10 Things You Never Knew An Architect Did - HPA

10 Things You Never Knew An Architect Did

Architects are highly trained professionals who design the built environment around us. However, an Architect’s role involves much more than the design of these buildings. Here are 10 things we do at HPA which may surprise you…

  1. Planning

At HPA, our team are directly involved with the planning permission process, from submitting the initial application through to the final decision. This can be a lengthy process; however it is invaluable to our clients as it means we can help at every step along the way. Having in-depth knowledge of the planning requirements helps us to design a successful application from the outset. We can also adjust the design and drawings should there be anything the planning officer objects to; turning what could have been a ‘Refusal’ in to a ‘Successful’ Planning Application. In fact, Planning has become such a growing part of our business that we’ve recently engaged a Planning Consultant to help expand our specialism in this area.

Lancaster On Ice

  1. Sustainability

Sustainability within the built environment has never been as important as it is right now. Architects are at the forefront of change and at HPA we have committed to ensuring all of our designs are Zero Carbon by 2030, far ahead of the government’s 2050 target. We also have a thorough understanding of the individual elements which contribute to a low carbon building, from heat loss and energy use to environmentally friendly building materials and energy generation. This is an ever-changing landscape and we pride ourselves on keeping up to date with the latest technologies; we’re even trialling some of these technologies and techniques for ourselves in our projects, homes and our office.

heritage architecture

  1. Add Value

Architects not only have the ability to transform spaces but we can also add value to your property at the same time. At HPA, we have a strong track record of adding value for our clients, with one piece of land recently increasing from £30k to £320k with our help. This is also an important element within the leisure sector. As the UK staycation becomes ever more popular, holiday makers are looking for that touch of luxury an architect can bring. From designing boutique bedrooms to impressive spa facilities, HPA have a reputation for adding value for our clients within the leisure sector.

hotel architecture

  1. Project Management

For Architects, the job doesn’t stop once the design drawings are finished. Architects are trained to manage your project through to completion, from tendering the work out to contractors and administrating a building contract, to overseeing the works onsite. Regular site visits ensure the Architect can keep track of the progress onsite, pick up on any anomalies and be available to answer any questions the contractors or trades may have in order to assist in maintaining quality and control.

  1. Continual Learning

As an Architect, the learning and studying never stops. To ensure we remain up to date with all current regulations and policies, Chartered Architects are required by RIBA to complete at least 1 week of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) each year. At HPA we make this a priority and when you engage us to assist on your project, you can rest assured that our team are fully up-to-date and qualified.

  1. Product Design

An Architect’s design experience often extends beyond buildings into other sectors, from product design to furniture design. At HPA, we have recently designed an exciting, innovative glamping pod called ‘PlusPods’. This luxury, modular unit has many uses in addition to glamping pods, including garden rooms, home offices and shared amenity spaces for a campsite. With sustainability in mind, these have been design to meet new build house efficiency criteria. Furthermore, solar panels and a log burner can be added into the interior whilst sustainably sourced larch and a sedum roof finishes the exterior.


  1. Retrofit Old Buildings

Architects don’t just design new buildings, we often repurpose existing buildings. Contrary to belief, it can be more sustainable to reuse an existing building (rather than demolishing it and starting from scratch) as advancements now allow us to incorporate energy efficient technologies into older buildings. At HPA, we are experts on preserving the heritage of our built environment and, having signed up to the Architect’s Journal’s RetroFirst campaign which seeks to prioritise the reuse of existing buildings, we are dedicated to creating a more sustainable future.

St Peter's Church Hall

  1. Draw By Hand

With CAD programmes used as standard for drawing the final technical drawings and creating 3D visuals, you may be mistaken for thinking architects no longer draw by hand. However, hand sketching is still a key tool during initial phases to communicate concept ideas to the client. As Architects, it allows us to be fully creative with our designs and develop our ideas efficiently before bringing our ideas to the computer to create the best outcome for the client.

National Tramway Museum Design

  1. Masterplanning

At HPA, we don’t just design single buildings; we are also experts in Masterplanning. This involves designing layouts for larger pieces of land to include zoning, roads, public areas, estates and connections to the surrounding area. Having recently worked with Lancaster City Council to develop proposals for a large piece of land in Morecambe, Masterplanning is something HPA is passionate about getting involved in. A successful masterplan benefits the community immediately whilst also being adaptable for future growth and development.

housing design

  1. 3D Visualisation

3D Visualisation is a key tool to help the design process and here at HPA we use the latest 3D design software which can produce informative and striking visuals. If you have trouble visualising what a space will look like with 2D plans, 3D rendered visuals can help you envisage the final design, whether that be a building, streetscape or interior. Not only that, these images can then be used for marketing purposes where you can share the vision for your project with potential customers or clients. HPA are investing strongly in this area, with new software and an additional team member, as 3D visualisation is becoming ever more important to our clients.

PlusPods Interior Design

We hope this article gives an insight to what we do at HPA on a day to day basis. If you would like to know more about how may be able to help with your project then please get in touch!

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