular are looking forward to using the pavilion.

This is a great project to be involved in as it will be a very welcome addition to village amenities!

Another Listed Building Success

Friday, January 18th, 2019

Planning and Listed Building consent has been granted by St Edmundsbury Borough Council in Suffolk for a side extension to an old water mill in the village of Kedington. The former water mill has Grade II listed status; parts of the old industrial mechanism are still visible, and the mill race, which is part of the River Stour, runs through the garden.

It was a pleasure to produce designs for what is without doubt one of the most picturesque projects that we have worked on! Planning consent has now been secured for a new rear entrance combined with a lobby and ground floor WC/ shower room. Care was taken to ensure that the new extension blends seamlessly with the existing historic building, and we produced a Heritage Statement in support of the proposal alongside other supporting statements.

We have experience of working on older listed buildings which each present with unique challenges. Do get in touch if you would like to find out more.

Detached House Gets Permission for a Revamp

Monday, December 17th, 2018

We have heard today ahead of the determination date that home owners in Berkhamsted have been granted planning permission for improvements to their home. This is a good example of how one planning application can cover a number of different changes, in this case both to the main house itself and to other buildings and/or features within the curtilage of the dwelling.

There were three distinct proposals attached to this application: the first for new bay and dormer windows to the house, the second to convert the double garage to ancillary accommodation so that an office and gym can be created, and the third to construct a new timber framed ‘carriage house’ style garage with attached log store in the grounds.

All three of the proposed changes submitted as one  householder application have gained consent from Dacorum Borough Council just before Christmas, with no pre-commencement conditions. The family can now spend the festive season happily making plans and looking forward to making a start on their improvement projects!

 

Barn Conversion Secures Planning Consent

Friday, December 7th, 2018

In a leafy Oxfordshire village, close to the Chiltern hills, stands a barn ripe for conversion! PCMS Design worked with the homeowner to develop plans for the barn to be converted to an ancillary dwelling.

The starting point was to establish the structural integrity of the barn – and therefore its suitability for conversion. Next an ecology survey was commissioned and restrictions around when the work can be carried out were agreed with the local authority to ensure no harm comes to any potential bat roosts.

Care has been taken with the design and materials to make sure the external character and appearance of the barn is preserved, and planning permission has now been granted. When completed, the barn will have a bright and spacious open plan interior, extensive glazing with views and an external dining area.

School Development Project Completes at Henlow

Monday, October 15th, 2018

A significant school development project has just completed at Henlow Church of England Academy to the delight of staff and pupils. PCMS Design was involved from the very outset, taking the Academy from feasibility stage when we examined the potential of providing extra accommodation on site, through to pre-planning, detailed design and specification and then lastly the construction management of the project.

The new building provides a modern four-court sports hall with changing areas, and six classrooms in an attached block. Pupils will be able to benefit from a range of sports including netball, badminton, basketball, hockey and five-a-side football. A giant projector with screen has been installed so the school can use the hall for assemblies and other teaching events. The facilities will be available to hire by the wider community.

Six new humanities and language classrooms provide the latest in educational technology with interactive whiteboards in each. Creating a bright and comfortable teaching environment has been a priority; the classrooms have been designed to meet the space and facility requirements set out by the Department for Education and include fibre optic links, Wi-Fi coverage as well as the latest modern security and fire systems.

This £2.4 million investment in Henlow Church of England Academy’s site was funded by Central Bedfordshire Council and the Education & Skills Funding Agency. Site construction works were completed on time and to budget by Borras Construction Limited.

Head teacher Caren Earp is thrilled with the new facilities: “A big thank you to PCMS Design – with all of their support, design skills and project management expertise we now have a fantastic new building which is going to be of huge benefit to our children, increasing the number and range of opportunities for sport that we can now offer.”

Alex Bond of PCMS Design commented: “We feel very privileged to have been involved with this exciting site development project at Henlow Academy. Effective communication between the design team, local authority staff, specialist consultants, builders and their sub-contractors was the key to its successful completion, ready for the new school year.”

Some of the partners and suppliers involved with the Henlow Church of England Academy project:
 Curved standing seam zinc roof on the sports hall by VMZinc: www.vmzinc.co.uk
 Akusto Impact resistant acoustic panelling in the sports hall by Ecophon: www.ecophon.com/uk
 Sports hall floor installation by Dynamik: www.dynamiksportsfloors.co.uk
 External cladding to the sports hall by Kingspan: www.kingspan.com
 Performance spec for M&E installation  BSD Consulting Engineers: www.bsdconsulting.com
 Main Contractor: www.borrasconstruction.co.uk

 

Permission Granted for Barn Conversion

Friday, September 14th, 2018

Planning permission has just been granted by Central Bedfordshire Council for the conversion of a modern storage barn into a residential annexe.

Built around 9 years ago, the barn had up until recently been used as a stable and tractor store. The homeowner approached us requesting advice on making a conversion in order to provide safe and secure ancillary accommodation for an elderly relative.

Our design incorporates a split level living room, separate dining area and kitchen, a double bedroom and bathroom. A mezzanine gallery area will be created above the living room for storage. Additional roof lights and bi-fold doors will bring natural light flooding in. However, other architectural alterations to the exterior of the building have been kept to a minimum to maintain the rustic character of the building in the rural setting. A small patio and garden area will also be incorporated.

New Modular Classrooms are Lifted In!

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

It was exciting last week to be present at the lifting in of a new modular double classroom unit at Maple Tree Lower School in Sandy. The classrooms have been constructed off-site in a specialist factory, which has considerably speeded up the construction and delivery time. From signing contracts with the modular company to installation on site has been a matter of weeks rather than months, and the two classrooms will be up and running towards the end of September.

The ‘bays’ arrive with many fixtures and fittings already installed including walls, doors and ceilings – many already finished off with their final decorated surfaces. Sinks, sanitary ware and WC cubicles are also fitted at the factory, along with external wall finishes such as cedar cladding. The bays are simply craned into position on pre-prepared foundations and bolted into place.

Weather conditions were perfect for the installation which all went according to plan. Head Teacher Cath Bainbridge was on site at the time, and was full of praise for the speed and efficiency of the installation: “These new classrooms will be used by our pre-school and nursery children, and I am thrilled by the quality of the finish, and how quickly you have delivered this project for us.”

Success for Kitchen Extension Application

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

We have recently secured Householder planning permission for a new single storey kitchen extension at a house in Milton Keynes. Because of poor design, their existing kitchen was isolated from the rest of the house and garden, and could be cold in winter. The owner felt that their 1990s house could benefit from a better ground floor layout, to create a more open-plan and family-friendly kitchen and relaxation space. We agreed, and suggested demolishing a rear section of the original dwelling to replace it with an extension which stretches across the width of the house.

Our design includes a feature glazed roof lantern to allow lots of natural light into the space, and bi-folding doors to make the most of the garden. As you can see from the 3D visualisation, when completed not just the internal layout will have been improved, but also the appearance of the dwelling when viewed from the garden.