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Category Archives: News

How technology is changing the face of house design

How technology is changing the face of house design

Holographic, virtual designs are set to change the way architects and developers work and interact with planning authorities and potential buyers…

The advance of technology is changing the way we live and work on an almost-daily basis – just look at how smartphones have become such a staple of everyday life.

And the architectural industry is no different. According to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the utilisation of cutting-edge technology is transforming the way architects work. The software Microsoft Hololens, for instance, takes architects away from the pen-and-paper of the past and brings them into a holographic world that enables them to visualise their buildings, alter the designs, and ensure the construction’s safety.

Look at how the TV show Grand Designs creates a 3D map of the intended home and the camera ‘walks through’ the design, showing the viewer how it will pan out in real life. This is what the new software does – but on a far bigger and better scale.

The holograms can be created to a scale that enables the architects to virtually ‘walk’ inside the building, checking the structure and marking any potential issues via voice commands or hand gestures.

Joint research

The results of research by RIBA, conducted together with Microsoft, is likely to be revealed soon, and is expected to show how the industry has been transformed by the advances in the digital world.

Here at Apex we are looking forward to reading the results of the survey. We can foresee some useful implementation ahead. For self-builders, for instance, this kind of technology is a great way of visualising how their ideas will look, and will give them the chance to make alterations in the virtual world, rather than making costly changes in the real world.

Larger housebuilders will be able to use the technology to show potential buyers what they can look forward to before any work has even started on the ground. And it can also be used to show planning officers and Planning Committees just how a development will come together and how it will integrate with the local area.

Its usefulness will continue after construction – thanks to its compatibility with SMART technology it will be easy to find out what parts are needed for maintenance – replacing bulbs in cookers for instance – and for checking where pipes and wires are before carrying out any DIY!

‘Old school’

However, as with most technological advances, there will always be those who resist change. There will be some architects who will baulk against the use of Hololens and the like due to the costs – and there will always be the ‘old school’ architects who have already resisted the use of computer-aided design (CAD) and would rather stick to pen and paper. There is nothing inherently wrong with this and we at Apex recognise that free-hand drawings often provide a softer visual compared to a CAD one.  It is necessary to know your ‘audience’ and to choose the appropriate method of presenting your development and as we all become ever more techno-savvy we suspect those architects who do not adapt will find themselves in the minority in a very short time…

If you would like to discuss your own development or just find out more about what we do, please browse the website at www.apexplanning.co.uk or drop us a line at info@apexplanning.co.uk without obligation.

Post Election Update

Post Election Update

After the dust has settled… the planning and construction industries after the election: Some things have certainly changed since the snap General Election on June 8. One of the major factors for the planning industry was the fact that Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell lost his seat, as we predicted. In his place is… Read more

What will the General Election mean for planning?

What will the General Election mean for planning?

We take a look at the planning-related policies in each party’s manifesto… The prelude to the General Election has been notable for its relative silence on the matter of planning and housing development. It is possible that this was, in part, due to the protracted and extensive discussions that happened before Parliament was dissolved, which… Read more

Building to Rent

Building to Rent

Traditionally, developers have built homes to buy, but the trend looks set to change… In the past, builders constructed homes to sell to home-buyers – or they built social housing under the remit of a local housing authority. Of course, developments now usually have to provide a certain proportion of ‘affordable’ housing as well –… Read more

The Problems with Retirement Housing

The Problems with Retirement Housing

As more of us retire earlier, and with more than just a government pension to sustain us, the call for housing for the retired will grow, but will there be enough to go around? Ageing Population We are an ageing population – there are more people over 60 than there are under the age of… Read more

The Midlands Land of Opportunity

The Midlands Land of Opportunity

The Midlands looks set to benefit from more housing development, according to both the recent Housing White Paper and the Midlands Engine Strategy. The Midlands Engine Strategy was published this month, and refers to the recent Housing White Paper and its commitment to build more housing in the Midlands. The Strategy draws attention to the… Read more

Fixing the Broken Housing Market

Fixing the Broken Housing Market

A recent White Paper details how the government plans to get the right new homes built in the right places and help people onto the housing ladder. February 2017 saw the release of the White Paper ‘Fixing our broken housing market’, which details a number of broad reforms aimed at improving the housing market and… Read more

A Change of Ministerial Plan

A Change of Ministerial Plan

A Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) has resulted in major changes to the weight that is attached to Neighbourhood Plans, the question of housing supply and what developers must now take into account when preparing a planning application and any potential challenge to one for housing that has been refused planning permission. While most people were… Read more

Delay of Housing White Paper

Delay of Housing White Paper

There is some disappointment in the planning profession because the anticipated Housing White Paper failed to appear as expected on the same day as the Autumn Statement (23 November 2016). The Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, has said it will now be published in January 2017. So, we are no further forwards in respect to Starter… Read more

White Paper Whitewash?

White Paper Whitewash?

It’s always interesting to note the timing of major announcements. For instance – the Housing White Paper is due to be published on 23 November – the same day as the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. Do the powers-that-be do this in the hope that one will obscure the other? Bone of Contention We can’t be certain,… Read more

Our Pledge To You

The primary aim of Apex Planning Consultants is to establish a clear and precise strategy that tackles the hurdles presented by the increasing complexities of the planning process and associated legislation.

This must be provided to retain our credibility and client trust, and this is achieved through our reliability to deliver, how well we keep our promise, and the expedient delivery of projects.

Important to this is our ability to be accessible to all clients and to communicate information quickly and as simply as possible.  A key focus of Apex Planning Consultants is to help clients find the solution that is right for them.

To learn more about individual projects, please take a look at our blog.

This is what just two of our clients have said:

“I contacted Apex Planning Consultants when my application to change the use of my rental property from a single dwelling household to a HiMO was refused by local authority planners.  Apex Planning Consultants launched an appeal with the planning inspectorate on behalf.  They demonstrated high standards of professionalism and great attention to detail in preparing and responding to submissions.  This led to a recent decision in my favour, which now allows me to operate the property as a HiMO.  In addition, they successfully negotiated to avoid the potentially expensive and crippling conditions which the local authority planners were seeking to impose with the inspectorate’s decision.  That is a result!”
George Bandasoah – Property Landlord – Milton Keyes

 “I used Apex Planning recently on a project, following a recommendation from my architect.  They provided planning advice, influencing the design of a large extension and additionally a planning statement to support the planning application.  I found them to be efficient, knowledgeable and very professional.  Their costs were very reasonable, given the result of achieving full planning permission on first application.  I would thoroughly recommend them.”
Darren Bishop – Homeowner – Aylesbury

Apex Planning Consultants Limited t /a Apex Planning Consultants. Company number: 8091611. Registered in England & Wales.

Registered office: 1 Hillbeck Grove, Middleton, Milton Keynes, MK10 9JJ. VAT Registration Number 210735054.