our values

Artel31 is a collection of designers, builders and creators across our architecture and construction teams. Who we are and what we believe in helps define us as Artel31, and our ethos and values underline every decision that is made.

design

Where do we start with design? We better keep this short as we can talk for hours about the minutiae of the spaces we work on…

Quality of design is not based on cost, no matter what the latest aspirational sales magazine might have you believe; good design requires vision and time, not money. It is not a certain style or a certain budget, it is the process that distils elegance in the end building.

Give us time to design and we promise it will not only reward you but your entire community. The latent effects of a great project often significantly outweigh its direct return for the client.

construction

Construction and architecture is like sculpture and art, it is the continuation of a design process to create a building.

Many architects would have you believe that you need to have made every decision before you start. That is not the case; yes some are fundamental and can cause extra cost if changed later, but many decisions are better if they evolve when the complexities of a project are better understood.

We like to build because we like to make. In doing so we have a better grip on how things are put together and we refine the detail to minimise cost and risk where possible.

Our team build slower than some because we build well.

environment

Whilst we endeavour to reduce the carbon embodied in the construction, life, and the eventual reuse of the building, we also recognise that it is also relatively easily combatted by naturally occurring processes. There is a raft of far more hazardous pollutants and toxins spewing from modern life, in addressing the issues of CO2 we mustn’t forget to seek to reduce them as well.

The spaces we create are not only beautiful they are healthy.

Our aim is to continually research and study materials both in production and evolution seeking to find a pragmatic solution for each stage of a projects life, minimising pollutants both within the building and in the disposal of waste from it.

sustainability

build smaller but build better

Where to start… well everywhere would be best, if we’re going to find a future for our children to grow up in, we need to strive for better; to hope, and to dream of a world which improves the lives of all. We’re part of RIBA’s 2030 Climate Challenge, Architect’s Declare and The Green Register to ensure external collaboration and evaluation of progress.

For almost all of us, a construction project or home will be the largest single expenditure we will make in our lives, and we know that is daunting to most. We are here to help. To listen and respond to your own dreams while challenging them and offering alternatives to test what you need.

We believe need is the base tenet of sustainability, a project must be needed not wanted. The spaces created must provide places to live, places to work or places to play and in doing so improve the lives of those who use them without hindering others in seeking their own need.

Our aim is to challenge you at every stage of the project and in doing so we will ensure you build the best you can.

use less don’t do less

Lean principles have been introduced to huge success in factory lines around the globe, less waste means a better profit margin in development or a cheaper budget for a self-build. To cite one example: a recent project used waste wood from the first fix for the doors then the offcuts were made into lights using wire and fixings already purchased for the wider project essentially removing a whole line item from a build’s embodied energy/production waste.

Use less energy by insulating your building well but make sure you understand how the building will be used. If you’re a 65 year old retiree, chances are you will be in your house for a much greater portion of the day/night so exposed thermal mass is a great thing but if you’re running a community hall then you need a space which is responsive. Ultimately build less, find ways to use spaces for multiple activities.

We love to re-use waste in our buildings, be they bi-products of a process or a discarded item that still has a useful life, the end result is an item saved from being waste and reducing the need for raw material extraction.

green roof in roof valley

biodiversity

The net gain planning policy is not worth the paper it’s written on! Its weakness is so apparent that mass developers barely have to try to falsify things to pass the criteria.

We like to start from the other end of the scale: What is the best we can achieve on any site while also achieving the goals of the project.

Our first port of call is our biodiversity toolkit, its designed to make you think a fresh about the flora and fauna you share your site with. There is a space for everything, we can design to allow you to not only live alongside but support your ecosystem to bloom. So many of the changes we can make improve our own lives in the process.

Many of the design ideals needed fit perfectly with our wider goals for sustainability, equity, and life quality.

non profit

Through the years we have done a wide range of work for charities and worthy causes.

We firmly believe that life is about more than money and if we can help others with good design, then we’d love to be involved.

Whether that is a women’s charity supporting single mums in Rwanda or a Grade 2* village school in rural Wiltshire, if you have a cause in need – get in touch!

social justice

equality

Whether it be racial, gender, social, religious or economic, equality is about ensuring that everybody has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents. No one should have poorer life chances because of the way they were born, where they come from, what they believe and who they are. We will strive to identify inequality and combat it by whatever means are within our grasp.

privilege

We are aware that we are starting from a place of privilege, we will actively seek to combat those who perpetuate discrimination based on race, socio-economic upbringing, disability, sexual orientation or any other reason, we will seek to give the credit deserved to those who have to battle to get the same opportunities we get on a daily basis.

happiness

We believe good design in the built environment is highly influential in the happiness of those who experience or use it. There is a wealth of studies looking at children’s responses to improvements within education design but those benefits are felt throughout our lives in our homes, our leisure facilities, our journeys and our work places. We don’t cut fees to get jobs on the basis that there is always somebody willing to do something cheaper. We’re looking to do it better. Our designs have brought real improvements to the lives of our clients and in turn happiness.

There is a pressing need to use the current world’s challenges to bring about real and lasting change, one of the key elements is environmental/sustainable improvements. But there is also an opportunity to look at the work life balance throughout society with flexible working patterns both within the professional sphere and the educational setting. We endeavour to work flexibly around our team and you to make sure everyone has time.

architects that build

architects that build