Construction starts on site! Sow Space are providing architect contract admin services on this extension and retrofit project in South Oxford, which started earlier this year. This service is to ensure that what’s built reflects the contract drawings, involving regular site visits, progress meetings, and close liaison with client and contractor. Sometimes the service is described as ‘project management’, but it’s the main contractor who manages the day-to-day running of the project.

This photo shows progress of installation of the external wall plinth insulation (the green stuff). Often this is omitted to save costs. However, to minimise thermal bridging at the base of the building, it should be installed down to foundation level by digging a perimeter trench. As a material, XPS should be used to tolerate below ground conditions. We like to use the analogy that the plinth insulation is like having thick socks on to keep your feet toasty in the winter months.

When carrying out an extension and deep retrofit, it’s important to appoint a specialist architect who understands the process and what materials to specify. Talk to us if you have a project in mind.