What we do...
Thorne Wyness Architects are an inventive and dynamic architects partnership based on the Isle of Mull and covering the West Coast of Scotland.We are interested in making the most of any situation and we listen carefully to our clients needs, drawing on the specifics of site and location. Our aim is to create sustainable and generous architecture and we are interested in projects of any scale or complexity. We have over 35 years of combined experience across our team in new-build, refurbishment, residential, commercial, retail, and hotel architecture.
Our specialist skills are in energy saving and environmental design and we can apply these skills to your project to varying degrees, depending on your needs and budget. We know that clients are increasingly environmentally conscious and that energy costs are a real concern.
We adopt a 'fabric first' Passive house approach in our designs; new-build or refurbishment which can result in the need for virtually no space heating. We also have extensive experience of using many different construction materials and techniques, including natural materials and breathable construction and we can carry out custom cold bridge analysis (PSI calculations) and moisture (WUFI) analysis for our clients, for other architects or construction professionals to test constructions rigorously. We are unique in that we are a rural practice that has a broad range of large project experience that we draw on to help us to solve design, cost and procurement problems. We are not scared of tackling complex technical issues should the need arise. Our Ulva Ferry housing and Riverside House projects are both technologically innovative; as they were among the first examples of Cross Laminated Timber buildings in Scotland.
Find our environmental policy here.
Working with Thorne Wyness
At the start of each project, your requirements for function, accommodation, aesthetics, site and budget need to be formed into a design brief. If you don't already have a written brief in this stage, then we can develop it with you, and make this process as thorough as possible from the outset.
Consultation will include formalising which rooms need to be where and what they will look on to, what materials will be used, where stairs and fire escapes are needed, what the preferred heating system might be and even which floors need carpets. This stage can even include discussions about lighting and internal details. During the design process, Jenny or Will will keep you updated with plans for discussion, revision and approval. We can use sketches, models, written descriptions, or computer models to explain the scheme. Working closely with your architect in these early stages is vital and ensures the smooth running of the project.
We are good listeners, proactive and friendly. We will take all your requirements on board and help you balance size, budget and quality. You will feel in control of your project, safe in the knowledge that we are using our wide range of experience to your benefit.
Budget for the Project
TWA will be able to help you fit your needs to your budget, our design process is flexible and responsive which means we help you balance what you need with what you can afford. Building costs can be confusing, 'Total Construction Cost' and overall budget for the project are not the same. Many builders will quote a price per square meter which excludes items such as driveways, kitchen and bathroom fittings, a septic tank and so on. This is useful for comparing your build costs with another project but not great for understanding your overall budget. Prices from kit suppliers also exclude further items such as cladding and internal wall finishes. We will help you to understand your overall budget which will include construction costs, professional and legal fees and expenses, the statutory charges for applications for planning consent and building warrants, a contingent sum for unforeseen events and other costs such as furniture, equipment, land acquisition and VAT.
The Construction Process
As Chartered architects we consider projects in terms of industry standard work stages. The end of each stage marks an important point in your project where you sign off on our work before we proceed. The stages are based on the RIBA Plan of Work 2013. Construction stages (F-L) include detailing and administering the build.
The initial appraisal and outline design stages (A-C) can be carried out as a stand alone feasibility study, with no further commitment.
- Appraisal (A/B) - The aim of these stages is to ascertain whether the scheme is feasible on the site suggested and to identify any fundamental objections to the scheme, e.g. planning restrictions. These stages will not be required for all projects.
- Outline Proposals (C) - Sketch drawings will seek to interpret the brief and to identify a possible solution. Your agreed set of outline drawings, sometimes called final sketch plans, will be produced once initial consultations with statutory authorities have taken place and the brief has been fully clarified.
- Detailed Proposals (D) - The outline design is developed to show the appearance of a building, how fixtures and fittings are incorporated and how important details of construction are intended to work. Thorne Wyness will check that the design proposals are within the agreed budget and in harmony with your stated objectives as regards quality, long term maintenance and performance. We will provide drawings and if necessary documentation to support your application to the local authority planning department. Some projects do not need planning permission, we will be able to advise you if this is the case.
- Final Proposals (E) - We will prepare the application to the local authority for a building warrant on your behalf which requires the chartered architect (and consulting engineer) to submit drawings and calculations that show how proposals comply with the current Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations. Construction is not normally permitted to commence without statutory approval. For new- build projects the warrant submission will also require an air tightness test and energy assessment.
- Tender (F/G) - Once the building warrant is issued and the technical drawings are complete, the way is clear to prepare tender documents. This usually comprises the contract drawings, the specification of materials and components, the Bill of Quantities and the Conditions of Contract. We can send this information to your preferred builders and help you with their responses.
- Building Contract (H to L) -Once you have chosen a contractor, in traditional procurement, the chartered architect's role as contract administrator is to make periodic site visits to inspect the general progress of the work, to issue instructions to the contractor and liaise with them to ensure the work is carried out to your satisfaction.
- Care of the Building - All buildings need maintenance if they are to remain in good condition. Regular inspection is required, especially of all external elements. TWA can provide you with a maintenance manual and will help you to plan a sequence of inspection and maintenance procedures especially for those parts of a building exposed to the sea winds and driving rain.
- Percentage basis In this method, our fees are expressed as a percentage of the total construction cost. Before fees can be estimated, client and architect need to establish the services to be provided, the approximate construction budget and the nature of the work to be carried out.
- Lump-sum basis Lump sums are best used where the scope of the work can be clearly defined from the outset. It is important to define the parameters of services - i.e. time, project size and cost - where applicable, so that if these are varied more than an agreed amount, the lump sum itself may be varied.
- Time-charged basis This basis is best used where the scope of work cannot be reasonably foreseen or where services cannot be related to the amount of construction. It may be wise to set an upper limit on fees to be incurred, perhaps on a staged basis. Records of time spent on services will be made available to clients on reasonable request.
During the construction stages we keep an overview of site progress and quality. We will keep you informed of progress, provide advice to the builder and if you decide to use a construction contract we will be able to use this to enforce quality and keep the project moving.
Fees (RIAS Guidelines)
Architects' fees can be calculated in three ways: a percentage basis; a lump-sum basis; or time charged by agreement. Expenses may be included within the agreed fee or charged separately.
We can discuss these options with you and give you a quote for services that are tailored to your needs. We offer competitive quotes and our initial consultation visit to your site or meeting in our office is always carried out free of charge.