Here at SOCIAL HOUSING CO. we will work closely with you from the outset to design your project. We believe that you are the central focus of the project. We will incorporate your specific needs and aspirations into the design, while maximising your site’s potential in terms of light, view, sun paths, etc.

Furthermore, all our projects are designed with sustainability in mind. We believe that sustainable design and good design are one and the same thing. Whilst we are committed to an architecture which considers energy and environmental impact from the outset, we also believe that sustainable design caters for sustainable living. Our architect is an accredited passive house designer by the Passive House Institute so he is best placed to incorporate effective energy use into any design. We also have a Chartered Environmentalist on our team so energy management is always a factor in our designs.

When designing a project, we are acutely aware that our design proposal must be acceptable from a planning authority perspective. Many architects fail to acknowledge the importance of the planning authority guidelines when designing. As a result, the designs are a reflection of the architect and not suitable for their location, or the clients’ needs. In such cases the design will never become a reality. The planning permission stage becomes time consuming, costly and stressful. We are experts on balancing both the agendas when designing. The design reflecting the client’s aspirations and budget but at the same time being aware of what is unacceptable or inappropriate design from the planning authority perspective.

Site Visit / Feasibility Study

The first step in the evolution of the design is a site visit because the setting for the design has one of the most important influences on the design.

As part of our initial appraisal, we will walk the site or land holding and give advice on site selection. Both site selection and the potential location of units within a site have a significant impact on a successful planning authority decision. Working with Social Housing Co. as early as possible in the project can streamline the process. The earlier our involvement in the decision-making process, the greater our influence and ability to guide the project to a successful conclusion to everyone’s satisfaction.

At this stage we assess the likelihood of planning permission being granted. We have vast experience working with the planning authorities and have a clear picture of what is acceptable or not. We consider factors such as: the location of the site; does the site have a visual impact on the surrounding areas and neighbours and how will the proposed development integrate into the setting.

If we feel it is not possible to work with the site, we will clearly identify the factors as to why the idea is unworkable. We do not waste our time or mess with the dreams of our clients. We will work with you on any possible alternative. Having clear, unbiased and professional advice at this stage of the project will save you time, money and stress in the months ahead.

Design Ideas

Once we feel your proposals are realistic and the site is suitable for development, we meet with you and your family to start the process of gathering the information, we find out as much as we can about you, your lifestyle and what is important for you in the design. You do not need to do any research yourself. It is our job to tease out the information from you, by asking a series of questions. Your answers are then used as the building blocks of the design proposal.

The design process is exciting, yet requires patience. When it comes to the evolution of your design, we ask you to keep an open mind. Allow us to get to know you and tease out your needs and wants and what will best meet your life time requirements.

You are the central focus of the design. We combine our experience and knowledge with your needs and wants to create a very workable and attractive design proposal. The key for us is that you are one hundred per cent happy with the completed design.

Design Proposal

We then prepare a design proposal incorporating all your ideas. We balance your requirements and the location and beauty of the site with your budget and the planning authority guidelines. We create drawings and 3D images of the proposal. This makes it easier for you to demonstrate what you like and things you would like to change.  Nothing is written in stone. You can change your mind on anything at any stage. That is what the design process is all about. It’s about you and what you want, nobody else.  The design will evolve until you are 100% happy with the design and we are confident with it.

That’s our value. It is during the design process we distinguish ourselves. Of course, you can engage the services of an alternative architectural practice but it is extremely unlikely they will engage with the design process in such a talented, educated and experienced manner. Our results speak for themselves.

Once you are completely satisfied with the design proposal, we then move on to the Planning Permission stage.

Urban Design Statement

Our experience with large scale developments across Ireland is something we are very proud of. We can advise and create urban design statements for your potential development.

An urban design statement is a document, usually prepared at an early stage of the design
process, which explains why a particular design solution is considered the most suitable for a particular site. It addresses issues such as urban design, landscape and building design issues and clearly explain the development process, design options considered and the adopted development strategy. This material can form the basis of meaningful pre-application discussions with the Planning Authority.

We provide all of the services you would expect when building or buying a social housing development. We provide technical advice to clients on the feasibility of a project at a very early stage which can help in identifying possible stumbling blocks. Legislation is continuously changing and bureaucracy is ever-increasing in the construction industry. We can ensure every aspect of your legislative responsibilities are fulfilled and adhered to. Thereafter, we can undertake and manage every aspect of the construction process for you. Architectural drawings are often just pretty pictures. We can provide the actual details of how the pretty picture can become realised using the most cost-efficient method of construction.