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Helpful Info

Building Control

Your local authority controls the quality of any new building or larger refurbishment. Not all projects require building control approval, but building regulations will need to be considered for each project.

You can work directly with the council for approval, but it is also possible to appoint an approved inspector who will authorise the work on the council’s behalf. An approved inspector can advise throughout the project and work closely with the rest of the team, particularly useful for larger or more complicated schemes.

Planning Permission

Your local authority planning department ensures that any development has a positive impact for workers, the public, the economy and the environment.

For the most part, internal works will not need planning permission. Planning permission usually only applies to external renovations and changes of use. Some changes of use and small scale extensions fall under the Permitted Development bracket, meaning that planning will not be needed.

These rules can be complex, but our personal service means we assess your requirements on a case-by-case basis.


We understand the importance of heritage, whether a building is listed or not.

It’s a common myth that ‘just the facade’ of a building is listed. In fact, the entire structure will usually be listed alongside it’s internal features.

Anything affixed to a property would also be protected by the listing. Technically, this could even mean a washing machine or a shelf.

Conservation areas recognise and protect a collection of buildings due to their historical or architectural quality, and can include trees or certain biodiversity habitats.

Most changes to a listed building will need full planning and listed building consent. Unlike planning permission, it is actually a criminal offence to undertake any work without permission.

But we’re here to help. We work closely with conservation officers and consultants on particularly tricky projects to ensure the historic or architectural interests are maintained, whilst working closely with the client to achieve their ambitions.

Protection and Escape

The provision of protection from fire and emergency escape is a very important matter to address in every project. Smoke is just as dangerous as fire, so many fire protection methods try to restrict the spread of smoke as well as flames.

Protection provides barriers and insulation between fire compartments using appropriate lining materials and doors. This includes using nonflammable or treated materials to avoid outbreak or spread of flames.

The escape routes and methods are essential to ensure people can escape from a building. A well designed, planned and maintained escape route is vital, while an alarm system should be clear and provide both visual and audible alerts. Simplicity is key, in a panic it is essential that people can easily identify and traverse the escape route.

There is not a one size fits all approach, but with our innovative approach this doesn’t necessarily have to impact the design and aesthetics of the project.


People have different needs and everyone should be able to use a building as freely as possible. Requirements are varied, therefore we need to consider a multitude of elements when ensuring a space is accessible for all.

There are considerations beyond disabilities that can make a building more accessible, we need to consider other aspects and nuances to many people’s needs.

Simple changes can make a big difference to how someone can use a building and make their lives a lot easier. This doesn’t always require large investment, and can even be a simple change in policy and process.

Get in touch...

Smithfield Garage, Meriden Street, Birmingham, B5 5LS

0121 663 1313 / hello@sculpt.design

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Sculpt Design Ltd is a company registered in England & Wales with registration number 10560670.