Work Completed on Shop Front Restoration

UPDATE: The restoration of shops and restaurants in Accrington Centre has now been completed and the team at The Intelligent Design Centre are pleased to have been a part of this heritage restoration project. The delegation from the National Lottery Heritage Fund who partially funded the project visited the properties [at the end of April] and were delighted with the completed work.

Owners of AYA Accountants on Blackburn Rd, Accrington, have become the first to appoint a contractor and start work on site to refurbish the shop front, part of the Townscape Heritage Initiative project to improve the appearance of shop fronts around the new Town Square.

Council Leader, Cllr Miles Parkinson welcomed the news; “Now that the Town Square is complete and looking great, with lots more events planned for 2019, our Townscape Heritage Initiative Team has moved their focus to the Blackburn Road shop restoration projects. It’s great news that work on the first property, AYA Accountants, is now getting underway, we want this to be the first of many. The THI team are working hard with the other owners in the area who have registered their interest, to help them with their 90% grant applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund and help them progress their schemes through the design and planning stages. Sentence removed

The Council’s Conservation Officer and locally based Intelligent Design Centre Architects worked closely with the owners of AYA Accountants to ensure the design met their needs and recognised the findings of their historic research. The owner, Mr Mahmood, said; “We’re delighted to lead the way on this project and have learnt so much about architecture and the history of Blackburn Road shops.”

Aldridge North Cricket Academy

The Intelligent Design Centre  are delighted to support a funding bid for a £5m cricket academy facility consisting of a county standard cricket pitch and facility building incorporating indoor cricket nets, café, changing and viewing areas. The team at The Intelligent Design Centre produced the scheme drawings and budget costings for the bid.

Full Planning Approval for 76 Apartments in Blackburn

The Intelligent Design Centre  are delighted that we have achieved full planning approval for the erection of a 5 storey apartment block in Blackburn on the site of the former Montague Health Centre.

Consisting of 76 no, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments with associated car parking, the project will provide luxurious apartment living for the growing band of young professionals and international students who are drawn to Blackburn’s growing economy. Each apartment provides spacious, comfortable living with access to dedicated parking and a rooftop garden.

Full Planning Approval Achieved for Ellerslie

We are delighted that we have achieved full planning approval for the erection of 18 modern, highly energy efficient dwellings on the beautiful site that is Ellerslie House, Bury Fold lane Darwen. Working closely with Ellerslie Fold Management Company the houses are nestled within the most stunning open space, surrounded by woodland and wildlife and will provide a fabulous addition to the housing offer in the East Lancashire area. Work has commenced on detailed design and construction is due to commence soon. We feel extremely privileged to have been chosen to design the scheme and look forward to our continued involvement and successful completion of the development.

Understanding the Design Process

The All Important Brief

The design development process begins with the all important brief from the client. This is when we get to understand the objectives of the project, along with time-frames and proposed budget. We work with the client to understand the schedule of accommodation, and what the client’s preferences are i.e. what they like and dislike.

This is an extremely important part of the process. Even before we start to design anything, both the client and our design team can get a full understanding of the undertaking required to turn the design into reality.

We all agree on the procurement route i.e. how it’s going to be built and determine what professional services are required. Of course, no build would be complete without taking into account planning and any potential constraints!

The Fee / Service Proposal

The next step is to write all of the above into a proposal to avoid misunderstandings and to clarify for both parties what has been agreed. We calculate a professional fee based on projected time commitment and value. Fees are generally presented as an hourly rate with cap, lump sum or more likely based on a percentage of the projected project cost. The client will then instruct us to proceed and this is when we get the pencil out and start drawing!

We will visit the site to carry out a survey; capturing dimensions and heights in order to produce massing drawings and assess space-positioning on the site. Our team consider style and evaluate options – all the time liaising and engaging the client to agree a theoretical method of construction and next steps. This is when we power up the computer!

Our team will draw up outline design / concept models in 2D and 3D and agree the preferred option with the client. We meet with the local planning authority as early as possible within the process and develop the details of the design in order to produce the final design for review. At this time, we will also produce accompanying information required for planning and include input from others to identify any potential issues i.e. ecology, trees, flood risks etc. Finally, we submit planning application and wait with bated breath!

Detail, Detail, Detail

We then get onto producing information for Building Regulation Application and accompanying information i.e. energy, structural calculations. This stage also includes the production of technical information and when we invite tenders from contractors to build the property. It now gets exciting for all parties!

The Build

Working with the client we will appoint the successful contractor and start on site. We periodically inspect the works as the build proceeds to ensure compliance and manage completion of the works. We identify any resulting defects and ensure they are rectified before handing over to the client.

Get Celebrating!

If you would like to discuss a project – residential or commercial – then please get in touch. We’d be happy to assist: 01254 232 007 or email:

IDC proud to support low carbon initiative

We are pleased to be leading the way with the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce as part of the Low Carbon initiative.

This £2m European funded part-programme is committed to the provision of a FREE suite of services aimed to help businesses improve energy and environmental efficiencies, introduce on-site renewable energy generation and save money.

You can read more about the initiative on the ELCC website.

20 Modern Glass House Designs

Glass houses are one of the most wonderful architectures that boast unique aesthetics and functionality. The glass house architecture dates back to 1940s-50s when Philip Johnson and Mies Van der Rohe created some cool glass structures that had transparent appeal. Although, facade and walls use glass as the main building material, internal partitions and floors bolstered by strong frames provide the required structural stability.

The transparent walls bring loads of natural light and beautiful views in, providing a deep connection with nature. Privacy may be one of the concerns with such architectures but the one-way vision glasses and curtains take good care of it.

Glass houses are a good example of modern architecture that can be a small backyard cabin to a fully-furnished holiday home. The real beauty lies in the connection between interior, exterior and the surrounding landscape.

If you ever wished to live in harmony with nature, the modernist see-through homes are the best ways to enjoy comforts of indoors while being surrounded by the natural beauty of outdoors. Here is a list of modern glass houses from around the world that offer mesmerising views of surrounding landscape from the comfort of bed.

Check out more inspiring glass homes on the Homecrux website.

The team at Intelligent Design Centre are well-versed in creating glass homes, so please feel free to get in touch to discuss your project: 01254 392 193.

15 Inspiring Eco Homes

The term eco home is used broadly to describe any house which has been designed with sustainability or environmental concerns in mind. This can range from kitting your home out with the latest renewable technology for heat and power, to building a home that has a low energy demand in the first place.

With so many factors to consider, eco homes are deemed to be a complicated endeavour, but take inspiration from our choice of incredible environmentally-friendly designs.

This gorgeous two-storey cottage is a great example of using natural materials – a green oak frame and organic paints – to create interesting shapes and a beautiful finish. A ground source heat pump and sheeps wool insulation were used to retain a low carbon footprint.

Check out more inspiring eco homes on the Homebuilding & Renovating website.

The team at Intelligent Design Centre are well-versed in creating eco homes, so please feel free to get in touch to discuss your project: 01254 392 193.