Our services aim to provide the varied tools needed to make any site a more environmentally sustainable, equitable, interesting and joyful place to be. We offer services that are equally applicable to landscape and building projects, at scales ranging from strategic vision, to site-specific design, to small repairs:
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- Resource mapping and material audits
- Strategic planning for circular economy
- Site-specific design
- Engaging with communities
- CPD and making workshops
- Material and feature design
- Fabrication and site works
- Repair specification and implementation
- Maintenance and management plans
- Publications, talks, exhibitions
Resource mapping and material audits
Through better understanding of a site and it’s surroundings, hidden assets and opportunities can be uncovered. We carefully map and observe every place we work, in order to understand the resources available and to quantify existing and potential impacts.
We provide: baseline and contextual studies; radial resource maps; site material audits; surveys and analysis; conservation reports; and pre-demolition audits. We also work with trusted specialist consultants to provide embodied carbon analysis and monitoring.
Strategic planning for circular economy
Resources and assets that might be unintentionally wasted in the transformation of a new or existing site can be saved and put to new use or preserved. Local activities and services that operate in parallel, or even in conflict, can be coordinated to efficiently create a sympathetic building or landscape intervention that benefits all involved.
We design: long or short-term landscape scale strategies and site masterplans; operational specifications; schedules and site works programs – with the aim of avoiding waste and making best use of the resources available.
We use intelligent problem solving to explore overlooked options for reconfiguration and creation of buildings and landscapes that can accommodate the needs of inhabitants, inspire joy, and celebrate the spirit of a place, whilst making a positive impact on the local environment.
We design at scales ranging from public realm strategies, to single building sites, to design of planting plans or specific features. Where necessary, we draw a larger team from a network of highly skilled and creative built environment specialists to provide a whole design service. We can provide: landscape design, whole-site masterplans, building refurbishment and retrofit solutions, additions and interventions. As highly skilled building craftspeople and horticulturalists we create designs that are well specified and anticipate the challenges contractors may encounter during construction.
Engaging with communities
Designs that are flexible, adaptable, and work for the people that use them in the present, must be informed by an understanding of the hidden forces and concerns that effect the daily lives of inhabitants. We work together with communities to identify values and priorities for future developments in their areas and to make the most of existing assets and networks. We provide opportunities for engagement in designing, making and long-term care and future adaptation of the places people live.
To complement our design service we offer: co-design workshops; community research activities and interviews; making and maintenance programs; podcasts and short films that tell the story of peoples’ involvement in a project or place.
CPD and Making workshops
We have found that a better understanding of materials and their use can act as a good foundation for further positive changes in the way people work in their built environment. We aim to enhance local economies by supporting local trades and reviving traditional, sustainable skills. Training in crafts, fabrication, repair and maintenance can ensure a legacy that enables a community to grow, and make better use of their locally available materials.
We offer: community engagement workshops, focused on making, skills training, material knowledge and traditional building craft; CPD workshops for architects and others; specialist skills training and exemplar works for general trades; planning for procurement of local specialist trades and supplies.
Material and feature design
We want to avoid the use of off the shelf products, made from high carbon materials that are transported great distances. We design new, bespoke materials and features that are made from site-based resources and local by-products, waste and raw materials. We push the palette of limited materials that exists on and around a site, combining invention and ingenuity learned from the study of vernacular crafts with contemporary design sensibilities. We rigorously test these using 1:1 prototypes and lab testing.
We offer: research, feasibility studies, prototyping, design and specification, fabrication and installation.
Repair specification and implementation
We help people to keep their existing buildings and landscape features in use for as long as possible, at the highest quality. Through the application of well-crafted repairs, inclusive maintenance regimes and inventive adaptation of the places that we already have, we aim to lighten the load that construction of our built environment places on the earth’s resources.
We offer: site condition surveys, repair schedules, specifications, material advice, exemplars and in-situ repairs.
Maintenance and management plans
A well-cared for place is inherently attractive because of the love and attention that its inhabitants have invested in it. Value has been added bit by bit over time and this quality is hard to achieve with a quick fix design solution. Public spaces, buildings and gardens that are neglected can be brought back into use and vastly improved, with less capital spending and more investment in community. We design realistic maintenance and repair regimes and provide skills training for works on existing or newly built places, supporting people to improve and take pride in the places they live.
Publications, talks, exhibitions
We tell the stories of how people use resources to shape the places they live. We communicate the complex narratives of materials and landscape processes, simply and directly, so that people can understand the facts, the impacts they are making, how they might do things differently and can share the positive actions that they are taking with the wider world.
Local Works Studio is constantly testing materials, processes and circular economy principles in live projects. As a team of designers and artists we share this work through compelling images and exhibition design, engaging audio recordings and video, in written word and publication, and through workshops and talks.