Build 2016 Construction & Engineering Awards

Build 2016 Construction & Engineering Awards 18 s a microbusiness, Mark Physsas Architects Limited boasts some high-profile airport experience, and is currently develop- ing projects for a number of international airports. Mark was delighted to tell us more. “A few of our live projects include airline facilities for EasyJet, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic, and include airport masterplans for a number of small airports in Africa and Europe. Airports globally have faced great challenges in improving their security without affecting the passenger expe- rience, so we as designers have a great challenge to meet this expectation from our airport clients. “We have also seen great challenges in our residential projects. The last couple of years has seen a boost in residential development, which includes smaller scale domestic work. The South East in the UK in particular has seen a great boost in domestic refurbishments and extensions, however it has also been met with an unprecedented spike in construction cost, which has been difficult to contend with. We have had some great success in planning, and needless to say our passionate team have found innovative ways of cutting the cost of construction, utilising different building methods that are not usually associated with domestic projects. “Our approach to a project is to keep it simple, yet innovate at the same time. Due to our commercial involvement in projects, we get to engage with suppliers on an R&D level, so get first hand exposure to new building ma- terials and techniques. We like to utilise this where possible, finding simple solutions to complex issues that our clients are facing. “One example of this was an airport operator’s desire to convert part of an existing transitional space in a building into staff accommodation. The exist- ing building was not insulated to building regulation requirements and our solution was to utilise rain-screen cladding to efficiently improve the U-value of part of the building. Our experience with a particular cement board clad- ding system enabled us to quickly develop a simple solution. “To ensure that we develop designs objectively for our clients, we conduct reviews on a regular basis, done by someone in our team that has not been involved directly in that project. We are also vigorous in our early stage options studies, and recommend the development of a report to capture as much of the criteria as possible.” Mark notes that his firm has an unusual structure, to which he accredits their ability to stay competitive in a challenging market. “We employ a number of freelancers who are not confined to an office environment. This poses some initial challenges in that its success is vastly dependant on our communication and IT. We run on a number of cloud services which enables us to collaborate easily, and we also make good use of communication messenger services and video conferencing systems. By removing the need for a large office environment, we believe we get more out of staff. A lot of staff with children enjoy working for us, as they are able to work around their family life. This is crucial for getting the most out of your staff, and reflects positively in their work. “Our mission is to provide a collaborative approach to projects. We do what we do because we enjoy it, and we thrive on a good challenge. We almost always go for more challenging projects, as we feel we get more out of this on a professional and personal level.” There are always challenges facing Architects when it comes to remaining competitive, but Mark Physsas Architects Limited have found that the last few years have been a very exciting time for Architects, as there has been a lot happening in the construction industry in general. “Development is on the rise in the commercial, transport and residential sectors, so there are lots of opportunities for Architects. The immediate chal- lenge is that construction costs are increasing at an unpredictable rate. We find this to be the biggest challenge for architects in general, as discussions with our peers has demonstrated that this has affected the materials that we specify and in some cases the quality of construction. “Our short-term plan is to remain a small practice, as we believe that we can nurture talent better this way. We have had some great success stories, such as our involvement in Gatwick Airport and our successful planning achieve- ments. We have a clear picture of our future for the next couple of years as we explore further opportunities within our industry.” Best Bespoke Architecture & Planning Company - Kent Mark Physsas Architects Limited provide a number of architectural design services, including architecture, interior design, space planning, urban design, master planning and sustainable and environmental design. They also specialise in a number of unique areas which includes infrastructure master-planning and airports, but are constantly expanding their portfolio to include other sectors. They are always interested in a challenge, and currently support a number of contractors in airports and residential projects. Mark Physsas provided us with an insight into his firm. A