Our design and build process
We aim to keep our process straightforward and transparent at every stage.
As your modular project progresses, we will keep you informed with regular updates and aim to always be as transparent with you as possible.
This is a typical process that we work on with our customers.
1 - Take a look
Browse our imagery and example floorplans in the downloadable brochures on our website.
Whether you’re looking for an office, holiday retreat, homes, or retail, education or healthcare building, we have several design approaches that we can discuss with you. Browse the brochures on each page to explore ideas and find answers to frequently asked questions.
When you’re ready, get in touch with our team by calling us on 01865 682707 or using the contact form at the bottom of each page.
2 - Speak with our team and visit us at our factory
Tell us about your project brief.
We’ll talk through design ideas and different ARC design options to suit your project requirements such as opting for the ARC I or ARC II, floorplan approaches, the location and access, or the use of renewables.
You might be in the very early stages of thinking about a new build project and want to take your time at this point. Or you may have a very clear idea of what you need and be ready to move forwards quite quickly. Whatever stage you’re at, we’re here to help you discuss your options at a pace that suits you.
At this stage – and before you move onto the detailed design stage – you may choose to apply for pre-application advice or outline planning permission. Before the design consultation begins, we will provide you with a budget indication that will enable you to determine if the project is viable.
We will always encourage you to come and visit us! At our factory in Oxfordshire, you can see exactly how we manufacture our ARC buildings and see some finished examples of the ARC I and ARC II fitted out with an interesting array of different renewable technologies and finishes. All visits are by appointment only.
3 - Designs and site survey
This is when it starts getting exciting! We’ll carry out a site survey and create custom designs for your project.
Our in-house Design team of Architects and Product Designers will work closely with you to discuss your brief as part of a custom design consultation. We charge for this design consultation process, but this is not excessive, as this part of the process helps you develop your design vision for planning purposes. Based on these discussions we’ll draw up floorplans and elevations, and in many cases we’ll show you more than one design option for you to consider. The plans drawn up during the design consultation are usually required before submitting a planning application.
We generally suggest that whenever possible you work with a local planning consultant who will guide you on what is and is not likely to be acceptable to the local planning officer. The advice and experience given by a consultant are invaluable.
4 - Planning permission
The next step is submitting an application for planning permission for your project.
It’s time to submit a full planning application using the project-specific designs that we drew up for you during the design consultation and site survey stage.
We will happily work with any planning consultant that you appoint, and aside from the drawings that we supply, we can provide supporting information for the planning application such as information on the sustainability credentials of our ARC buildings.
We mentioned above that it’s a good idea to get pre-planning advice or outline planning in the early stages to guide what will or will not be permitted for your specific build project, particularly if you are building in a sensitive planning district (e.g. an area of outstanding natural beauty).
5 - Offsite building starts
Once your planning permission has been granted and contracts are exchanged, we’ll start production of your new ARC building.
Production lead times vary depending on the complexity of the build and our other production commitments at the time (we’ll have discussed your project-specific timeframes with you already).
We’ll keep you informed of the build progress with regular photos, status updates, as well as live camera action from the factory floor! We’ll also invite you to visit your production line in the factory at any time whilst we build your ARC building.
The first stage payment – a 30% deposit – is required upon agreeing on contracts. A second stage payment will be made according to a completion certificate halfway through the build process, with the third payment due just before we deliver the building. A fourth stage payment will be payable when the installation on your site is completed, and the final payment a month thereafter when any remedial work that might be required is completed.
6 - Groundworks onsite
Your site is prepared during the production period.
Whilst we build your ARC building in our factory, the site will need to be prepared ready for delivery and installation. This will include connecting to services (unless you opt for an off-grid building), preparing foundations, and working through access plans for delivery (as required). We are happy to include this as part of a turnkey instruction, or you can appoint your own local groundworker as many of our clients prefer to do. Either way, we’ll provide all the necessary drawings for the foundations design and specification.
7 - Delivery and installation
The building leaves our factory to be installed on your site.
The finished ARC building leaves our factory in road-transportable sections on an articulated lorry. Our installation team manages the cranage onto the prepared foundations and you can watch the cranage and installation process – it’s an incredible operation to see.
To avoid disruption, we aim to keep the time we spend onsite to a minimum. There are a few jobs that can only be completed onsite such as sealing the building’s pod joints and roof membrane, final electrical and plumbing connections, and finishes to the roof.
8 - Handover
We hand over the keys to your new ARC building.
With the keys in your hand, the building is now ready for occupation. We also give you a detailed Operations and Maintenance manual that covers all aspects of the ARC building including how to best maintain it, how to work and programme your lighting, heating, ventilation, security etc, as well as all the componentry guarantee information and certificates.