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  'Most Influential Woman in Architecture UK 2017' info@hussaindesigns.c.uk  

Intellectual Property + Architecture – ‘’Copyright is an automatic right and exists for the life of the creator plus 70 years.’’

This article was triggered by a recent conversation with a building owner, who was under the assumption that she owned the copyright to the architectural plans for her property and was surprised when I told her, by default, copyright is owned by the individual who created the work. In her case, this means I owned the copyright for the plans for the building. She was told this is the case even though the work had been contracted to be produced on her behalf.

While people my just think of their properties, offices, commercial buildings, shopping centres, cinemas etc as just as bricks and mortar, it is quite the contrary for the who created the design and own the buildings, they often appreciate the importance of the look, feel and character of the property.

In keeping with the thought and time that goes into their progression, buildings can be protected by a wide range of intellectual property rights from copyright to trade marks, passing off and design rights. Having an understanding of these rights can have a very big influence on the value of the building. Copyright exists in any original creative work. The barrier for originality is low. The work needs to show skill, judgment and effort on the part of the creator. Copyright can cover a wide range of elements of the creation of a building from drawings, sketches, diagrams, graphs, models, maps to written specs. It will also cover the finished building.

In conclusion, Intellectual property can be used to protect the distinctiveness and unique value of a building. While copyright will exist automatically, it is important to register trademarks which are separate rights that may overlap in practice and can be complementary dependent on the circumstances.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Virtual reality is completely changing how we design buildings!

From our small design studios in Lancashire, UK you can explore buildings around the world, including ones that don’t exist yet. You can walk along the edges of an under-construction building in London but be careful when you reach out to touch the structure you might just nudge one of the HAD designers, standing just beyond you and your VR goggles.

The release of powerful, PC-driven headsets like Oculus Rift and HTC pushed consumer virtual reality to an inflexion point. And the world of architecture has noticed. In VR architecture, the difference between real and unreal is fluid and, to a large extent, unimportant. What is important, and potentially revolutionary, is VR’s ability to draw designers and their clients into a visceral world of dimension, scale, and feeling, removing the unfortunate split between a built environment that exists in three dimensions and a visualisation of it that has until now existed in two.

“You can’t help but say wow,”

It happens every time a client or a designer jumps into a project for the first time. You can literally bring them into the project, and that makes design a more human experience.

We’ve used VR to help clients visualise not just space but data in three dimensions. They can give us feedback on projects while in VR, with HAD making changes to the original designs in real time, altering, for instance, lighting and ceiling heights.

We also used VR to help clients visualise options including finishes of wood, stone and marble. We needed a way to make quick, informed decisions between us, our interior designers, all the way to the staff proposed to work at the building. It’s a great tool for communicating to everybody, whether they understand architectural drawings or not.

That’s the whole idea. Practically nobody can understand architectural drawings, and even 3D visualisations are a stretch for most. But everybody gets VR automatically. You can get to the point very quickly. It either sells or kills the project right away. The VR glasses may be awkward and funny looking but they’re set to change how designers see and share their world.

Posted 103 weeks ago

Where are all the women? Women in Construction.

I started Hussain Architectural Design (HAD) in 2011 at the age of 23 in the midst of the recession where construction has been hit the hardest, I had worked several years in practice and completed my studies at the University of Huddersfield. I worked on small residential extensions for family and friends for the first 6-12 months, through recommendations, my business started growing and I then rented a small office not far from home, five years on we’ve had over twenty award nominations and a number of wins, buildings featured on TV shows an interview for the apprentice I have five practices and a very strong design team working alongside me. I’m currently studying for a PhD and looking to expand further into London. 

I was always told that the Construction industry was ‘no place for a woman’ and I understand that women make up only 11% of the industry, facing massive barriers on a daily basis however, I feel both the image and culture of construction is slowly changing and as a woman I will continue to work towards fighting for better conditions and more flexible working policies that allow both men and women with other responsibilities to work within the industry. I’ve recently started to carry out design classes/talks in schools & colleges to encourage young females to join the industry.

The hours in Architecture are very anti-social, there is a macho working culture, we’re working on building sites with 100% male construction workers, the building officers and the majority of clients are male, we’re not part of the golf club scene and have found it’s sometimes hard to get on with men in the same industry because I was never moving in them business circles. I also found that the building industry does not accept the authority of a female in construction, you can either accept that or quit or you can keep working until you prove them wrong. I will carry on working towards smashing through the glass ceiling we have. I feel both the image and culture of construction is slowly changing and as a woman I will continue to work towards fighting for better conditions and more flexible working policies that allow both men and women with other responsibilities to work within the industry.

I’ve had clients (in the early stages of my career) who are more than happy for me to take on interior work because that is ‘women’s work’ however they are reluctant to have you involved in working on structure and exteriors.

I am not part of the golf club scene and have found it’s sometimes hard to get on with men in the same industry because I was never moving in them business circles. I found that the building industry does not accept the authority of a female in construction, you can either accept that and quit or you can keep working until you prove them wrong.

It’s is actually an advantage being a woman when working with homeowners during construction. You can show compassion and understanding when they are going through the upheavals inherent to construction. You find they’re more comfortable confiding in a woman when it comes to these things.

We need to know our worth and build up confidence in the construction industry, working in the office we do the same amount of work if not more than our male colleagues. You’ll always get funny looks from male colleagues/construction workers when they first see you on site however they will adjust.

Saira Hussain 

Hussain Arcitectural Design Ltd

info@hussaindsigns.co.uk

07786 391688

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Posted 135 weeks ago
<h2><b>HMO’s (House in multiple occupation)</b></h2><p>Licensing is mandatory for all HMOs which have three or more storeys and are occupied by five or more persons forming two or more households. </p><p><b><i>To protect tenants in HMOs from poor conditions, the government regulates:</i></b></p><ul><li>the quality of the accommodation</li></ul><ul><li>that you or your representatives are suitable to manage a HMO</li></ul><ul><li>that you do not have too many people living in your HMO</li></ul><ul><li>that HMOs considered high-risk are monitored.</li></ul><p><b>Can Councils set minimum room sizes? </b></p><p>There are other powers available to the local authority based on Part 10 of the Housing Act 1985 which puts down overcrowding standards applicable to all sorts of property. This then sets a minimum room size of 6.5 sq/m for adults. For any House in multiple occupation license and any local ‘standard’ it is essentially for guidance purposes. It cannot be used as a substitute for the local authority considering an application on an individual basis whether the particular property to be licensed is suitable by a set number of residents. The decision as to the fitness of premises has to take into account the premises as a whole; not just individual room sizes. </p><p><b>National Minimum Room Size Standards:</b></p><p>You should be aware that there are national minimum room size standards on overcrowding. Part X of the Housing Act 1988 sets a minimum room size for overcrowding which applies to all dwellings including HMOs and will be the basis of most local authority guidance on licensed HMOs. </p><p><b>Is a HMO licence transferable when the property is sold?</b></p><p>A licence lasts for a maximum of five years, in some cases it may be for a shorter period. The law requires that a new licence is applied for on, or before, the expiry date of the previous licence.The licence applies to both the property and the licence holder. This means that when the licence holder changes a new licence application is needed. The licence cannot be transferred.</p><p>e: info@hussaindesigns.co.uk</p>

HMO’s (House in multiple occupation)

Licensing is mandatory for all HMOs which have three or more storeys and are occupied by five or more persons forming two or more households.

To protect tenants in HMOs from poor conditions, the government regulates:

  • the quality of the accommodation
  • that you or your representatives are suitable to manage a HMO
  • that you do not have too many people living in your HMO
  • that HMOs considered high-risk are monitored.

Can Councils set minimum room sizes?

There are other powers available to the local authority based on Part 10 of the Housing Act 1985 which puts down overcrowding standards applicable to all sorts of property. This then sets a minimum room size of 6.5 sq/m for adults. For any House in multiple occupation license and any local ‘standard’ it is essentially for guidance purposes. It cannot be used as a substitute for the local authority considering an application on an individual basis whether the particular property to be licensed is suitable by a set number of residents. The decision as to the fitness of premises has to take into account the premises as a whole; not just individual room sizes.

National Minimum Room Size Standards:

You should be aware that there are national minimum room size standards on overcrowding. Part X of the Housing Act 1988 sets a minimum room size for overcrowding which applies to all dwellings including HMOs and will be the basis of most local authority guidance on licensed HMOs.

Is a HMO licence transferable when the property is sold?

A licence lasts for a maximum of five years, in some cases it may be for a shorter period. The law requires that a new licence is applied for on, or before, the expiry date of the previous licence.The licence applies to both the property and the licence holder. This means that when the licence holder changes a new licence application is needed. The licence cannot be transferred.

e: info@hussaindesigns.co.uk

Posted 136 weeks ago