Architecture Services

Established in 2010, Roots are an award-winning architecture practice experienced in offering various services that can see your project through from an initial idea to the completion of your finished building.  

The extent of our services can be tailored to match your needs. 

  • Feasibility Studies & Options Appraisals

  • Planning Applications

  • Listed Building Consent & Conservation Area Consent

  • Building Warrant Applications

  • Construction Drawings

  • Project Management

  • Measured Surveys

  • 3D Visualisations


Feasibility Studies & Options Appraisals

Feasibility Studies and Options Appraisals are used to asses the viability and potential of development options for a particular site or prospective sites.

Typically Feasibility Studies or Options Appraisals happen at the beginning of a project.  They can help to determine what challenges may lie ahead on a potential project and where investments can be made most effectively.  

Feasibility Studies & Options Appraisals are particularly important for larger and perhaps more complex projects that require research and analysis to be carried out before a clear project brief can be established.  This work can be valuable in determining the best approach to a project both in terms of the cost efficiency and for gaining buy-in from various stakeholder groups. For example, studies such as these add value to master planning of new developments, or the business planning of project.  We have experience in producing Community Land Ownership Options Appraisals for local communities, and feasibility studies of multi-phase refurbishments of historic buildings and multi-house developments for local authorities.


Planning Applications

Planning Applications are what we do most regularly at Roots.

A Planning Application is an application to the local council asking for permission to develop land or property.  Planning permission is primarily related to what your proposed building will look like and how it will relate to local development plan, the surrounding landscape and settlement.  As part of the application process we prepare and submit a package of drawings and information outlining the proposed design.    

If you want to extend your property, modify the windows or roof of your existing home, build a new property or an agricultural shed on your land, it is very likely that you will require planning permission from the local council.

Some minor modifications to existing buildings do not require planning permission as they are considered to be permitted developments.  The Scottish Government has compiled a useful book of guidelines to explain what is considered a permitted development.  You can download the book of guidelines here.


Listed Building Consent & Conservation Area Consent

Listed Buildings and buildings that are located within Conservation Areas are protected by law.  Demolition and alteration works may require Listed Building Consent or Conservation Area Consent in addition to a planning application. 

For highly sensitive restorations of protected buildings we bring in additional expertise from our wider team.  


Building Warrant Applications

A Building Warrant Application is usually made following a successful Planning Application. 

The Building Standards department of the local council are responsible for assessing our proposed design for your building against the Scottish Building Regulations.  The Building Regulations exist to set performance standards for all new builds and renovations. The regulations help to ensure that Scotland's buildings are safe for occupants and meet national targets for thermal efficiency and accessibility. 

Given the complexity of the Building Regulations, a Building Warrant Application contains drawings that have a much higher level of detail than in a Planning Application.  They are likely to include additional information from a Structural Engineer on the structural systems used and Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) calculations to measure the energy efficiency of your proposed building.

A successful application will be issued with a Building Warrant from the Council that approves the design to be built as it has been drawn.  During the construction process and upon completion of the building a Building Standards Officer from the Council will carry out inspections of what has been built to check that this matches what was shown in the approved Building Warrant drawings.  The Building Standards Officer must be satisfied that the final building has been built in accordance with the approved Building Warrant drawings before they will issue a Completion Certificate.  

It is possible for amendments to be made to an issued Building Warrant and sometimes this is necessary when changes have been made to the building during construction.  


Construction Drawings

Most projects that have gone through a Building Warrant Application process have a detailed package of drawings that outline the construction systems involved.

In some circumstances additional information is required by the builder/manufacturer in order to construct the building.  These drawings are called Construction Drawings.  

There are also certain developments that will not require a Building Warrant, and in this situation we would provide a set of construction drawings for the contractor/manufacturer.  An example of a project where construction drawings were required but a Building Warrant was not would be the bespoke in-built bedroom furniture we designed for the Guest Bedrooms of Iona Abbey.

Construction Drawings show in detail how the design is set out and built.  They contain sufficient levels of information for a Quantity Surveyor to prepare cost estimates and Contractors to begin the building process.  


Project Management

Roots offer clients a project management service throughout the design and construction phases of your project.

On larger projects Roots will manage and lead design teams on your behalf; representing client interests and advising you on the progress of various aspects of the project before work begins on the site.

At the construction phase of a project Roots will assist you with the process of finding and appointing a suitable builder to carry out the work.  Roots will take a lead on acquiring tenders from potential builders and support you in carrying out interviews to determine the most suitable candidate for the job. 

Before work begins on site Roots will meet with the Contractor or Builder to run through the initial stages of the build for clarity,  Once work is underway Roots will carry out regular site inspections on your behalf and keep you informed of progress.  Regular site inspections serve to identify any potential problems early on and ensure that progress is being made inline with how the building is designed and meets the standards outlined in the agreed drawings.  Throughout the construction process Roots will be in frequent dialogue with the Contractor or Builder on site to check and assist with any changes that may be made and to ensure they have any additional information they may need during the build.   Findings from site inspections are usually photographed and emailed to clients for clarity. 

We are experienced in managing the contract administration of projects on behalf of our clients.  This includes verifying the contractor's completion of key work stages and advising on payment proceedure. 

Our project management service is particularly appealing to clients who do not wish the uncertainty and pressure of managing a construction project for themselves.  This service is also popular with clients who do not live close to where their project is being built and are unable to visit and monitor progress on site as often as they would like.

Our project management service ensures a smooth transition from a drawn design to an efficient building site and ultimately an uncompromised finished building. Appointing Roots in this role helps to avoid potentially costly errors that may occur through inexperience in construction management, or miscommunication. 

We believe that this service provides our clients with piece of mind that their project is in hand and will meet their expectations.  


Measured Surveys

All of our design projects begin with a measured survey of the site or building that we will be designing for.  We do this so that we can create an accurate set of scale drawings which we can work from.  Our team are very experienced in carrying out surveys efficiently and discretely using various pieces of equipment such as laser measurers and dumpy levels.  

We carry out the surveys in-house so that we can have absolute confidence in the accuracy of the information we present to you and we take full responsibility for it.  Most of the services outlined above will include a measured survey.


3D Visualisations

We have found that physical and computer models of our proposed designs are very useful tools in helping to discuss ideas and design options with our clients.  We can paste views of our computer generated designs onto a photograph of your site/existing property to show you accurately how that design will look and fit in with its surroundings.

Our team frequently use 3D visualisations to supplement and enhance information provided in drawings.  These tools are particularly effective in Feasibility Studies, Options Appraisals and Planning Applications.  For example, our models can clearly illustrate what different material options might look like, how tall a building will be relative to its neighbours, and how daylight will enter a room at different times of day.



Every building project is different and requires different quantities of work and materials to make it happen- architectural services are similar. 

We offer a free initial consultation meeting for any potential clients who have a property or land they are thinking of developing with our assistance.  This meeting can help to ascertain whether your budget and aspirations are likely to be aligned and we will help you to start informally scope out the design potential for your development.  

Following this initial meeting we will develop a written project brief for the project based on what you have told us about what you would like to do and which stages of the process that you would like Roots to lead.  Once the brief has been agreed with you we will produce a tailored fee proposal for you to consider before appointing Roots as your architect.  

The Roots fee proposal is based on our estimate of the hours of work we would need to carry out in order to deliver the results we have agreed with you in the project brief.  The fee proposal may be given as a ‘capped fee’ meaning that the cost estimated in the fee proposal is the maximum cost for our service: if the project requires less work than we have estimated you will only be charged for the work we have done.  This gives our clients confidence that they can budget for having our services.

Once the fee proposal has been agreed, Roots will issue you with an official Appointment document, which is a formal contract between you and Roots.  The appointment document will indicate what services will and will not be included and the fees as they have been agreed.  We use the ‘Scottish Conditions of Appointment of an Architect’ document produced by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) for this purpose.  Both Roots and the client signs this document and both parties will keep a copy for their records. 

Should you require additional services that are beyond the scope of this Appointment, an additional fee proposal and appointment will be offered to you.

Our fees are typically charged on a monthly basis relative to what work has been completed by our team during that period.



The best part of working with Roots was the frequent communication throughout the whole project. They were always a pleasure to deal with.
I would recommend Roots. They seemed to care as much about the quality of the finished result as we did.
— Susan MacDonald, An Cnoc
We would thoroughly and without hesitation recommend Roots to any organisation or individual looking for practical, high quality architectural advice.
— Ian & Elspeth Gillies, Katie's Cottage
Building a house was new to us both and we had no idea where to start. Thankfully Micheal and his team were always on hand to keep us moving in the right direction.

We could not have done it without their professional knowledge and help.

We would like to thank Roots for all their help, patience, advice and attention to detail. They have certainly helped make our dream come true. We are very happy with our lovely home and would recommend using Roots to anyone.
— Caroline & Ross MacLennan, Aurora