Building Sustainably And Beautifully

How To Do It With An Architect

You are about to discover something that will ensure your building project becomes a reality with the least hassle, fewer headaches and with the kind of guidance you’re going to need to avoid yet another building disaster story.

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Where Do I Start?

If you’re launching out on a building project, you may be thinking, “where do I start?!” Whether you have built something before or not you will have heard some scare stories and may have been through one yourself. Thoughts like this could stop you in your tracks and the project never get off the ground.

Without a doubt, you will want to avoid any pitfalls ahead and get it right from the start. Read on and you will discover effective strategies that will increase your awareness, enabling you to set you off on the right foot.

Grand Designs

A mystique surrounds the word ‘architect’ and if you’re a follower of the television program GRAND DESIGNS you may already feel intimidated at the very thought of being involved in a process which can seem fraught with uncertainty, unexpected hurdles and outright catastrophes. If you’re the kind of person who is impressed by wow factor designs, flash talk and unrealistic proposals you may find this talk not what you’re looking for.

Don’t get me wrong, good design is important, but it needs to be considered in the round, to integrate with well attested principles of construction, sound engineering and an awareness of contractual procedure.

Too many projects are focused wholly on aesthetics and forget the rest with disastrous results.

At the other extreme, if you are satisfied with the plethora of bog standard building solutions available, many of which are highly unsustainable, then you may also find this talk is not for you.

However, if you are determined to do better with your building project you have the choice; to take the bull by the horns and rise above the low level of expectation too often considered acceptable by the building industry – or NOT! By the time you have read this.

What Am I Offering You?

Let me just say, I am not trying to sell you anything. There is nothing to buy here. I am indeed in the business of transforming existing buildings and creating new ones, just as you may be aspiring to yourself and what I have to offer you is of greater value than many of the alternatives. But that is not the purpose of this message or what I’m offering you.

What I share in this video is exactly what you need to know to be effective in handling the daunting process of getting a building project completed from scratch, to your own exacting requirements. You will then have a far greater chance of fulfilling your own dreams and just as importantly, the dreams of those closest to you.

I’m doing this to flag up for you how to you can successfully navigate this process with something of value to show for it at the end. This can and should be, one of life’s worthwhile achievements. I’m doing it because I want you to avoid the pitfalls that lead to all kinds of catastrophes only too common in a large proportion of building projects, but ultimately I do it so that that you can become a valued client and that’s a privilege I like to earn

3 Facts That Are Often Overlooked When Setting Out On A New Building Project


The same issue applies to purchasers of new cars. How far can I afford to go to reduce the carbon footprint? Is it petrol rather than diesel, a hybrid or electric? The useable lifetime of a car can be say 5 – 10 years and devalues with time, a building and generally appreciates in value and decisions should be made on a longer term basis like an ‘investment’. Sustainability has a big role to play in this.


When choosing materials it is not generally taken into consideration by the majority of house-builders or property owners that much of the available mass produced building materials and products are synthetically produced and can be toxic. They can also have dubious fire ratings as we have seen in the recent Grenfell Tower disaster in London. Vapours emitted can cause bad air quality inside newly completed buildings and refurbishments alike. This is compounded by the fact that in order to achieve high energy efficiency, buildings can become virtually sealed envelopes with insufficient natural ventilation. The rise in allergies including asthma and eczema in young children may not be unrelated to this phenomena, particularly when coupled with the increase in polluting carbon emissions from car exhausts.


This is much overlooked by enthusiastic designers of buildings and those commissioning new projects. The question to ask is, how good is my new or refurbished home going to look in five or ten years time? Depending on the answer, is this going to add to or detract from its value?
The fact is, many completed buildings weather terribly over time which will not add to the value of the property over time. The design may look bright and shiny in the architects presentation drawings and on the first day of completion but given a year or two in our variable weather conditions in the UK at least, they start to look disappointingly down at heel with unwanted stains, discolouring and patchiness in appearance which was certainly not part of the plan.

Where Do I Look For The Information?

Now I’ve mentioned just three of many issues which need to be considered at the outset of any building project and that’s before we even start thinking about the ‘design brief’. How much extra space are you going to need and for what? What inspires you? Fashion design, landscapes, natural materials, music or fine art? This is part of my priceless collection just behind me here.

So the big question for you is, “how can I arm myself with the level of information I’m going to need to make good decisions about the design or construction of my dream home, from the start?” I will reveal this shortly.

Before I do, there is one more thing you need to be aware of and that is the importance of choosing the right design team to be your ‘trusted advisor’ to bring your vision to reality.



Your team should know how to build in smart thinking about your project from the beginning so that there is no need for expensive corrections later or that you end up with regrets of what might have been. Your team needs to have exactly the right experience which will stand you in good stead throughout the project.

The team that I run at Noel Isherwood Architects has a huge amount of design, technical and contractual experience gained over many years. This allows you the peace of mind to know your project is in good hands whatever your circumstances or whatever issues arise. We do not impose our preconceived ideas on you, but will encourage you to participate in the design process with your own thoughts and ideas.

With our experienced team of professionals you can rest assured your interests are being kept uppermost in the minds of all involved in the process from the design consultants to suppliers and contractors.

Doing It Differently

It is the role of the appointed architect to steer you successfully through the design and build process which is why choosing the right one for you is so important. It is also helpful for you to become aware of the process before it begins, to reduce unnecessary stress and so you can ask informed questions.

Once your project starts in earnest, little time is available to consider the bigger questions that can affect the value of the finished product for better or worse. Many in the building industry are unaware of the issues or simply not prepared to do anything about it. To do things differently you need to think more deeply in advance about how to approach your building project.

So take action and explore the issues now so that you will be well armed when things start moving. Exploring the issues now does not commit you to the full design and build process. You can press pause until you are comfortable with the preliminary ideas or the feasibility and are ready to go forward to more detail.

You should be clear about one thing and that is, that you have the resources to embark on such a project. You should have a clear idea of the extent of the project and what are the key reasons for what you want to embark on this journey.

If you delay unnecessarily with the preliminary investigations, you’ll be in danger of having many of 


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10 Steps to Sustainable Building and Place making (before hiring an architect)

So take action now. The information I’m about to share with you will take you a step closer to realising your dream home. This information which I have personally prepared for you can be accessed right here in the 5 STEPS To Creating Your Dream Home (Before Hiring An Architect).

All you have to do is fill in your name and email address on this page and I’ll get this information to you almost immediately.

Before you do, I have three things to make you aware of:

1.Firstly this will add you to my private email list were you will receive effective insights and strategies on a regular basis.

2.Secondly I never share any of the contact information I have, ever, not to anyone, at any time.

3.Thirdly, what do you stand to lose by exploring new ideas and strategies ahead of your building project? This is the responsible thing to do, however, you can change your mind at any time and you’ve lost nothing. So go-ahead, leave your details and get these proven ideas working for you right away.

Get Instant Access To: 10 Steps to Sustainable Places Making - illustrated