1. Do we charge a percentage of your project cost?
No – our fees are never based as a percentage of your project cost. We prefer to agree our fees before you appoint us and will provide you with a fee quotation typically broken down into logical fixed fee stages enabling you to budget for our services.
2. What areas do we work in?
We provide a full UK wide service and have undertaken work outside of the UK too.
Why not contact us now, we have probably already undertaken work near to you.
3. Can we provide a one-stop-shop service for projects?
Yes – some of our clients require a full turnkey consultancy solution removing the hassle of your finding all the consultants required for your project, but we are equally happy to work with your own consultants.
4. Planning & Building Regulations – what are they?
Planning in basic terms is how something looks and how it affects the neighbours/neighbourhood. It is subjective (what one person likes others may not necessarily agree). Not all projects will require planning approval, but we will be able to advise clients if it is and can undertake the necessary Planning negotiations/submissions
Building Regulation Approval
Building Regulations ensure building projects (and certain other works) are designed and built to certain standards (eg structural, fire, thermal and disabled access to name but a few of these elements). Most although not all work will require Building Regulation approval and in some instances you can use an alternative Approved Inspector rather than Local Authority Building Control. We can advise you on whether your project requires approval
5. The Equality Act 2010 (Disability Discrimination) what is it?
The Equality Act 2010 incorporates the former Disability Discrimination Act and introduces in law to combat discrimination against disabled people. The Act includes the need to identify and address obstructions to a disabled person accessing into and using the facilities within buildings. The Act does not in itself advise how to overcome barriers to entering or using buildings and their facilities but sets out that particularly where members of the public and/or employees will use premises an access audit should be undertaken to identify and set out how to overcome issues that may present themselves to a disabled person.
All new buildings must comply with Approved Document M of the Building Regulations, which together with BS8300 provide extensive advice as to how to design buildings and their surroundings for disabled visitors, users and employees.
The term `disabled` is not restricted to wheelchair users, but covers a whole range of conditions and restrictions, including but not limited to mobility restrictions, visual impairment and learning difficulties to name but just a few. Addressing some of the issues that may present themselves as a barrier to a disabled person may not necessarily require changes to a building design, but could be overcome very simply and cost effectively, for example an elderley person or person with a mobility impairment may find it painful to stand for periods of time whist awaiting to be seen – this can be aleaviated by simply providing suitably located seating. Indeed particularly particularly where members of the public will visit, eg libraries, doctors surgeries etc it would be sensible to have a variety of types of seat available, including some with arm rests to assist mobility impaired visitors getting into and out of the seat.
Some organisations seek to exceed the minimum requirements and look to provide enhanced or exemplar facilities, such as Manchester City Council and its DFA2 document. The Billington Consultancy have undertaken a number of Basketball Centres of Excellence which cater for the exciting and fast moving Wheelchair Basketball sport and which require for example doors suitable for the wider sports wheelchairs, additional space within changing rooms etc.
Access Audits involve inspection and measurement against pre-agreed criteria of premises accessible to members of the public. The Billington Consultancy undertake Access Audits – further information on request.
6. The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007
All designers/architects have a legal obligation to advise you the client of your responsibilities under CDM before you appoint them. You the client have a legal responsibility for Health and Safety on your project for which the Billington Consultancy will be pleased to advise and guide you. It may be necessary on some projects for you to appoint a CDM-Coordinator to advise and ensure compliance with the legislation and ensure the appropriate risk assessments have been adequately undertaken by the designers and project teams. The Billington Consultancy can undertake the CDM-C role and prepare your project risk assessments – further information on request.
7. Who are our clients?
- Private Home owners
- Self Builders
- Design & Build Companies
- Local Authorities/Government Bodies
- Schools, Colleges and other Education bodies
- Blue Chip Corporations
- Estate Agents
8. Are We Architects?
No, although we provide the same services as Architects (i.e. we design buildings), we are not architects and accordingly should not be referred to as ‘architects’.
Our Building Design Consultancy has a proven track record providing a totally different and user friendly approach to designing buildings – we provide you with a friendly and helpful approach, with impartial advice and imaginative but cost effective solutions.
We never charge a percentage of your project value (we don’t think having a percentage fee gives any incentive for the designer/architect to keep your project cost down).
9. Do we provide services to other consultants?
Yes, whilst we provide full in house design services, we understand some clients already have their own tame designer/architect with whom they wish to continue to work, but need The Billington Consultancy with our specialist services and expertise. We have worked successfully with many Architects and consultants over the years bringing our skills and knowledge to the benefit of their practices and projects whilst generating many friends along the way.
10. A Brief History
Chris Billington first set up the practice in 1983. The Billington Consultancy Ltd became a thriving and successful multi-disciplinary consultancy providing a full one-stop-shop range of services for clients. At the end of 2006 Chris was head hunted to work on a chance of a lifetime project as Design Consultant/Design Manager on the new National Museum of Liverpool project, subsequently also being involved in several high profile international projects including the new $2.4 billion Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange project in the United Arab Emirates. On returning to the UK in 2009, Chris decided to re-establish the consultancy specialising in his core and most enjoyable aspect of his work Designing, Managing and Co-ordinating projects.