Off-site Insights – Unscripted chats with Construction Experts

Episode 1 – Andrew de Silva ‘Das’ – David Miller Architects.

Off-site Insights is the new video series from CDC that brings you unscripted chats with construction experts.

For episode 1, we caught up with Andrew de Silva ‘Das’, Director and Architect at David Miller Architects covering a variety of topics.

DMA in Liverpool

Das comments on what it is like to live and work in Liverpool after relocating 4 years ago when DMA opened a Liverpool office.

Discover why DMA decided to open a northern office, opportunities within new and key sectors in Liverpool as well as the different projects they are working on there, with a focus on social community aspects. This includes transforming a monastery for The Claire House Children’s Hospice (www.clairehouse.org.uk).

Building Schools for the Future scheme

Cahill Design Consultants and DMA have a long history of working together. This all started around 15 years ago when CDC founder Ben Cahill worked with DMA on Building Schools for the Future (BSF) projects and continued the partnership at the inception of CDC. This saw both junior teams cutting their teeth.

Learn more about the Building Schools for the Future scheme, what the complex multi-phase projects entailed and how it has paved the way for how schools are now built and improved, especially schools with an SEN focus.

Projects include:

  • St Augustine’s School
  • Marylebone high School
  • QEII Jubilee School
  • George Eliot School
  • Oakland School
  • Mayfield School
Award winning projects

DMA is a prestigious Architectural company and has received many awards over their 20+ years of business.

In this discussion, Das, reviews two of their most recent award-winning projects; Parsons North and Crosfields School.

The Parsons North development, located in Westminster, London, transformed an unused plot and basement car park to provide 60 new homes (19 affordable tenure and 41 for private sale).

The planning phase of the project coincided with the tragic Grenfell event. This meant dynamic changes and forward-thinking decisions were made both by Westminster City Council and DMA.

Crosfields School required a new senior school building that reflected the location and ethos of the school. The main structure is comprised of cross laminated timber (CLT), with parts exposed as part of the design.

Working with the Life Sciences sector

Learn more about how DMA are making a name for themselves in the Life Sciences Sector. They have been working with Dutch company, Kadans, to design their latest properties in the UK.

These buildings provide spaces containing a combination of laboratories and admin spaces for life sciences companies to inhabit, designed to cater for their operational needs.

Discover what learnings they’ve made along the way about working with sensitive equipment and more. As a growing sector, their participation in this area is set to expand.

The development of BIM

DMA are leaders in the field of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

At a time when the UK were behind in terms of utilising BIM as a process, it was unsurprising that DMA, led by owners David Miller and Fiona Clark with their forward-thinking mindset, were keen to be the company to test and refine BIM for the UK construction industry.

Das discusses the approach DMA took to BIM in detail. From the ‘Lonely BIM’ beginnings through to a widely used process.

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