The word ‘fast’ and architecture haven’t previously gone hand in hand. In fact, go to any industry event and you’re sure to find someone who’s still waiting for their architect to deliver, months into the project. But technology has the potential to change this, as some architects make the leap to online platforms. Benefiting not only UK homeowners, but developers too.

Nick_Stockley ReSI architect

By Nick Stockley, co-founder,

Traditionally, architects and property developers have a lot to gain by working well together. The developer relies on the architect to not only maximize on future profits with great designs, but also help secure planning. And in return, the architect can benefit from a working relationship that could continue throughout their career. Yet, despite having this mutually beneficial relationship, the two parties can often clash. More often than not, timings are the biggest grievance, and this is where new technology is stepping in.

From a developer’s point of view, there are two priorities at play: balancing good design with commerciality. This requires a process that needs a deep understanding of the project, such as site visits, planning, research and so on, which, even on small residential projects, can take a minimum of a month.

This initial process can result in delay at critical stages of a residential project, that in turn mean costs for developers can soar. But, this is about to change. New site appraisal companies are allowing architects to access property data instantly, allowing them to assess the development potential of buildings before any sale has been made.

Construction tech

Construction and planning is increasingly going digital

Source: Nathan Daniels

Indeed, it means the developer can find out the development potential of the land or property before buying it- particularly vital when purchasing at an auction. This includes understanding any prior planning permission issues or what others in the area have successfully applied for. Knowing this information ahead of bidding will help buying decisions and reduces the risk of losing money on a purchase. The level of data available will also help developers access finance by providing security to investors of the potential of the property or land.

Once the land is purchased, developers can also benefit from architects going digital. Those who have made the move to online platforms provide developers with full architectural plans faster, and at far lower cost. A halo benefit is that the faster process to source architectural plans and permissions mean developers have less time where they could be paying interest on any development loans.

However, where technology can really add value is the scope that it can offer to developers. Whilst most architectural firms will work within a specific town, city or region, online platforms can service the whole of the UK.

This means that should the developer have multiple projects across the country they can use one single platform to source high quality architectural support for all. One single provider who taps into data and has the experience of local authorities across the country.

As said before the relationship between architecture and property development is fundamentally important - technology can make this relationship work even better.