We were delighted yesterday to hear about our nomination for two Central Region 2017 LABC Awards. LABC (Local Authority Building Control) organise the regional awards each year to recognise excellence within the construction industry.
Our nominations are in the categories of Best Public Service Building for Chinnor Community Pavilion, and Best Educational Building for a new 3-classroom block on the site of Biggleswade Academy.
This is the 6th year running that we have received a nomination, and follows our success last year in the ‘Best Partnership with a LA Building Control Team’ category when we won the Central Region Award.
Our team is looking forward to the Awards Ceremony on Friday 5th March in Milton Keynes, and keeping their fingers crossed for continued success!
An article has just been published in the Spring 2017 edition of Thame Out magazine, talking about our range of services and in particular our design and project management service for those seeking to extend and improve their homes. Contact us for a chat if you have an idea you would like to discuss.
Oxford City Council has this week granted planning permission for a commercial kitchen for one of our business clients.
Taste Tibet is an Oxford-based caterer that produces delicious authentic Tibetan food, which is then sold at regular weekly markets. They also cater for weddings, festivals and private events. Looking to the future, it was apparent that a larger kitchen would be needed to grow the business and expand the range of dishes on offer.
The owners of Taste Tibet initially approached PCMS Design for advice when they found a unit available for rent in the heart of Oxford to the rear of a popular residential street, and thought it had potential to be converted into a kitchen.
After a design process that included researching extraction systems and commercial kitchen appliances, we submitted the application and subsequently kept in touch with the local authority to follow its progress.
Both we and Taste Tibet were delighted to receive planning permission this week, two weeks ahead of the determination deadline. Julie of Taste Tibet said, “This is great news; a million thanks to everyone who has helped us to get this far!”
A residential client was recently very pleased to receive planning permission for a new storage barn from Aylesbury Vale District Council. Our client was seeking to demolish an existing old and dilapidated storage barn at the front of their property, close to the roadside, and replace it with a very similar structure to be used as a workshop and also for storage.
Their property is a Grade II listed cottage which is also within a Conservation Area, and so a compelling case had to be made to the local planning authority to demolish what was already there. Our case was aided by the design of the replacement building, which has an enlarged footprint, but also took great care to replicate the style and appearance of the existing ‘rustic’ structure.
Our design met the requirements of the Council’s heritage officer, and planning permission together with Listed Building Consent was granted. Our client is now intending to start works on the new building this Spring.
We were delighted last week to hear that planning permission has been granted by Bedford Borough Council for a new two classroom modular unit to be located within the grounds of Shortstown Primary School. This School serves a community just to the south east of Bedford. A growth in pupil numbers has resulted in a shortfall of teaching space, and so the modular unit will be used to boost the number of classrooms available.
Our bespoke design created a simple form and layout for the unit, which has a footprint of just under 200m2. There are centrally located facilities, including a separate room for smaller teaching groups or meetings and WCs. The appearance will be enhanced with horizontal natural cedar cladding.
School staff are really pleased with the positive planning outcome, and are presently engaged in finding a contractor to construct and install the bespoke unit which will be ready for occupation this Spring.
A residential client recently sought help with construction of a new barn at their home in the heart of the Chilterns. There were already a couple of old timber shed structures in the paddock, but the aspiration was for a new attractive building that could not only act as a stable but also provide storage for garden machinery.
Because the property is within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty planning consent was required. We were pleased to secure planning permission for the barn design, and we then went on to project manage the build for our client. The building is future-proof, meaning that methods of construction could allow the structure to be put to alternative uses if so desired in the future.
The result is an attractive new barn / stable block in a style sympathetic to the local Chilterns setting. Our client is delighted: “This is the second construction project that PCMS Design has designed and managed for us, and we are very pleased with the result.”
PCMS Design is a project management and architectural design firm working on a varied mix of public sector and residential projects. A new vacancy has arisen within our team for an experienced Architectural Technology Professional.
The primary aim is to support projects by developing designs and specifications according to strict deadlines and to meet a budget. The role includes liaising with other team members and third-party contractors or consultants in order to co-ordinate design details and resolve technical issues.
The successful candidate will have a university degree or equivalent qualification in the field of architecture, architectural technology, engineering or building surveying, and a minimum of 3 years direct work experience in a building design capacity, including aspects of planning and specification. A good working knowledge of current construction techniques, UK statutory requirements (Building Regulations, Building Bulletins, CDM Regulations, etc) and non-statutory design guidance is essential, in addition to demonstrated experience in CAD.
The experience of working both independently and in a team is important. The ability to effectively prioritise and execute tasks in a time-constrained environment is crucial, as are strong interpersonal skills.
Some local / regional travel may be required for the purpose of meeting with clients or contractors, and candidates will need to have a full driving licence. Depending upon the nature of the projects, there may be a requirement for a DBS check to be carried out.
We are flexible about full-time or part-time hours for the right candidate, and would also consider freelance candidates.
To apply for this vacancy, please email your CV with a covering letter explaining why you will be a good fit for this position and stating salary expectations.
Another successful educational project was handed over earlier this week, when a two-classroom modular unit was completed on time and within budget. The new classrooms are at Ivel Valley, a special school located in East Bedfordshire for children with moderate to severe physical impairment and special needs.
Once contracts had been signed, the whole build and installation took only 12 weeks. Opting for modular units not only helps with limited budgets, but also offers a quick turnaround for sites that need additional accommodation in a hurry. Modern modular units comply with all the latest construction regulations, and can even be disguised to look like a permanent building! This particular unit has attractive stained timber cladding. There is also flexibility inside; our bespoke design includes not only the classrooms but also a hygiene/changing room with shower, storage space and two individual group rooms. The classrooms each have an interactive ‘teaching wall’.
Ivel Valley’s Head and teaching staff are thrilled with the new two-classroom block, and are already putting it to good use.
PCMS Design was absolutely delighted to win an Award at the Central Region LABC Building Excellence Awards ceremony in April this year, which was presented for the ‘Best Partnership with a Local Authority Building Control Team’. This was in recognition of the close links we share with our partnership authority, Central Bedfordshire Council.
Last night PCMS Design’s team attended the national LABC Building Excellence Grand Finals, where the winners of 2016 regional awards from around Great Britain assembled to find out who was the overall winner of each category.
Hosted by TV presenter Nick Knowles, the huge ceremony took place at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel and was attended by around 750 construction and building control professionals. We gathered together with some of the key members of Central Bedfordshire Council as the Awards were announced, which officially recognise excellence in the profession.
Although not a national award winner of the ‘Best Partnership’ category we were all thrilled to attend, and are now looking forward to entering two of our projects for the 2017 Awards.
This year has seen the completion of a number of site development projects at Denbigh High School in Luton, four of which we have been involved with. The latest to reach completion is the construction of an extension at the rear of the main school building to provide a larger area for the Chiltern Learning Trust administration team.
There were a number of technical challenges to overcome in order to extend out from the existing two-storey building, which dates from the 1930s and has distinctive windows, some of them arched. We therefore designed a flat-roof extension including windows with glazing bars which harmonise with those around it. We obtained planning permission and building control approval for the new block and project managed the build.
Inside, there is a new open-plan office for staff, together with three separate office and meeting rooms, new toilets and a delivery room, all of which meet the aspirations of the Trust’s expanding administration team. This is part of a longer-term aim to establish a central hub for the Trust in order to rationalise support services.