Build IT Live Show 2023: Networking and Engaging with the Public

Co Create Architects has exhibited in different networking events in the South West in the past years. The Build It Live shows are some of the most engaging and relevant networking events of the year for us. We are very proud to showcase our company and services directly to the public in these shows. 

Co Create stand at Build it live networking show 2023 showcasing some of our most interesting projects

On the 8th and 9th of September 2023 we were at Westpoint in Exeter at the Build It Live show and it was a lot of fun. We met some of our fellow architectural and construction colleagues but more importantly engaged with a significant amount of the public, which is what we are there for. There was a lovely atmosphere with an air of excitement. 

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Build It magazine has been providing expert guidance, advice and inspiration for people looking to build their own home, renovate a property or undertake an extension of conversion project for more than 20 years. The Build It Live annual exhibitions have accrued a prestigious status in the design and construction sector and are designed to provide face-to-face inspiration, thousands of products and expert consultations. These take place every year in Exeter, Oxfordshire and Kent. 

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Co CreateArchitects stand at Build it Live show 2023 with Alistair Powe taking the lead for the day.

At each show there are workshops, live seminars and many exhibitors on offer as well as advice clinics and one-to-one sessions for anyone looking for information about self-builds, renovations and extensions. If you are interested in any of these just click the following: What’s on at Build It Live? 

We certainly will be present at these shows for a long time. 

Swimming for Men's Health Awareness

The Chestnut Appeal for Men's Health Charity Drake Island Swim was a Success

On Sunday 13th of August, one of our directors, Jamie Dewdney, joined the Hoare Lea team in completing the THE CHESTNUT APPEAL FOR MENS HEALTH Drake Island swim. Swim time was at 9.30am from Firestone Bay in the Royal William Yard. It was a lovely sunny day and the sea was calm, Jamie and many other supporters swam 1500m to Drake Island and back and was very happy to so for a good cause. 

Hoare Lea and Co Create architects supporting the Chestnut Appeal Men's health awareness drake island swim
Jamie Dewdney and the Hoare Lea team happy to support The Chestnut Appeal Drake Island swim

The Chestnut Appeal was founded in 1999 at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, however they work across the whole of Devon & Cornwall. The charity helps fund the work of specialist nurses and endeavour to develop and help patient led support groups and offer respite free holiday breaks for those recently diagnosed with cancer.   

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Raising awareness for the most common cancer in men; Prostate Cancer, is at the core of their work. They also raise awareness of Testicular Cancer and Penile Cancer. These two other cancers are very treatable but often overlooked or undiagnosed which can be devastating.  

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Everyone registers for the swim and receives a cap for easy identification in the sea.
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Every swimmer gets a cap and a medal.

“Raising awareness of Men’s Cancers is at the heart of everything we do, & we aim to make a marked difference to men’s health across the region. We believe it is vital to get more men talking about their health and taking action when they feel like something could be wrong, and a lot of our time is spent out in the community giving free talks and seminars about these three cancers.” 

The prostate gland is very important in the male anatomy yet only 30% of people know where it is located or what it does. There are more than 52 000 new cases of prostate cancer a year in the UK alone which is around 140 men a day being diagnosed with this cancer. If men do not know what to look for and how to ask for help, it is harder to diagnose these cancers early for a better chance of successful treatment, therefore The Chestnut Appeal feel there is still a lot of work to be done. 

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“We can only reach our aims when we work together as a community. Over the coming years we aim to improve vital services and do much more in the area, helping reach more of the community.  We have a lot to be thankful for, and a huge amount to do in the future to ensure men’s health is continually talked about, that the South West corner of the UK isn’t forgotten about, and that we’re able to attract the very best technologies and treatment to the area.”  If you think you need support and would like to know what help you can get, click here.  

Fundraising is a great way to help many people and also create a community event, if you wish to plan an event click here.  Co Create Architects is so proud to be able to take part in events such as this one and hope to support The Chestnut Appeal in many more events. 

CCA Golf Series 2023 Concluded on a High

Most rewarding moment: Presenting the Cheque to the Children's Hospice South West

We are thrilled to have hosted the first annual Co Create Architects Golf Series this year, an exciting initiative bringing together various companies from the construction industry all across Devon including Plymouth, Exeter and Torbay. We were overwhelmed with the support and popularity of the event from industry professionals which included contractors, planning consultants, quantity surveyors and project managers

The Co Create Architects Golf Series 2023 offered a great opportunity for businesses to come together and enjoy a round of golf on one of the specially selected beautiful courses (Torquay, Boringdon, Dartmouth and Staddon Heights), while supporting a fantastic charity. As part of the Co Create Architects Golf Series 2023, we not only raised funds for this incredible organisation but also forged new connections within the construction industry, strengthening our network and generating greater awareness of our company.

Co Create Architects Golf series 2023 poster

Taking place throughout the spring and summer of 2023, this series of events allowed us to combine our passion for golf with our commitment to supporting a cause close to our hearts—Children's Hospice South West (CHSW). As many of us at Co Create Architects have children, we understand and empathise with the vital role that Children's Hospice South West plays in providing care and support to children and families facing challenging circumstances.  

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Image credit: Children's Hospice South West

The Children's Hospice South West is a charity that provides vital care and support for children with life-limiting conditions and their families, this includes “hospice breaks, emergency care, palliative care and end of life care at 3 wonderful children's hospices; Little Bridge House in Devon, Charlton Farm in Somerset and Little Harbour in Cornwall.” They ensure that all the people involved “make the most of short and precious lives and puts children and families at the centre of all it does.” Anyone can get involved, if you would like to help the charity just click here.  

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Co Create Architects on the golf course and having a good time.

Thanks to the incredible support and generosity of all the companies involved in our 2023 Golf Series, we were able to make this significant contribution to such a deserving cause. We are proud to support the CHSW and contribute to their mission. Together, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of children and families in need.  

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Co Create Architects' Donation to the Children's Hospice South West.

A very special thank you to all the participating teams. We were so thrilled to conclude the Golf Series 2023 and present a cheque of £620 to The Children’s Hospice South West! We are looking forward to hosting our second event next year, which will be bigger and better and we hope that our involvement inspires other businesses in the construction industry to join us in supporting worthy causes and creating positive change. 

Mount Gould Hospital: Completion of a New Discharge Assessment Unit

Co Create Architects is proud to have been part of the refurbishment design of the new Patient Discharge Assessment Unit at Mount Gould Hospital.

The following article was authored by the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust and the original article can be viewed here.

Two new wards were officially opened on Friday 16 June as part of the new Discharge Assessment Unit at Mount Gould Hospital, being run jointly by University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP) and Livewell Southwest. 

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Image Credit: University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust. Opening ceremony at Mount Gould Hospital DAU.

The new wards, Saltram and Lopes, now provide holistic and comprehensive discharge assessments and reablement for those with complex needs. This allows medically fit patients to be discharged from Derriford Hospital to a facility that is equipped to support their recovery and ultimately their return home; all with the aim to support people to live independently for longer. 

The opening of the unit has been made possible thanks to £5million funding received from NHS England, as well as collaborative working between UHP, Livewell Southwest, NHS Devon Integrated Care Board, Plymouth City Council and a number of community partners, including Age UK and Herts Urgent Care (HUC - formally Devon Doctors). 

“We are delighted to have opened the new Discharge Assessment Unit at Mount Gould,” explains Jo Beer, Chief Operating Officer at UHP. “This now means we can give every patient the opportunity to return to independence following a period of acute ill health and hospitalisation, as well as promote home as the preferred discharge destination. 

“This new unit also releases bed capacity at UHP to provide space for care and treatment for patients waiting for elective and urgent care. It’s a new way of working for UHP and an opportunity to strengthen working relationships with our Livewell and Plymouth City Council colleagues for the benefit of patient care. We’d like to say a huge thank you to all the teams who have worked very hard to get this project completed.” 

The unit, which has capacity for 40 beds, is made up of a team of both UHP and Livewell staff nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and therapeutic support workers. They monitor and support patient health and wellbeing, carry out assessments to help with recovery and plan for discharge. GP support is also provided. 

“Although we’ve only been open a matter of weeks, we’ve received some wonderful feedback from patients so far,” explains Samantha O’Driscoll, Ward Manager for the unit. “Our patients really feel that they regain their independence here and can relax in a non-acute setting whilst still keeping reablement as their focus, with the goal of returning home with confidence and the right support. One patient in particular said that the unit is ‘wonderful’ and a ‘joy to be at, because the care for everyone is excellent’. 

“Through helping patients to increase their confidence in the activities of daily living, the Discharge Assessment Unit also offers staff a real opportunity to get to know their patients and increase their knowledge around reablement. I have had some outstanding feedback from our staff, in that they feel supported in their role and truly enjoy the environment in which they all work. We have some wonderful learning opportunities here and staff feel excited about the future of the unit.” 

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Image Credit: University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust. Opening ceremony at Mount Gould DAU_ NHS staff team

Michelle Thomas, Chief Executive of Livewell Southwest, said: “These new wards symbolise an important commitment to supporting patient reablement and will complement our existing out-of-hospital pathways in the city. As partnered organisations, we share the goal of supporting our service users to maintain healthy, independent lives and we are pleased to be making a positive contribution at the Discharge Assessment Unit.” 

Rachel O’Connor, Director of Integrated Care and Partnerships at UHP, adds: “We are hugely appreciative of the additional capital that has been made available to help provide important additional reablement care, to support people to return home and continue to live independently for longer. The additional beds as part of a wider community model of care will also relieve pressure on our acute hospital beds for those who need medical intervention. 

“We recognise that most people will recover better at home once they are safe to be there, and we are working with our other health and social care partners in the system to ensure that people get home promptly. The development at Mount Gould is one part of a model of intermediate care that through our partnership with Livewell we are looking to implement to better prepare people for early and supported discharge and help maintain their ability to return home to live as independently as possible. It has been wonderful to see the joint working between our teams and receive such positive feedback from patients so far. We remain excited about the opportunities for further development and improvement together.” 

Through bringing all community teams together for the purpose of discharge from hospital, it is hoped to encourage a culture of empowering patients to continue their ongoing care at home, where possible. 

Below: the wards during the rennovation works (left) and after the completion (right) 

This image is to show the renovation works of the hallway in the new Discharge Assessment Unit at Mount Gould Hospital.
Image Credit: University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust.
This image is to show the completed look of the hallway in the new Discharge Assessment Unit at Mount Gould Hospital.
Image Credit: Co Create Architects.

Sustainable Design: Extending Existing Buildings with Environmental Strategies

Sustainable strategies built into the Delderfields extension

Designing an extension for an existing building presents a unique opportunity to blend contemporary architectural elements with sustainable strategies. In this project, we used zinc as cladding and incorporated the following environmental strategies: water collection, ventilation, natural lighting and solar shading. By adopting these strategies, we created a sustainable and visually stunning extension which enhanced the environmental performance and functionality and of the building. 

Zinc was chosen as the main cladding material of the project due to its versatility, durability and sustainability. Additionally, over time, zinc adds character and visual appeal to the extension with its unique aesthetic qualities, ranging from vibrant shades to a subtle patina, making it the obvious choice for our project. Zinc is a naturally occurring material which is abundant and highly recyclable, making it an environmentally responsible choice. Its durability, low maintenance requirements, and resistance to corrosion ensure the longevity of the building envelope.

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Co Create Architects contemporary zinc extension in Exmouth, Devon.

Architects can incorporate large windows, skylights, and light wells strategically to maximize the penetration of natural light into the interior spaces. Careful consideration of the building's orientation and the placement of windows has optimized daylighting, reducing the reliance on artificial lighting during the day and creating a pleasant and inviting atmosphere for our clients.  

As seen in the image below, the use of strategically placed windows and shading in the extension, allows for a controlled level of lighting into the space. The solar shading prevents the kitchen-diner from overheating whilst allowing light into the space. Integrating natural lighting strategies in the extension design not only reduces energy consumption but also enhances the well-being of our clients. Furthermore, using effective solar shading strategies can help regulate interior temperatures, minimize glare, and reduce the need for excessive air conditioning. Techniques such as overhangs, louvers, and brise-soleil can be incorporated into the extension's design to provide shade and control the amount of sunlight entering the building. By carefully analysing the sun's path throughout the year, we ensure the extension remains comfortable while minimizing energy consumption. 

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Co Create Architects contemporary zinc extension in Exmouth, Devon.

Another current and growing environmental concern is water scarcity, making water collection and conservation strategies essential in sustainable design. In this project we designed a system utilising hidden downpipes in the façade where the rain water is harvested and directed to a water reserve underneath the utility space. This water can be reused for domestic functions such as washing and flushing toilets. Designing rainwater collection systems that capture and store rainwater for various uses, such as landscape irrigation, toilet flushing, and cooling systems is becoming more common in our proposals. These systems are integrated into the building's infrastructure, reducing the reliance on municipal water supply and promoting a more sustainable approach to water management.

Proper ventilation plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy indoor environment. Architects can incorporate natural ventilation strategies into the extension's design to promote fresh air circulation and reduce reliance on mechanical ventilation systems. We achieved this by utilizing high and low operable windows and openings. This will allow for a greater temperature regulation without the dependence on air conditioning, skylights, and atriums to facilitate cross-ventilation and promote airflow. Efficient ventilation systems reduce energy consumption associated with artificial cooling and ventilation as well as contribute to occupant well-being. 

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Co Create Architects contemporary zinc extension in Exmouth, Devon.

Designing extensions on existing buildings with a focus on sustainable strategies and materials, such as zinc cladding, natural lighting, solar shading, water collection, and ventilation, allows us to create environmentally conscious and visually appealing structures. By embracing these strategies, we can enhance the functionality, comfort, and energy efficiency of the building while minimizing its environmental impact. Sustainable design not only benefits the occupants and the planet but also sets an example for future architectural endeavours, encouraging a holistic approach to construction and responsible resource utilization. 

Embracing the Past: Historic Buildings in Devon

Architectural Extensions on Castles and Historic Buildings in Devon

In a world that constantly evolves and embraces modern architecture, there is a unique charm and allure to castles and historic buildings. These magnificent structures, steeped in history, have witnessed the passage of time and the changing architectural trends. We were given the exciting opportunity to work on an existing design of an extension on a beautiful Castle in Crediton, Devon. As architects and designers, we are tasked with the challenge of preserving the historical integrity while introducing functional and aesthetic spaces to these buildings. The art of designing architectural extensions on castles and historic buildings, can showcase how thoughtful design can breathe new life into these magnificent structures.

When extending or changing an existing space in a historic building, the primary objective is to honour and preserve the historical narrative while introducing contemporary elements. Architects achieve this delicate balance by thoroughly studying the original structure, its architectural style, and the cultural context in which it was built. By doing so, we can create spaces and or structures that seamlessly blend with the existing structure, paying homage to its heritage. This extension design is a fantastic example of a well thought out and delicately designed architectural extension to a historic building.

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Co Create Architects Listed Building Extension in Crediton, Devon

One of the key challenges in extending a castle or historic building is harmonizing architectural styles. The extension should not overpower or detract from the original structure, but rather enhance its beauty and functionality. This is achieved by employing design techniques that incorporate elements of the existing structure into the new extension, such as matching materials, colours, and proportions. By striking a harmonious balance between old and new, we create a visual continuity that ensures the historical integrity remains intact.

While the preservation of historical character is paramount, architectural extensions also offer an opportunity to introduce innovative functionality to these structures. The integration of modern amenities, such as elevators, heating and cooling systems, and sustainable technologies, allows for improved accessibility and comfort without compromising the building's historical significance. Careful consideration of the layout and interior design of this extension to the Castle ensured that the new space seamlessly blend with the old, offering a seamless user experience. This is visible in the use of the double-glazed glass structure that connects the extension to the actual Castle wall and the fully insulated wall structure.

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Co Create Architects Listed Building Extension in Crediton, Devon
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Co Create Architects Listed Building Extension in Crediton, Devon

Architectural extensions on castles and old buildings must also consider the surrounding environment. By respecting the natural landscape and cultural context, we can create extensions that complement the existing structure and its surroundings. Thoughtful design choices, such as incorporating local materials or mimicking the existing architectural features, can establish a strong connection between the extension and its environment, further enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal. This is visible in the positioning, height and shape of the extension and the choice of style of windows shown in the image below.

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Co Create Architects Listed Building Extension in Crediton, Devon

Architectural extensions on castles and old buildings embody the delicate balance between preserving history and embracing modernity. By respecting the historical narrative, harmonizing architectural styles, incorporating innovative functionality, and respecting the surroundings, architects and designers can create extensions that enhance the beauty and functionality of these timeless structures. Through thoughtful design, we can continue to celebrate the past while ensuring these architectural wonders remain relevant and cherished for generations to come.

Co Create Architects | RIBA Chartered Architects Devon