Spotlight on the Team – Josh Lockwood

Josh Lockwood – Design Technologist

Josh originally started with Building Tectonics 6 years ago on a week’s work experience; and after being made a job offer, he never left. However, as he had only just started his Sixth Form study, it was a tough decision as he was doing well at school but unsure what he wanted to do for a job. He realised the work experience suited his skill set, accepted the offer and has never looked back. After joining, he decided to attend college once a week to continue his education and achieved the grades needed to enrol at university. He is now in his 5th out of 6 years at university (due to being part-time), and will become qualified in 2020.

Having started off drawing surveys onto the computer by reading the measurements taken from Tony’s survey notes, it wasn’t long before Josh was trying his hand at producing schemes and submitting Planning Applications. As our Design Technologist, he prepares the Building Regulations drawings and has constant communication with our clients along with dealing with party wall issues, sewer build-overs and occasionally working on 3D models to help clients visualise proposals and buy into an idea.

Three things that inspire Josh:

Making a difference in people’s lives – I take great joy and pleasure out of helping people get what they want and achieve their goals and by designing extensions, I am fulfilling that passion. One day I hope to take it to the next level and design bigger and grander buildings or ideally, should my career prospects take me down the right path, work on redeveloping towns and cities to make a difference to whole communities.

Self-Improvement – There is always room for improvement and every day alters the way in which I view the world and myself, even if only slightly. Learning from other people, past mistakes and precedents keeps pushing me to strive for more.

Invention and Innovation – I thoroughly enjoy seeing new ideas come to life whether that be in terms of Architecture, Technology, Science, Music, or Sport. I have the utmost respect for talented people as it baffles me how people can create or achieve such things as mere human beings. Seeing the progression of various concepts throughout the decades to see how ideas have evolved over time is satisfying.

What is your favourite example of Architectural Design?
There are lots of architectural marvels that I could list such as: Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (still under construction), Milan Cathedral, and for more modern examples, The Scalpel in London (recently completed) and Aldar HQ in Abu Dhabi.

However, the one that has stood out the most and been with me the longest has to be the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao which was designed by Frank Gehry. I’ve covered this in a previous University blog, but in essence, not only was the design controversially wonderful at the time, it has also sparked regeneration in Bilbao. In an age where grand Cathedrals are rarely built, and clusters of skyscrapers are the new way to identify cities, Frank Gehry had tried something different and ambitious which has paid off massively. It has proven hard to replicate such an iconic building elsewhere as the recipe for success isn’t quite right for other projects, whereas the Guggenheim was somewhat of a perfect storm.

New commission near Leighton Buzzard.

Our clients had heard about our reputation in respect of renovating and modernising houses. They have a really nice bungalow in a fantastic position near Leighton Buzzard, on the face of it what the house lacks is primarily decent  sized bedrooms and kerb appeal. When we say kerb appeal in this instance, it isn’t just the initial view but also the journey to the front door. For its location, it could also do with being a little larger.

We find that with this type of project a 3D model is really helpful as a design tool but moreover as a way of showing the client what we are proposing. What we show here is this ongoing project, but hopefully this serves to demonstrate just how descriptive these 3D models can be.

Written by Tony Keller – Building Tectonics Ltd

How to read architectural plans.

We are currently coming up with different ideas as to how we can present our drawings to lay-people, in an easy to read manner, which would be good enough to show at an exhibition.

We have found that 3D plans have usually been less easily read by clients.

Reading plans is one of those skills which is easy, when you know how. If, when you look at your architects plans you find yourself bewildered and not sure how to start, then try this trick which we will share with you:

Find the front door. Once you find the front door, or main entrance, you can then navigate your way along corridors and into each room. This, for most people, will make the plan come alive. Once you have done this for the ground floor, you will have found the foot of the stairs on your virtual journey. So then you can go to the first floor; look for the top of the staircase as this will be your starting point on any floor other than the ground floor.


We are on a bit of a mission at the moment, trying to find better ways of presenting information to clients, and we would be very pleased if you could help us. One of our frustrations is that some clients ask us to present plans in a 3D format, and occasionally we are asked to produce computer generated models. The reason given is that it will help with the understanding of the space which we are designing, but it is clear that in some cases, clients are seduced by the clever graphics, but still do not really understand, or “feel” the space, so to speak.

Please look at the two simple static architectural plans we have provided below, and do the following with your newly learnt skill.

We ask you to have a look at the 2D plan below and use the trick which we have explained above – locate the front door, and then work your way through the plan. Is it east to get to grips with the layout?

A4 proposed ground floor with furniture but no words

Now identify the location of the kitchen, is this easy to find?

Now repeat the process for the 3D type presentation. Is it any easier?

3D model

Please let us know your opinions in the comments.

This subject is important to us because we are very tempted to produce more sophisticated images like some of our competitors but we are not always sure whether this actually helps with the process of understanding architects plans, and this is very important is the client is to make a valued judgement on various schemes which we usually produce.

Kitchen design companies usually produce these 3D perspective drawings included as part of their service, and I know quite a few people who have felt the final installed kitchen does not engender the same sense of space which the graphics seemed to.

Your thoughts and comments would be most appreciated.

Written by Jade Turney – Building Tectonics Ltd.

New eco house video.

We have created a better video of an eco house we have mentioned before in another post on this blog.

We are very happy to have been chosen to work on this project, many architects would kill to have it (although not literally!). We are currently attempting to get planning permissions on this project.

This project is very different to our usual projects due to the nature of the design specifications which need to be met to reach the higher levels on the Code of Sustainable Homes. We hope to be able to do more projects like this in the future.

A few things which will be included on the eco house are follows:

  • It is insulated to a super high standard.
  • It utilises ground source heat pump technology.
  • Photo voltaic electricity generation through solar panels.
  • Heat recovery technology.
  • Low water consumption using grey water.
  • Rain water harvesting.
  • Ecology friendly walls constructed from stones harvested on site.
  • Reed bed sewage treatment.
  • Ground breaking passive annual heat storage technology.
  • Composting and recycling space.
  • Certified environmental building components.
  • Use of low waste construction techniques.
  • LED lighting throughout.

If you’d like to have a look at this new tour, click on this link.

Written by Jade Turney – Building Tectonics Ltd.