Paper Prints & The Environment


Here at Clive Elsdon Building Design we care a lot about the environment and about keeping our fees as low as possible.  This means that we produce Paper Prints as little as possible.

Planning & Building Regulations

All our Planning Applications are made digitally via the Planning Portal Website  and our Building Regulation Submissions are made either digitally to the relevant Local Authority via the Submit-a-Plan Website  or by email direct to an Approved Inspector such as JHAI Ltd or Green Door  (for example).


We also supply all our Structural Engineers, Ecology Consultants, Surveyors etc. with drawings either as AutoCAD DWG files (right up to the AutoCAD 2015 release) or in PDF format. The same goes for other documents, all of which we supply digitally.


As with Planning Departments, Building Control or our Consultants, we supply our Clients with Digital Versions of documents, usually via email and usually in PDF format. In 99% of cases this seems acceptable and we have had very few clients over the past three years who have not been able to accept digital versions of drawings or documents in one form or another.

Large Format Paper Prints

Like most architectural businesses our size, the requirement for large format paper prints is small and it would be uneconomical to have in house facilities to print anything over A3. This means that A1 and A0 prints have to be sent out to specialist reprographic firms, of which there are few and far between in the area we are based.  The nearest firms (that we know of) are in Newcastle and Darlington.

So why use A1 & A0 size drawings?

After the Planning Stage it is difficult to fit the detail required onto an A4 or A3 drawing, so invariably an A1 or even an A0 size drawing is needed for a Building Regulation or Construction Stage Drawing. On larger projects, these sizes of drawings are needed at earlier stages.

Can we supply paper prints?

Yes.  We understand that in some circumstances it’s the only way, but printing costs! It is a true fact of life.  It costs if we do it in house, it costs if we have to send it out to a specialist supplier. It costs no matter what the size, A4, A3, A2, A1 or A0.  It costs financially and it costs the environment!

To help the environment as well as keep our fee quotes as low as possible we normally exclude the cost of paper prints.  Of course, if we feel that we have to print them for a meeting for example, we will do. However, unless we have clearly stated otherwise, any paper prints that are requested by clients, consultants, builders etc.are all a chargeable extra. Who the charge is made to will depend on the agreement with the client at the beginning of the project or when the situation first arises.

How Much?

Printing costs vary depending on the size and quantity of drawings and the number of prints required from each one.  There is also the delivery costs involved. In particular A1 or A0 Drawing’s usually have to be posted to us for distribution.

A single A1 print is likely to cost about £2.16 + P&P / Delivery .  If there were multiples of the same drawing or multiple drawings there may be a saving on the unit price.  (Price for A1 print correct as of 30th April 2014. Price may vary.) Smaller drawings, especially those we can print in house will be cheaper, a larger A0 drawing will obviously be more expensive.

Think Before You Print.

You often see that on the bottom of an Email.  We think that you have to think even harder before printing or requesting a print of a large format drawing.  We know most of our clients and regular consultants agree.


Elizabeth truss MP says that you can make it into a Nursery WITHOUT Planning Permission!

Elizabeth Truss MP

In a speech on the 7th April 2014, Elizabeth Truss MP, she said, ” As of yesterday, it will be quicker, simpler and cheaper for nurseries to open in buildings not currently used for childcare – making it possible to convert office without planning applications.  This is a huge opportunity to make childcare more accessible for parents and children – just think of the opportunities for businesses to offer onsite nurseries for their employees.”

Need a Nursery Designing?

With experience in Early Years Nursery Accommodation and Education Buildings, Clive Elsdon Building Design is well placed to assist any business looking at providing these facilities!  Whilst Planning Approval for change of use may not be required to provide the Nursery, if there are external changes to allow it to function these may need approval. Internal alterations to allow the Nursery to be established may also be required, need building regulation approval and construction drawings.

The original Speech by Elizabeth Truss MP:

For more information, you can read the original text here:

(Scroll down to the section titled: “Helping private nurseries too”.)

How busy are we here at Clive Elsdon Building Design?

We have been so busy that we have neglected our website followers and even our social media!

You may have noticed that we have not been adding much in the way of news recently from Clive Elsdon Building Design and even our social media posts on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ have been fewer and further between than usual.

This is not because we have disappeared off the face of the earth, far from it, we have actually been busier than ever before in our short but exciting two year history! With more private clients contacting us directly and more Architects sub-contracting work our way it feels like we have been working night, day and weekends just to keep up with the demand, leaving little time for using Social Media to promote our many services!

What has Clive Elsdon Building Design been working on over the last two months?

As usual we have had a number of domestic extensions on going at various states of completion, from sketch schemes through stages such as Planning & Building Regulations etc.  We have also worked on a number of School Projects for a Newcastle Based Architect who is a regular repeat Client.  In fact, a Phase 2 extension to one of these schools is the drawing open in AutoCAD now!  We have also just completed a weeks worth of work for another Architect, bringing some sketch scheme drawings for a large development in a major North East town to a stage that they can be used for a Planning Application.

What has improved at Clive Elsdon Building Design?

As many of you will know, we like to keep our software up to date, and always aim to run the latest version of AutoCAD.  When the upgrade came through for AutoCAD LT 2014 release, we found that it would not run on our existing computer!  This was something that took a little while to resolve, but in June we eventually (it’s a long story) took delivery of a new more powerful computer capable of running the new version with ease! This was rapidly installed and we now benefit from the improvements in the AutoCAD software as well as a massive improvement in the speed (32GB RAM instead of 4) and storage capacity (Now 1TB) of our computer.  The increased speed and usability of the computer has had a significant positive impact on productivity, just at a time we needed it the most!

Planning for the Future and BiM!

The upgrade of the computer and to AutoCAD LT 2014 may not be the last improvement we see this year either. A little while ago we announced that we were looking into Revit LT, the Autodesk Building Information Management software. That upgrade is still part of our plan for 2013 / 14.

A little Humour to End On…

As an Architectural Design Practice rather than an “Architects Practice” we often find ourselves explaining what the difference is, or trying to anyway.  That said, we often cover much of the same ground as that covered by Architect, and indeed work for a number of them on a regular basis.  That meant that when we saw this video we could relate to much of what was said in it.  Please enjoy this video, “I Am an Architect” which was loaded onto YouTube by  YKK AP America Inc.  (YKKAPvideo).

The Lego House by Clive Elsdon Building Design

As a child I loved my LEGO!

There was hardly anywhere my LEGO didn’t go with me, including many caravan holidays! One of those holidays ended in disaster just outside Gretna Green as my dad towed the caravan back from Scotland! A massive gust of wind overturned our beloved Sprite Alpine, suspending our three speed Ford Consul from its draw-bar, with my Grandma and a young me on the back seat! The rear wheels of the car weren’t even touching the ground! The vision of the caravan on its side through the curved back window of the car is imprinted on my memory, as is the sight of a big crane driver and other people running out between the traffic to rescue my LEGO bricks off the tarmac! They had been inside a 1950’s bread bin in the caravan, and had somehow spilled out onto the road.

New Home Promise

In 1996 my mother used to relate a tail to anyone who visited her in her new home. She used to tell them that when I was about eight, living in a bungalow in Middlesbrough (having just relocated there from Durham) I was building a LEGO house and that I  turned to her and said that one day I’d build her a real house to retire to. At that time I had no inkling what career path I would take, in fact Train Driver or Cowboy was probably more on my mind than anything to do with Architecture!

In 1996 though, my mother knew that to some extent at least I had kept that childhood promise! I hadn’t actually built the house of course! We had a builder to do that, but I had designed it, applied for the planning permission and achieved building regulation approval. I had produced the drawings that the builder had had in his site cabin, the ones with the dimensions, notes and specifications which meant he knew what we wanted him to build. My mother had seen a sketch on a piece of paper become a detailed drawing and then take shape on site! She had seen a piece of empty land in Weardale, County Durham be transformed into her new home.

Childhood Revisited

Today, in the loft of that home is a 1950’s Bread Bin. It looks played with, it even has a little surface rust on it, but inside it is still full to the brim of the most wonderful educational toy in the whole world, LEGO! The toy that lead me to a career in architecture! Rummaging through the loft the other day, I came across the tin, brought it down and decided to build something with it. I also decided to make an animation, and yes, that animation which you can watch here features bricks rescued from the middle of a road after that caravan accident.

Perhaps another small irony is that the caravan was bought off the insurers by a builder and became a site cabin!

The Lego House Video

I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did making it, and as much as I enjoyed the childhood memories building something from LEGO brought back!