Practice Profile

At DMA we place equal value on design and delivery excellence. We have a growing reputation for developing innovative, technology-led solutions to solve tricky problems around design, programme and budget. Through critical analysis of our performance, and working with our clients and collaborators, we aim to improve our work every day through incremental changes.

For a closer look at DMA watch our Building a Practice with BIM video

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David Miller’s background lies in the design and delivery of three dimensionally complex buildings having worked with Norman Foster, Santiago Calatrava and Future Systems. At Future Systems, he was the associate director and project architect on the Stirling prize-winning Media Centre at Lord’s Cricket Ground and in 2015 DMA were commissioned to comprehensively upgrade it.

David’s expertise in combining 3D skills with new technology to enhance building design is what drives our practice today. This has influenced our search for better outcomes and to break down traditional barriers to collaboration we’ve reimagined how an architectural practice works using technology as an enabler.

As a result, we develop all of our designs together with other consultants and makers as 3D data rich models. This encourages everyone’s input so only the strongest options progress. It also ensures that our information is fully coordinated and consistent throughout the process and on completion, the model has the potential to become a valuable asset management tool to help run the finished building efficiently. We also apply this modern technology to historic buildings and we have developed digital design and construction techniques to enhance conservation projects.

Profitable year on year growth has allowed us to continually invest in the practice to offer new services through our ongoing R&D programme. Rapid Feasibility Studies using digital techniques have been refined over 30+ projects to help our clients make fully informed decisions about acquisitions, developments and disposals. We also act as technical advisors and, working with the Education Funding Agency on their Free Schools and Priority Schools programmes, we’ve helped open nearly 30 new schools.

Repeat business accounts for 88% of our work and our robust systems and procedures make us reliable and consistent. These are integrated to form our Best Practice Management System (BPMS) which includes; ISO9001 Quality Management, ISO14001 Environmental Management, Level 2 BIM Protocols (aligned to BS1192) and CHAS Health & Safety Procedures. All of our team are CSCS qualified too.

DMA’s Investors in People Gold Standard demonstrates our commitment to developing people and we are regularly placed in Building’s Top 50 Good Employer Guide. Most of our work is built, so the team are technically experienced and empowered through leadership and management training to take projects through to completion. Between us, in the past five years, we’ve built 644 new homes, with a further 183 on site as well as 14 new schools.

At DMA we follow Dieter Ram’s Ten Principles for Good Design in all our work. When it comes to sustainability, principle number nine applies; “Good design is environmentally friendly - design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.”

By designing buildings using a “fabric first” approach, we minimise the need for energy consumption. We are experienced in off-site construction methods and BIM and advocate their use because in comparison to traditional building methods, they significantly reduce embodied carbon as well as waste and time in the building process.

As architects we are passionate about regeneration and inclusion. We encourage young people to consider careers in the built environment through mentoring and work experience and support community initiatives and help small businesses grow. DMA’s work has been recognised with a Trading for Good Responsible Business Award.

In short, we offer the personal service, responsiveness and creativity of a smaller practice, along with the reassurance of big practice delivery and quality control systems.

DMA - a small organisation that has a BIG impact.