We are architects & designers who make built projects happen. We are a unique practice working in both early stage advisory, as well as full design & implementation stages.
Sustainability underpins everything we do. Working with PHPP (passivhaus planning package) we do iterative modelling to ensure the design evolves with maximum efficiency.
We focus on energy efficiency and specifying ecological materials and systems. This leads on to our particular passion of creating feel good environments which are kind to the planet and occupants, thereby increasing productivity, creativity and well being. This results in activating organisations and occupants to thrive.
Cayford Design is a Chartered RIBA Practice, located in Central London with a branch office in Sydney, Australia. We are flexible, work across many sectors. and are usually happy to work in partial stages. Our work is characterised by its quality of design and finish, and the secret ingredient of the ‘feel-good’ factor.
As an accredited RIBA Client Adviser, Paul Cayford is an expert facilitator of construction projects, working with clients from the very beginning through all stages to help vision, brief and manifest excellence in the built environment.
Using our skill and track record we work closely with clients embarking on ambitious projects, helping them be an EXPERT CLIENT – a good client is one of the most important factors in a successful building project. The Client Adviser role is a direct appointment with the client and is independent of the project team, ensuring the client has wise and impartial advice.Client Adviser case studies
click on heading to see the process of each stage.
Client Design Adviser
RIBA Client Adviser
As an accredited RIBA Client Adviser, Paul Cayford has a stellar track record of outstanding projects in this role.
Currently on the RIBA Client Adviser’s steering group, Paul instigated and co-produced the RIBA Client Advisers Sustainability Briefing Requirements Handbook 2023 – this is an invaluable toolkit for ensuring sustainability is incorporated into the very early project briefing stages. This is mainly aimed at large and complex projects, but may be used for projects of all scales.
Energy Efficiency – With the skillsets and accreditations listed below, Cayford offers a pragmatic and professional energy consultancy service. With budget in mind we can plan the most effective strategies for saving energy, (and money on energy bills), whilst improving occupants health and comfort.
PAS 2035 – this is aimed at retrofit at scale, most often for publicly funded social housing renovations. The PAS protocol has the aim of upgrading the UK’s poor housing stock, in an efficient and risk free way. It has been observed that single measure upgrades (eg only wall insulation) can have unforeseen consequences, unless the building is considered as a whole with a profound understanding of the building physics involved.
Paul Cayford is an accredited Retrofit Coordinator, to level 5 (PAS 2035) – Trustmark Registered, partnering with Elmhurst Energy
Due to Paul’s architectural qualifications and skills, he is licenced to act as a Retrofit Designer (PAS 2035). This is a crucial role in the construction industry, as it is the key activity after the energy assessment, and requires considerable skill.
Passivhaus – New build to the Passivhaus standard
Enerphit – Retrofit for existing buildings to the Passivhaus Enerphit standard
Paul Cayford is a Certified Passivhaus Consultant, and we have both newbuild and retrofit projects in the course of certification.
The AECB – is the UK’s leading independent green building platform, containing leading eco-partners in the construction industry. The AECB have created certification standards for newbuild and retrofit, which are more attainable and affordable than Passivhaus, and yet still make outstanding low-energy buildings.
AECB Certifier – Paul Cayford is an Approved AECB Certifier.
The AECB Building Standard (L3) is for new buildings of all types. We currently have a new residence, and a school, in the process of certification.
The AECB Retrofit Standard is for existing buildings and is less onerous. There are two standards L1 for minor interventions, and L2 for more comprehencive renovations.
There are many factors involved in creating a healthy environment, and many are simple to implement – it is a question of knowing what to do. Paul Cayford has spent decades studying feng shui, geomancy, and other subtle environmental arts. He is able to give personalised consultations to optimise the feel-good factor, and life-chances of environments. (on application)
Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMF) and balancing the energies of spaces
Having trained with many specialists in earth energies, dowsing, and electromagnetic frequencies Paul advocates that the negative effects of electromagnetic frequencies be mitigated. There are simple practical ways to achieve this, which is best done at the design stage of a new or renovation building project.
Similarly with the knowledge how natural daylighting enhances our performance, and artificial lighting can do the opposite, we aim to enhance natural light and fresh air – all to create the perfect environment for you to thrive
Prosperity & Harmony with Feng Shui
Feng Shui relates to the placing, order and energy of the environment. Having studied feng shui for over 20 years this gives us an intrinsic understanding of harmony which we incorporate into our design projects.
“Paul Cayford, … prescribed feng shui fixes for my apartment, I was reminded of a conversation we had about Paul coming to your offices, both to heal any remaining energy from the past, but also to streamline the flow in your existing setup…. I urge you to. Note, when we implemented his suggestions in the loft, the aim being to get the place sold, exactly that happened, the NEXT DAY.” Shelley von Strunckel (astrologer)
Principal Designer – When we are engaged as designer for a construction project, we usually take on the additional ‘Principal Designer’ role, which is required under the CDM 2015 Regulations. We are accredited with APS in “The Principal Designer Role”. We will usually subcontract an additional CDM Health & Safety specialist to assist us.
Cayford Design are architects experienced with both new-build and re-purposed buildings. Retrofit involves renovating to a high thermal performance. This brings risks of ‘unforseen consequences’; the PAS 2035 is a rigorous methodology which minimises these risks.
Passivhaus is an understanding of building physics; working with PHPP allows you to achieve the performance you require minimising the ‘performance gap’.
We incorporate our experience of designing workplace, digital media, education, science, hospitality and residential buildings to facilitate cross-sector innovation. Our mission is to create future-proofed inspiring and well designed buildings and environments.
We have a flexible and disciplined approach to the procurement process to meet budget, timescales and statutory approvals.Design & construction case studies
RIBA Work Stages
refer to RIBA Plan of Work
– click on heading to see the process of each stage.
Stage 0 – We help define client goals and the business case for construction projects. This can include assessing the size & scale of the requirement, and matching locations & sites for suitability. Working with cost specialists we define budgets and project programme.
The first task can be creating the Project Strategic Brief along with project feasibility studies. We can help define procurement strategies, and manage the team procurement process. Where there are multiple stakeholders we manage consultation and engagement processes.
Outputs – includes: Workshops and other engagement methods/ Written strategies defining the project/ Diagrams to show the process and flow/ Drawings for feasibility block studies.
Stage 1 – We develop the Initial Project Brief which defines aspirations backed up with schedules of requirements. (Use, scale, and sustainability & quality aspirations). The feasibility studies are further developed. Site information is reviewed and surveys commissioned. The procurement strategies are analysed (eg traditional tender or early partnering, and if offsite manufacturing is required). Project teams are selected and appointed. Planning issues are investigated. Stakeholder consultation is progressed.
Outputs – The project brief contains the aspirations, schedules, and explanatory diagrams of the proposed development. Further of workshops and other engagement methods can take place as required.
2. Concept Design
Stage 2 – Concept Design. – The project brief and budget is defined and key project team appointed. Options of layout and scale are examined with sketch drawings 3D’s or models. Processes of design approvals and review, including BIM strategy, are agreed. Direction of project to be confirmed at this point.
Output – Confirmed project brief with a strategy for implementation/ sketch layouts with visualisations/ initial environmental performance modelling ideally in PHPP.
3. Planning Design
Stage 3 – Developed Design – A coordinated architectural, structural and building services design is produced, and cost information is updated. Environmental modelling is progressed. Approvals for Planning and others such as freeholder are submitted. CDM requirements are integrated with designs. Liaison with contractors if a partnered procurement route is selected.
Output – Drawings and schedules defining a worked up scheme showing appearance and dimensions, with agreed material selection.
4 . Technical Design
Stage 4 – Technical Design – Production information, suitable for detailed pricing, tender, and Building Control approval is produced. The process involves liaising with specialist designers and suppliers as appropriate.
4a: Tender (Bid) If a traditional procurement route is selected, submit for tender, analyse bids, arrange appointment of contractors.
Output – Full construction information including drawings & schedules.
Stage 5 – Construction – As there are a varied approaches to the construction phase we are flexible to facilitate the most appropriate procurement process. For a conventional tendered contract we act as Contract Administrator and oversee the construction until handover.
Stage 6 – Handover – Conclude building contract and ensure smooth sign-off and handover.
Output – As built drawings & schedules with operation and maintenance information.
Stage 7 – Post Occupancy evaluation is an important process to increase the quality of the built environment. Lessons learned from past projects are incorporated into future development strategies. Having collaborated for many years with DEGW the leading proponents of research in the workplace, we have good track record with pre and post-occupancy evaluation techniques.
Our studio – virtual and physical – is a collaborative workplace. We are catalysts to great teamwork, and ensure the process of creating and delivering projects is done with the utmost professionalism, as a harmonious and joyful experience.
Our physical studio is shared with other award winning architects and construction professionals. This provides for a great workplace in the heart of Chelsea, a convenient place to work and meet. This also gives Cayford Design the capacity to take on projects of almost any size and complexity.
Many of the featured ‘work- case study’ photos are by Adelina Iliev.
Paul CayfordRIBA Architect. Certified Passivhaus Consultant. RIBA Client Adviser.
Paul Cayford has a passion for creating buildings of quality and the feel-good factor, delivered with excellent communication skills and efficiency – on time and on budget. Paul is an experienced architect, creating award-winning buildings in a wide range of sectors. The dual role of RIBA Client Adviser and practicing architect allows a breadth of experience to be brought from one sector to another. As a co-founder of Channel Health, he has in-depth knowledge for Well-Being in the built environment.
Joanne SawickiCommunications Consultation and Strategy
Joanne Sawicki is a media, health and business strategist, with a portfolio of projects in new-media and tech sectors. Joanne founded Channel Health, the world’s first interactive digital health TV channel. Joanne was founder Trustee for ‘Chiswick House and Gardens Trust’ acting as client for the major £12m part Lottery Funded renovations project, and leading the public community consultation process. As the birthplace of the English Garden the restoration project and new café have proved exceptionally successful. These skills help Cayford's clients clarify and define business needs during the project briefing process.
Radost YanevaArchitectural and Interior Designer
Radosveta Yaneva is a talented and professional Interior Designer. A highly organised and efficient individual, whose thorough and precise approach to projects has yielded excellent results. Particularly proficient in 3D visualisation, including 3d studio MAX& v-ray, Revit, AutoCAD, and with SketchUp & Adobe Products. Radost holds a Master’s degree in Interior and Furniture Design from the University of Forestry, Bulgaria
Junko SuetakeChartered RIBA Member. Certified Passivhaus Designer
Junko Suetake gained Passivhaus accreditation along with Paul Cayford in 2012 and has subsequently designed and delivered many fabulous Certified Passivhaus residential projects. Junko is an experienced award winning Japanese architect with expertise in carefully detailed design with sustainably resourced and locally made materials and low energy consumption. She collaborates with Cayford Design as a key team member ensuring the highest technical and design standards are achieved. Junko is also part of the 15-40 Architecture collaborative, a skills sharing organisation set up to promote Passivhaus and alternative energy efficient buildings.
Cayford Design was engaged to renovate a dilapidated social housing development for the Local Council [Newham] where I was responsible for the development and delivery .. Paul and his team are excellent to work with, are extremely technically knowledgeable, creative and committed to doing a great job, despite some difficult constraints of the project. Paul is a good design team leader and worked well with the wider design team and consultants. I was pleased with the professionalism and quality of customer service from the outset. Gaurav Sarin - Client Project Lead London Borough of Newham
Paul has been consistently brilliant throughout the process. Thank you for all your experience guidance and serenity. Maggy Aylott - Head Teacher Dormers Wells High School. Ealing BSF
The Broadcast Centre was the catalyst for the whole BBC Media Village development, and Paul performed an outstanding job working with BBC Broadcast from the very beginning in helping define their business idea into appropriate property requirements… He was inspirational in many ways, from the initial vision, through the design and construction process, to the final selection of artwork. Pam Masters Managing Director. BBC Broadcast Ltd.
Paul… demonstrated reliability, tenacity, personal qualities of empathy discretion etc, as well as talent as a designer and ability to nurture other design teams talents, initiative to instigate new systems and processes, commitment, ability to work in and with a team, ability to use various media to draw out clients ideas, experience in a wide variety of building types. George Crowe - Controller BBC Property 1993-2001 BBC
In May 2004, Allies and Morrison completed their £250m development for the BBC at White City. The success of the project, in large part, depended on the professionalism of the BBC and its team of which Paul was a key member. In that role, he was informed, energetic, reliable, and diplomatic, and we were grateful not only for his guidance on the many complex matters but also for his constant enthusiasm. Graham Morrison Allies & Morrison Architects
Paul’s professionalism and knowledge was apparent throughout. Paul was able to create beautiful and user friendly designs, ensuring our requirements were in the forefront of the design process. In addition to creating great designs Paul also assisted in producing and submitting our planning permission application. Tia Marquis-Copeland - Client - Assets, Operations, and Planning Hammersmith & Fulham Council
Following your extremely helpful efforts on our behalf, the response from the Council and your follow-up comments and counter-proposals… we have an encouraging response on the planning side..... your thoughts show us a way through, which would work very well...we want to thank you very much for your work. It was also of course a great pleasure for me to work with you again. IR Tallow Chandlers Company
Cayford Design provided plans, took the process through planning and managed the project ..... The back of the house was remodelled to include a new extension to house open plan kitchen. The result was of the highest quality and finish. When we sold the house later on, the house sold in two days, and the new extension was a major factor in that. Camilla VM
Paul Cayford, … prescribed feng shui fixes for my apartment, I was reminded of a conversation we had about Paul coming to your offices, both to heal any remaining energy from the past, but also to streamline the flow in your existing setup…. I urge you to. Note: when we implemented his suggestions in the apartment, the aim being to get the place sold, exactly that happened, the NEXT DAY. Shelley von Strunckel - Astrologer
Thank you for all your diligence and hard work on this. I really appreciate your professional approach and feel that I have been in good hands. SL - Loftus Road - 2016
Perfection, as good as it gets...This is the best BSF school CABE has seen...This is a rare moment; whoever has done the briefing has done a good job. CABE Jury. Ealing BSF sample school, Dormers Wells Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment
Best of HouzzCayford Design
Ealling Civic Society AwardDormers Wells High School
Role: Client Design Advisor for London Borough Ealling, Nicholas Hare Architects
RIBA National AwardCentral St Martins, Granary Square - UAL
role: Formulating design brief, with AMA
RIBA National AwardChiswick House Café
role: Client Design Adviser at briefing stage, on behalf of English Heritage and LB Hounslow, Caruso St John Architects
BSF Best Design for a Remodelled BuildingElmcourt Special School
role: CABE Enabler for London Borough Lambeth, JM Architects
RIBA National AwardBBC Scotland - Pacific Quay
role: Site selection, masterplan designer, project briefing, Chipperfield Architects
RIBA National AwardBBC Media Village
role: project briefing, site selection, masterplan designer & Design Manager through project. Allies + Morrison Architects, DEGW Interior Designers, Buro Happold Engineers
BCO Corporate Workplace AwardBBC Media Village
Masterplan Designer & Design Manager through project. Allies + Morrison Architects, DEGW Interior Designers
FX International Interior Design AwardBBC Media Village
Masterplan Designer & Design Manager through project. DEGW Interior Designers
Client of the YearBBC
role: Client Adviser to the BBC. Client of the Year from Building magazine 2004; Special Client’s Award, CABE 2004; Occupiers’ Property Strategy of the Year Property Week Awards 2003; Client of the Year - RIBA Journal 2002
BCO Workplace AwardGlaxo Wellcome World HQ, Greenford
role: project briefing & designer at RMJM
RIBA National AwardMarks & Spencer Financial Services building, Chester
role: designer at Aukett