Meet Barbara - Architectural Technician

Barbara joined the NCHA design team in 2003 before it changed its name to Pelham. Keen to work in social housing, it was through a friend she heard that Nottingham Community Housing Association had its own architects department. Read about her journey in the world of architecture.

“After my A-levels I deferred my university course entry to work with a fashion designer. It was when I resumed my studies that my interest in architecture began. The two areas are not too dissimilar as they both deal with the 3D form. I was initially interested in design of public buildings such as hospitals but following a study I did on modular build, it was the design of affordable homes that really caught my imagination. I’m a big fan of Span housing and the ethos of Eric Lyons and Geoffrey Townsend.

“Since I began my career there have been a number of significant changes. From moving to CAD systems to reducing the impact the built environment has had on climate change. Adaptability and willingness to learn is key to anyone working in this industry, now more than ever.

“In my role as an architectural technician I am involved in the design process from feasibility through to completion on site. This involves working closely with our clients, architects, local authorities and contractors to deliver good, energy efficient homes.

“Since starting at Pelham I have worked on refurbishments, care homes, rented and sale homes, offices and even a community café. A key service I provide is calculating energy usage and advising at the early stages of the design process on how to meet not just the regulatory requirements but also the clients environmental ambitions. At the centre of this are the needs of the residents and how they should be able to live in a safe, warm and healthy environment. Being part of NCHA we are lucky in that we can get feedback from our residents and this helps us to continually learn and improve.

“I was delighted to work on NCHA’s first in-house build project. From the design to contract management and landscaping, we built seven, two bedroom eco-friendly homes in Ollerton. We have come a long way since I started at NCHA in 2003 and I’m looking forward to the challenges that providing energy efficient, healthy homes will bring across the East Midlands over the next couple of decades.”