NVB Architects is a corporate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the directors and architecture staff are registered RIBA members. The business is managed within the RIBA Code of Professional Conduct and the individual projects are managed in line with the RIBA job procedures. Within this overall framework the office embraces initiatives following the Rethinking Construction and Accelerating Change agendas. To this end advice from Constructing Excellence, the Construction Industry Council, and the Strategic Forum for Construction, in addition to the initiatives from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment are considered in management planning.
NVB Architects are ISO 9001:2000 certified for quality management, along with ISO 14001:2004 for environmental management. At the heart of the Quality Plan is a review procedure which establishes management milestones which have to be achieved prior to moving on to the next work stage. The procedure also considers design quality to measure the extent to which the client aspirations have been met by the design process.
The aim of the Quality Plan is to steer the design process ensuring the necessary and relevant decisions are made at the appropriate time enabling the project to run on cost and on time and deliver a consistently high quality product which satisfies the client aspirations.
Landscape design is part of the holistic design approach at NVB Architects. The landscape design department, NVB Landscape, work alongside architectural, interior design and conservation colleagues at Rook Lane. The practice is registered with the Landscape Institute.
The team works on all stages of a project from inception to completion and on projects from small scale interventions to large scale Master Plans. The team has a significant portfolio including education, community projects, leisure and historic landscapes with experience and interest in public realm and urban design.
The team delivers high quality projects of increasing complexity covering all aspects of design for feasibility studies, concept design, planning applications, tender and construction. The team also undertake Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments to support planning applications where required.
NVB have extensive experience in the care, repair and refurbishment of existing buildings of all ages. The sympathetic development of any listed building lies in appreciating the history and development of the building over its lifetime. The understanding of the building’s history allows the development of the proposed scheme. Contemporary extensions and modern insertions into a listed building can work as long as the fabric and environment is fully understood and appreciated from the outset.
NVB are involved with a number of their clients in the drawing up of development plans which enable the various organisations to clearly identify goals for future expansion, refurbishment and modification.
This process typically involves the following:
• Space Audits identifying room utilisation and suitability.
• Site wide departmental collocation.
• Building stock condition surveys.
• Tree surveys.
• Identification of development potential.
• Identification of requirements for improvements in academic facilities.
• Disability Discrimination Act audits and action plans.
All of these elements enable a long term approach to be adopted by the organisation to target existing funds and future fund raising activities.
Value management is a set of tools and techniques that enable the procurement and design team to understand the true functionality and objectives of any particular project under consideration.
The main benefit of value management is to bring together an often wide and varied group of stakeholders, and achieve agreement about the course of action and the outcomes to be achieved. The process brings together all the stakeholders which may include governors, senior management team, teaching staff, pupils, support staff and facilities management staff, and puts them in direct contact with the project management and design teams. Everyone has the opportunity to express themselves and the discussions inevitably cover strategic and tactical issues.
This is done by creating a value tree within an open workshop environment. The tree illustrates the whole team’s view of the project drivers and influences. The goal of this process is to determine the raison d’être for the project as a whole, and the primary and secondary drivers and functions by which this mission statement will be achieved. It is generally possible to rank the drivers or functions and through this process produce a prioritised value tree which enables evaluation of options.
Within the context of an educational environment the process can be used at different levels. From a strategic point of view it can look at the whole estate and explore master plan issues creating a value tree used to prioritise different projects. From a tactical point of view it can be focused to determine the scope and objectives for an individual project.
With architects, landscape architects and interior designers we are able to provide a more integrated design service that considers the finished building in a far more holistic way. Over the past 10 years we have expanded our resources to include interior design as a standalone service.
Our experience is that early consideration of each building’s interior is vital for the building’s success in terms of function, circulation patterns, light and feel. As with our landscape architects, our interior designers regularly attend the design reviews of each of our projects to ensure the building design is considered in its entirety.
NVB Architects are committed to sharing our knowledge as specialists in education design as well as learning from the teaching community. In 2000 we formed a charitable trust which carries out project work within our performance / exhibition space at Rook Lane Chapel. The space and the projects are dedicated to delivering year long activities that have a direct relationship to education and education design.
Each year has a specific theme which relates to particular elements of the curriculum (Maths, Reading, Writing etc.)