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What makes us different.

Updated: Nov 18, 2022

An article on social media has suggested that as a company, you should make it clear how you differ from the competition. So here goes:

When we start a project off we nearly always carry out a measured survey. Many of our competitors develop a scheme from a basic sketch of the building to be altered and then carry out a proper survey once a scheme was been agreed upon. We’ve considered working this way, but the danger is that if you base your scheme on erroneous information, the scheme may not be as buildable as supposed, thus leading to delays and additional design costs later on. Of course, the cost of the survey has to be borne at some point, but with our way of working it’s at the very beginning of a project, and with the other way, it’s later. I can see why some clients prefer to defer this cost, especially if they worry that they’ll never achieve an acceptable scheme, but we can nearly always find a suitable scene for our clients. Our record shows that less than 2% fail to move forward because we could not achieve a suitable scheme, and all but one of these clients have returned to us with another building to look at. I’m pretty sure that one of the reasons for this is because we’re thorough, and that having accurate data at the outset means we can “design tight”, meaning we do not have to shy away from solutions that are highly spatially/structurally sensitive to what is there in respect of the existing building. We’ve certainly found solutions where others have failed, and this perhaps is one reason for this.

The downside of our policy is that we have to charge more for this initial phase of the work, and no doubt this will put some potential clients off. However, if you read the recent report that shows a great dissatisfaction and mistrust of architects to deliver their schemes to the client on time and budget because of a lack of technical rigour, I must stick to my policy of insisting on thoroughness from day one.

Of course, we have our way of working and other successful practices have theirs and I do not wish to denigrate other ways of working. I will, however, go on to explain where we differ from other architectural practices in future articles.

Written by Tony Keller, Building Tectonics

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