New NQA Accreditation
Denovo Design has spent the last 6 months or so structuring an NQA Sustainable Management Development Scheme, (SDMS), which has culminated in us becoming the first Architectural Practice in the UK to receive formal accreditation – NQA Sustainability Assessed Accreditation in April 2012.
Although already accredited for and running the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Scheme, we decided to also adopt the SDMS. The SDMS recognises our more holistic approach to sustainability – not just the environmentally sustainable way in which we operate (our office, our design processes), but also the social aspects of our work that form the backbone of our corporate responsibility, eg our work with charities; our work with local communities; and especially our educational work with primary school children and our work experience students. Above all, because it harnesses and sits above our other systems and schemes, ie ISO14001; ISO9001; Investors in People, etc. Linking into the Business Plan, it is better equipped to look at the bigger commercial picture, thus facilitating business survival.
We are justifiably proud of our Certificate of Accreditation, especially as the whole team where involved from the outset, and especially as we are the first Architectural Practice to be awarded in the UK, and the second across all sectors, with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health just pipping us to the post!
The NQA Sustainability Assessed Accreditation has been launched simultaneously with the RIBA’s own launch of their ‘Sustainability in Practice’ initiative, and this NQA certification will provide tangible evidence to stakeholders of compliance with the RIBA Code.
If you would like any further information on the SDMS scheme please do not hesitate to contact us.
Really thrilled that our affordable housing scheme at Egerton has been certified 'Code 4 for Sustainable Homes', a first for Denovo Design, and
a true acknowledgement of our ongoing commitment to sustainable development.
This week we joined thousands of organisations around the world in supporting World Green Building Week, and by hosting an "extended lunchtime" expo on Thursday 20th September 2012, with all proceeds donated to Diabetes UK.
The World Green Building Council explains:
" World Green Building Week shines a spotlight on the key role of buildings in conserving resources, saving money and creating jobs while providing healthier places to live,
work and play".
World Green Building Week
Congratulations to our Senior Architecutural Technologist, Aitziber, on the birth of her beautiful baby girl, Ariadna.
New addition to the Denovo Team
Award winning scheme
Our supported living scheme in Liverpool, built by Seddon for Cherry Mill is a winner in the National Green Apple awards for Environmental Best Practice 2012.
Whether it is gold, silver or bronze will be revealed at a prestigious ceremony hosted by the Green Organisation at the House of Commons in November.
UPDATE: The scheme secured a Silver Award.
"Green Home Award" WINNER
Our supported living scheme in Liverpool for Cherry Mill romped home in the Your Move Property Awards 2012, winning in the category of "Best Green Home".
At the awards ceremony, held in the atmospheric crypt of Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral, the chief judge spoke passionately about why Cherry Mill had been selcted for the award - including the real difference it has already made to the lives of the residents, and how the scheme has integrated so well with the local community.
"Silver Green Apple" WINNER
Really happy that our affordable housing scheme for Halton Housing Trust in Widnes has been acknowledged with a Silver Green Apple Award for Built Enviroment 2013.
The development, built by Lovell, was designed to Code 3, to provide much needed housing for local people, with additional specialist disabled accommodation in one of the bungalows on Site C.
All dwellings have a wealth of environmental features which will help to reduce utility bills, eg, high levels of thermal insulation, PV panels, sun tunnels, and ‘low cost continuous whole house ventilation’.
The outdoor space maximises use of greenery, and is showcased by the sizeable and spectacular 1.8M high green ivy wall which acts as a boundary treatment for the two bungalows on Site C, spanning the main access to the site and making a strong environmental statement. The green wall, as well as being anti graffiti, is low maintenance and provides natural habitat for wild birds and insects.
Diabetes UK Fundraiser Success
Arwa Al-Rekabi, Sustainability Manager, sent out invitations recently for a special Arabic themed luncheon in support of Diabetes UK.
All the food had been home-made by Arwa herself, and included Dolma, vine leaves and onions stuffed with rice, herbs, spices and vegetables; Tabola; veggie and minced lamb Samosas, and traditional Iraqi pickled vegetables. A selection of aromatic jasmine and rose teas was served, and for 'afters', the perennial Denovo favourite.... Kunafa.
A good time was had by all, and £101 was raised for the charity.
Huge congratulations to our Director, Frank Olchowski, who completed the 'Manchester 100 Mile' bike ride in under 6 hours on Sunday 1 September 2013 - well done Frank - hope you enjoyed your Mule Bars!
Kingsway Affordable Housing Completes
Really pleased to handover the first stage of our Affordable Housing Development in Kingsway, Widnes, this week., and to receive much initial positive feedback. Built by Cruden for Halton Housing Trust, the houses complement the existing traditonal properties, whilst also adding a contemporary edge. Like the adjacent properties, they also have a 'chimney', but this chimney actually houses a sunpipe to flood the central dwelling with light during daytime hours, conserving resources and helping to reduce resident's electricity bills. The scheme's larger sister site is due to be completed Autumn 2013. CLICK IMAGE FOR CLIENT PRESS RELEASE.
Really honoured to be able to support the football team at the Wirral Ark for the current season. Just received these photos from them, and are so looking forward to seeing them in action now!
Wirral Ark Football Team
Wirral Ark Football Team
7 January 2014: Really exciting to be moving forward with all of our 10 Year Anniversary initiatives, in this our first full week back in 2014!
We would like to make it a memorable year, not just for us, but for our Clients, our Associates and our friends, a time for celebrating past successes and for looking forward, together, to what lies ahead.
We do hope that some of you will be able to join us along the way, during what promises to be an eventful year - we'll keep you posted!
"Designing to make a difference"
Celebrating 10 years 2004 - 2014
We have been busy today collecting coins to make a Valentines Heart, for our nominated charity, WATERAID.
Hoping to completely fill it by the end of the day!
Fundraising for Water Aid 14 Feb 14
Staff Celebrate with a Duvet Day!
Two of the Denovo Team are on special, paid, “Birthday Leave” this week, as part of our 2014 “10 Year Anniversary Celebrations”!
Our Senior Architectural Technician, Aitziber Gonzalez, who took her special day off in January, has been reminiscing:
“It was absolutely Wonderful!!
I have never experienced anything like this before.... Being able to celebrate my birthday at a gradual pace, starting off with coffee and a croissant at Starbucks, lunch with my Partner at the Albert Dock, and then collecting the children and spending time all together as a family, felt really good! I am looking forward to Denovo’s 20th Anniversary now?! ”
22 April 2014: Delighted to receive confirmation from the Green Organisation that our sustainable affordable housing project in Widnes has been acknowledged with a Green Apple Award for Built Environment.
The houses, built by main contractor, Cruden, spread over two sites at Kingsway and Lacey Street/Martinsville Court feature a number of environmental specifications including sun tunnels, swift bricks and green ivy screen which was specified on both sites as a boundary treatment. As well as providing instant ‘greening up’ of urban areas, the ivy screens also provide instant habitat for birds and insects, and help to reduce pollution.
Martinsville Court was named to reciprocate the naming of Widnes Lane in Martinsville, USA in honour of Nancy Hatton, a war bride from Widnes who in 1943 married Orville “Mac” McCrary, (a mechanic in the U.S. Army Air Corps stationed at Burtonwood, England), before emigrating to Indiana.
The links with America continue to develop with the recent twinning of St Bedes, Widnes, the school Nancy attended in England and the Monrovia Middle School her children attended.
Green Apple Award April 2014
Denovo Design Achieves Code 4
International CSR Excellence Award
Always looking for ways of improving the service we provide.
This year, for the first time, we have been using Virtual Reality 3D on some of our projects.
Bringing the concept designs to life in this way helps designers and clients alike to visulise the finished project. Adaptations can then easily be made before construction phase, potentially saving time and money.
Competition Results:Office Dog Named
15 May 2014: Thanks to everyone who took part in the naming of the new office dog last week. As you may know, our official, (living and breathing) mascot, Bertie has got a new pal, who has been nameless for several weeks. Thanks to Andrew Ruffler, NW Director, RIBA, and winner of our recent 'Name the Dog' Competition, Bertie's orange counterpart has now been aptly named DENNIS.
Claire House L'pool/Chester Bike Ride
June 2014: Pedalling for Charity
Director, Frank Olchowski, completed the Liverpool Challenge 100 mile bike ride on Sunday 22 June 14 in the very respectable time of 6 hours.
The route, which started from the Liverpool end of the old tunnel entrance, wound its way around the Wirral and Cheshire, ending in the picturesque Delamere Forest, and back again, in Frank's words....
"Via every hill the organiser could find around Helsby, Alvanley, Kelsall"!
As well as being a very enjoyable ride in gloriously sunny weather, the Challenge also helped to raise funds for Claire House.
3D 'Virtual Reality' Visualisation
Celebrating 10 Years!
London Awards Hat-trick 30 June 14
June 2014: Particularly thrilled, in this, our 10 Yr Anniversary Year, to be presented with not one, not two, but three awards in one day! Two Built Environment awards were presented by the Green Organisation at a ceremony in London on 30 June. A further award was presented by the CSR Excellence Awards 14 for our Corporate Social Responsibility ethos. Click on the image for more information >>>
RIBA ARCHITRUCK in town 16/17 July
July 2014: As part of #IFB2014 International Festival of Business, RIBA Architruck parked up at the Pierhead on 16/17 July, to promote the work of North West Architects and their associates.
Thanks to everyone who called in to say hello at our 'Why Use An Architect?' showcase on Thursday morning, and for being great sports by entering the competitions! Hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did?!
June 2014: Staff were delighted when Architectural Assistant and Sustainability Manager, Arwa Al-Rekabi, called into the office on Wednesday in her full graduation regalia! Arwa graduated at Liverpool Cathedral with a Masters in Sustainable Built Environment from Liverpool John Moores University.
Despite the challenges of studying whilst also working full time and looking after a young family, Arwa has not only secured the Masters, but has done so with distinction.
Well done Arwa – a fine achievement! What's next?!
Graduation Day, 16 July 2014
Denovo Team Members have been busy fundraising again!
On Sunday 31 August 2014, Frank Olchowski took part in the Christie Manchester 100 Mile Bike Ride. Frank said:
"Despite the torrential rain for the first couple of hours of the event, the sun eventually emerged to encourage over 3,000 riders to complete the testing course through South Cheshire for this very worthwhile Charity.
It was a really well organised event, with marshals at every junction to ensure safe passage, and I managed to complete the 100 mile route in just over 6 hours - not bad for a MAMIL (middle aged man in lycra)"!
On Sunday 7 September, our Accountant, Chris Spence rose to the challenge (literally) of the Liverpool Zip Wire Challenge. Chris said:
“ I was flying through the air, backwards, down Church St, at speeds of 45- 50 miles per hour...What an adrenaline rush! I wanted to do it all again!”
Check out the link if you fancy having a go....http://www.liverpoolwire.co.uk/
Reviving Ancient Traditions
Great to see our affordable housing project, Queens Court, in the media news this week, following the 'Topping Out' ceremony on 11 September!
Click on the Queens Court link above to read the article.
Work Experience - Video First!
In less than 3 hours, our work experience student, Lucy Fell, familiarised herself with a publishing program and produced this You Tube video to commemorate 'Housing Day' 12 November 2014.
What an achievement - well done Lucy!
#HousingDay is a social media initiative created by Ade Capon at Yorkshire Housing to showcase that housing is not just about the bricks and mortar, but about the people who ultimately make the house a home.
CLICK IMAGE FOR LUCY'S VIDEO >>>
Part III - Good Luck,Students of 2015
Good luck to Nicola Toomey, Architectural Assistant, Denovo Design, and all Students embarking on their Part III course this month with RIBA North West!
'Pennies for Water' Collection
Our 'Pennies for Water' fundraiser campaign for our 2014 nominated national chariry WATER AID has succeeded in raising the grand total of £100. A donation of just £2 per minth can help to prevent a child from dying of drinking dirty water. CLICK on link above for more information.
A New Accreditation
29 Jan 15: Thrilled, today, to receive NQA accreditation against the new BS8900 II standard.
BS 8900 II is a strategic framework that companies can adopt to manage sustainable development. What does that mean? Simply put, it helps to manage all elements of the business inside and out, for example, corporate responsibility, culture change, strategic planning, policy, innovation, inclusivity, integrity, stewardship,
We have found it particularly helpful in pulling together all our processes and systems to include Investors in People and our ISO 14001. It is an effective tool for helping to drive and deliver strategic corporate objectives.
Handover of Queens Court
W/C 2 March 2015: Always feel a sense of accomplishment on handing over a completed scheme. And, although our role as designers is nearing its end, the residents moving in, of course, heralds very much a new beginning! We are looking forward to receiving their important feedback over the coming days and months, and to photographing the development later on this week. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
Link to Project Page
We're in the News again!
24 Mar 15: The media have picked up on our affordable housing project built on the site of the former Queens Hall music venue. CLICK HERE for full LIVERPOOL ECHO story.
UPDATE: Queens Court will be recognised with a Green Apple Award for Built Environment and Architectural Heritage in June. The award will be presented at a ceremony in London hosted by the Green Organisation.
11 June 2015: Booking train tickets today for our imminent trip to London on 29 June. Excited to be collecting not one but two awards on the same day!
Our affordable housing development at Widnes, designed with architectural heritage and health & wellbeing as key drivers, has been recommended for a Green Apple Built Environment Award, which will be presented by the Green Organisation at a prestigious ceremony to be held in London's Leicester Square.
Directors, Dave Duvall and Frank Olchowski, will also collect, on the same day, an International CSR Excellence Award in recognition of Denovo Design's holistic approach to design, and the practice's collaborative initiatives, both on site and within the local community.
UPDATE 29 June 2015: Delighted to receive a Bronze Green Apple Award for our afforadable apartments at Widnes, and Silver for our CSR initiatives in the International CSR Excellence Awards 2015!
We're Off To London!
Director, Frank, Nails L'pool 100 Mile
5 July 2015: Liverpool - Chester - Delamere 100 Mile Cycle Challenge. Director, Denovo Design, Frank Olchowski, with his brother, Julian, (top right) at the start of the challenge, which included challenging terrain, especially in hilly Delamere!
Accompanied also by Bob Gormley, Nuaire, (bottom left), the three set off together, with each finding their own pace and Frank taking the lead to finish in a very respectable six hours.
Frank said: "At times, it became quite a challenge, especially on the hills, but having my Just Giving sponsorships in the back of my mind really helped to spur me on to the finishing line".
Frank was riding on behalf of worthy Wirral Charity, Claire House and has raised over £377 in total so far.
Burning Man - Extreme Architecture
August/September 2015: Directors and staff at Denovo Design would like to wish Architectural Assistant,Nicola Toomey, all the best for her month long trip of a lifetime commencing on Sunday 16th August. Nicola will be participating in the #BurningMan Festival in the Nevada Desert. She will be part of one of three teams from the University of Westmister, London, each assigned to build one of three pavilions for this year's festival, themed around the 'Carnival of Mirrors'. CLICK to read more. Arch Daily Article
Director, Frank Olchowski wins prize
11 September 2015:
Denovo Design Director, and art deco enthusiast, Frank Olchowski was thrilled to receive notification of being a winner of a limited edition art deco print in the recent ADF Architects Datafile prize draw.
His framed print of the iconic1930 Boots D10 art deco Building in Nottingham, arrived safely this week, courtesy of Crittall Windows. Well known artist, Brian James, was commissioned by Crittall to produce images for their 2015 advertising campaign. Crittall specialises in steel framed windows and manufactured the original windows for the this building and the equally iconic Hoover building over 70 years ago.
Frank has a longstanding passion for art deco design, and has recently restored his own 1930's metal windows to their full glory!
Looking forward to Mentoring!
Autumn 2015: The Denovo crew are delighted to be officially enrolled as part of the RIBA NW Student Mentoring Team. Can't wait to meet our two students now! Read More about the scheme HERE
June 2015: Architect Simon Case was delighted to discover this week that his upcycling projects are headlining as part of the first ever National Upcycling Day on 24 June 2015! CLICK HERE for full article.
September 2015: Some outstanding images coming in from Nicola Toomey's trip of a lifetime to Burning Man, Nevada, USA. Below are the first photos of the intricate structure that Nic helped to build under extremely challenging circumstances, as part of a collective from the University of Westminster. Some of the images look quite surreal, almost as if they are 3D visualisations, but they are all photographs!
We asked Nic to sum up her experience in one word. She said: "Amazing"!
She added " But everything is covered in dust all the time. When we got back to the airport they had to put our cases into plastic bags"!
Click image to read more about the project.
Night and Day Photographs accredited to Andrew Green and Innes Shelley.
Hot off the Cutting Room Floor!
Affordable Housing Wins Award
October 2015: Delighted that our affordable housing project at Lacey Street, Widnes, built by Cruden Construction, for Halton Housing Trust, has been recognised with a Your Move Property Award 2015 for 'Best Affordable Housing'.
The judges, who visited site prior to the awards ceremony, commended the scheme for its 'innovation, ... sense of space, buildings that helped to create safer streets, robustness of detail, and affordability. The judges were also impressed with the 'landscaping and the use of living walls, (helping) to green the streetscape, (creating) a pleasant oasis in an otherwise fairly harsh urban environment'.
Image Your Move: https://goo.gl/S6YbBK