Practice Profile

We are a medium size architectural practice which has received a variety of awards over our 25 year history which reflects our standards and abilities.

The majority of our work is in the residential sector. This encompasses one-off commissions through to PFI development masterplanning. Working within a small number of specialist areas has given us an advantage – allowing us to build on our expertise and input to create a successful project.

Our projects always involve a community led approach to the planning and design issues with a longer term strategic and economic overview.

The range of clients which trust west+machell reflects our varied portfolio. From housing associations and local authorities through to national developers our approach has to embrace the varied expectations and operational styles of many differing organisations.

Quality Indicators

Housing Quality Indicators (HQIs) measure the quality of housing schemes funded by the Homes and Communities Agency against ten indicators that measure something more than just cost – quality.

We have assisted many RP’s complete HQI assessments and design to Lifetime Homes Standards, finding it easy to achieve the minimum standard.

Lifetime Homes

Creating homes with extra design criteria which support the changing needs of individuals and families at different stages of life.

Building for Life

Promotes design excellence using high quality housing solutions that vastly improve end-user social well-being and quality of life into the future.

Sustainable Future

We affordable achieve higher levels of code through considerations at the early stages rather than trying to bolt on expensive solutions at the end.

Wheelchair Design

Using the Wheelchair Housing Design Guide to maximise the independence of wheelchair users and other at risk individuals such as the elderly.

Strategic Efficiency

Our strategy is based on the widely accepted energy hierarchy which directs developers towards the most efficient route to preventing greenhouse gas emissions and avoiding end user fuel poverty by reducing the cost of fuel bills.

Reduce the need for energy by creating air-tight buildings
Maximise heating and hot water energy efficiency
Supply energy from renewable sources

Our buildings often surpass the highest standards of carbon reduction and sustainability demanded by central government. Our in-house Code for Sustainable Homes and SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) assessors are able to ensure that fundamental issues that have low or no impact on cost, such as layout and orientation, are considered at the earliest stage as oppose to bolting on expensive solutions at the end of the project. This has enabled us to achieve higher levels of code at an affordable price for our clients.

Community Support

The people best placed to steer design development at the early stages are the local residents and stakeholders. We find that a considered community approach can not only add credibility to a proposal, but enable people to take ownership and have a constructive role in a project that could affect them.

Our approach to local consultation…

Their view matters

Residents should be assured they will have a real part to play in key decisions

Communicate early

Give stakeholders time to influence proposals and present a range of ideas

Make it easy

Whether face-to-face, online or by post we let people engage in their own way

Share the facts

Never raise expectations above what can be realistically delivered

Give feedback

Let stakeholders see the true impact and action taken for their comments

Involve councillors

Elected members play an important part and should be kept informed