Didacious Designs Architects

DD Architects was started by Conrad A B Howard BA(Hons)DipArch RIBA CA IHBC FRSA as a consultancy practice working as a conservation architect, giving advice and services to suit client requirements. He is Accredited with both the RIBA and IHBC as a conservation architect. The practice provides a full or partial service as a design, conservation and Eco Design Architect. We handle all stages of work, from the initial feasibility and consultation outlining the client’s requirements to the finished building. We integrate building design and conservation with an in-depth understanding of listed building, energy conservation and planning matters, thus saving clients separate fees. We utilise up to the minute presentation techniques enabling us to provide top quality presentations. This not only helps our clients understand the concepts but also enables the planning department to fully appreciate the proposed scheme. A winning scheme is as much about the presentation of the idea as the idea itself.

The simple task of ‘building a house’ is actually quite complex. With more and more demands on environmental issues and legislation, a sound knowledge of the whole process is very important.

DD Architects have access to a diverse range of consultants, including 3D animators, Surveyors, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, Structural Engineers and Contractors. All of which form the optimum team to enable the creation of your dream home.

 We offer EXPERT ADVICE on first contact, either over the phone or directly in the form of an on site consultation with a conservation architect. This on site consultation will be offset against fees for services provided depending on the size and complexity of your project. Please telephone or email and we will be happy to discuss in detail your project/requirements. We are always eager to help with design ideas, the client brief development, planning and listed building matters, Sustainable Eco Design, improving on existing permissions, the best use of your funds in a logical and sensitive way, avoiding unnecessary work and much more. We are always interested to make new friends. We offer extremely competitive rates.

Please call us and let us know your budget and we will do everything we can to help.

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Our Services


As experienced DESIGN LED ARCHITECTS we offer a sustainable building service allowing you to investigate sustainable eco design methods using an eco architect prior to committing to a design proposal – helping you to cut your energy use, maximising on renewable energy systems, eliminating toxins and creating beautiful spaces to live in. We are willing to offset the cost of this initial consultation against the fee proposed should you appoint us to undertake further work.


We are accredited by the RIBA as Conservation architects and pride ourselves as also being Sustainable Eco Architects with extensive experience in undertaking commissions for historic buildings and buildings in Conservation Areas using Green Eco Sustainable Building methods. Complexity and good judgement is the utmost requirement to create lasting and superior results. Green Sustainable Eco Design doesn’t just mean energy efficiency.


To create any exemplary building requires three elements. A great CLIENT, a great CONCEPT and the winning ingredient CONTINUITY. We have the expertise to not only produce a great CONCEPT, but also provide the golden thread that is required in any exemplary design – CONTINUITY. A superior concept can be lost when insufficient resources are spent undertaking the detailed design phase of a building or the design is novated after planning permission is granted.


We are fully aware that planning can not be guaranteed, which means that the greatest degree of risk for any client is at the initial planning stage. We approach every situation with a fresh outlook and are very confident that our recommendations will receive a positive response from the local authority. If for instance we charged £10,000 for a full service (which would include sketch design through to the complete building) then the overall fee for the planning stage would amount to around 40-45% of this – £4,000. Considering the risk involved we understand why clients are reticent to invest such a large sum. We are confident in our proposals and are therefore prepared to take this initial risk.


As it can be seen from our designs on the portfolio page we adapt our design to the needs of the location. As Brighton Based conservation architects our success has been built on quality of execution, sensitive design and avoiding long, costly and uncertain conflict with local authorities. We prefer to deal with planning authorities through discussion using our previous experience and understanding of how particular local and national policies might impact on the project. We use the constraints of location to influence the design, taking the clients requirements into the utmost consideration when negotiating a possible solution with the local authority.


Conrad is an accomplished Martial Arts practitioner winning both National and International Tae Kwon Do Competitions; and has travelled extensively through South America and Asia sketching and photographing the local vernacular architecture, people and places. Gaining further understanding as a conservation architect. He is also a qualified sivanander yoga teacher having taken an intensive Teachers Training Course in India, later cycling up and down and around the Himalayas on a pilgrims trail from Rishikesh to the mouth of the Ganga – Gangotri, and down again. He uses the lessons learnt through the intense discipline and philosophy adopted whilst studying Yoga and the martial arts to aid his design creativity.


We offer FREE EXPERT ADVICE on first contact, either over the phone or directly in the form of an on site consultation with a conservation architect. This on site consultation will be offset against fees for services provided depending on the size and complexity of your project. Please telephone or email and we will be happy to discuss in detail your project/requirements. We are always eager to help with design ideas, the client brief development, planning and listed building matters, Sustainable Eco Design, improving on existing permissions, the best use of your funds in a logical and sensitive way, avoiding unnecessary work and much more.


Buildings are listed in their entirety: there is no such thing as just a listed interior or elevation, and no grade distinction. The listing is primarily intended for identification. It is not a comprehensive or exclusive record of all the important features of significance. Any object or structure included within the curtilage of the building or fixed to the structure and, has formed part of the land since before 1 July 1948, is included and requires listed building consent for any material alteration.


DD Architects believe that where the context demands it, matching the dominant architectural language in a scholarly manner is essential. However, where contemporary work of the highest quality can complement a buildings design or its immediate area, we delight in designing innovative buildings.
Our success is built on sensitivity, on quality of execution and by avoiding long, costly, uncertain confrontation. We deal directly with planning authorities from strength and knowledge, extensive experience of their policies and a vast understanding how particular policies impact on the project. DD Architects does not have a 'default style.' We seek harmony with an area's special character, whether in local vernacular or the modern form.


Our Dedicated Staff
Conrad AB Howard

Conrad AB Howard

Conservation Architect - Director
Hannah Peckham

Hannah Peckham

Receptionist - Assistant
Akmol Hamid

Akmol Hamid

CAD Artist - Designer


We Will Get The Best Out Of Your Project


If you are intending on a new build, extending or altering an existing building and wish to consider quality and value for money, it would be advisable to consult a professional conservation architect who shares your concerns. As an experienced Conservation architects we will understand your hopes and anxieties, and will help translate your vision into reality. We have overwhelming success and expertise in listed building matters, planning related matters and Sustainable Eco Architecture working in our expert role as a conservation architect. We can lift your project out of the ordinary. Anyone can make changes to a building. It takes an expert to do it with confidence and flair, style and imagination. When altering an historic or old building, we provide specialist expertise to ensure that the work benefits the buildings character. We can find the extra space and light you didn’t know you had, suggest relevant materials you hadn’t thought of, make sure the right products are specified and find you the right builder at the right price.
We will interpret your ideas and requirements and lead you through the process to the finished building. A good working relationship between architect, client and builder is crucial to the success of a project and should be firmly secured by an agreement that clearly defines costs, procedures and services.


As Conservation Architects we have training and experience to enable us to interpret and respond to any realistic brief that we are given. We will explain and explore your ideas and intentions during the initial meeting. Using our experience we will then develop a brief which covers matters such as appearance, function and form of the building, timing, costs and budget. Only when initial sketches have been approved will we translate the ideas into detailed designs. At an early stage we can help you define a range of costs or options for your project. We will also recommend and brief other consultants who may be needed – for example a structural engineer, drawing surveyor or a quantity surveyor.
A vital part of our service is to advise on statutory controls and procedures which might apply to your project. You are obliged, as a client or building owner, to comply with legislation concerning health and safety in construction, building regulations, town and country planning and, where relevant, party wall matters. We can help and advise as required. We also deal directly with the local authorities on your behalf, which is very stressful and time-consuming.
Depending on the projects size and complexity, the fees for the architects full service should come to between 5% and 15% of the total building cost. A less detailed building will usually attract a smaller percentage than a residential building. An existing or historic building will require greater time and expertise and may therefore attract higher fees.


Passivhaus buildings enable a massive reduction in the overall heating requirements, if compared to current building standards in the UK – as energy bills continue to rise, that level of performance cannot be ignored.
The passivhaus standard provides a robust method to enable the industry to achieve higher levels for the Code for Sustainable Homes and the ever needed carbon reductions. Buildings constructed to the Passivhaus standard are built to incredibly high standards. Evidence and feedback from many years of monitoring has proved that Passivhaus buildings perform as intended. The standards will more relevant as the sustainable agenda takes on a great role in government thinking.
The Passivhaus standard also focuses on achieving exceptional air quality and thermal benchmarks to improve comfort standards for the occupants. The Passivhaus Standard is able to achieve this through increasing design of all elements of the built fabric including:
• Building shape;
• Orientation, to increase the sun’s ‘free’ heating;
• Super-insulation;
• High performance windows;
• Airtight construction; and
• Heat recovery ventilation.


A Selection Of Our Current Projects


The Evolving Face Of DD Architects
What a great design for a Custom Built bike

What a great design for a Custom Built bike

Great Design attracts great praise Very Modern Design I very much enjoy cycling and have always been interested in new…

Restoration by Ditchling Conservation Architects

Restoration by Ditchling Conservation Architects

The Old Manor House - Restored by Ditchling Conservation Architects Part of the Original 16th Century Farmhouse As Conservation Architects we…

Our New Office space – Plumpton Pit Stop

Our New Office space – Plumpton Pit Stop

Plumpton Pit Stop has been a very long labour of love. Our first day at Plumpton Pit Stop was spent removing…


We Are Always Interested To Make New Friends - Please Get In Touch
  • Ashley & Karen Richardson

    "Karen and I were introduced to DD Architects through a friend of a friend scenario and at the time during April 2013, we were looking for an Architect who understood the requirements to gain planning permission for a residential property to be built within a countryside location. This was not a normal planning application, governed by stringent government guidelines which had to be fully met. DD Architects gave an open remit with no restrictions other than requiring a minimum of four double bedrooms good sized living space and a study. After jumping through many hoops and over many hurdles, planning permission was granted September 2015. DD Architects are now carrying out the process of clearing a number of important conditions set by MSDC planning officers as part of the approval gained. Should a special design be required to meet a specific criteria or you require an architect who understands planning requirements for gaining planning consent for a dwelling in a countryside location, then we suggest you look no further."

  • Jon Finn

    "It’s been a real pleasure working with Conrad and the team at Didacious Designs. This has been a challenging project from the very beginning but Conrad has approached it in a thoughtful and structured way which has inspired confidence and kept us positive throughout what can be quite a stressful process for a planning applicant. Everyone we have worked with at Didacious have been of the highest standard and they have all gone above and beyond the expected in order to get the job done.”

  • Chris & Alex Sears

    "I have had the pleasure of working with Conrad and the team and they have my full endorsement as an outstanding architecture firm. They have been incredibly responsive when it comes to providing detailed drawings and information to support the project to extend our house. Conrad is very organized, extremely intelligent and has an amazing eye for modern design. His depth of knowledge and experience to lead a project from pre-construction planning thru to completion has meant the project was driven forward without delay. The team was incredibly responsive and provided us with timely answers and architectural details as issues came up in the field. I can attribute the success of our project to Conrad and the team and I hold them in the highest regard."

  • Rebecca & Mark Rivers-Moore

    "We are aware that there is a responsibility that goes with tackling a building project involving an old house, in particular a listed one. We therefore really appreciated the level of knowledge and care that DD Architects brought to the design process; it has given us the confidence that we are respecting the building at every stage and enhancing the house in a sympathetic and appropriate way to be enjoyed by us and future occupants. DD Architects opened our eyes to styles and features we hadn't thought of, enabling us to make more reasoned decisions. DD Architects enthusiasm for period and other detail has helped to keep morale up as we dealt with complications at the planning stage and as the rains have fallen! On a practical level, it has helped that DD Architects have been available for meetings, at short notice if necessary, and able to accommodate our working patterns."

Our years of expertise give us confidence that the schemes we propose shall receive planning consent*

This means that up to the planning determination stage for certain projects we are prepared to offer a 'NO WIN, NO FEE SERVICE' for the design and execution of your project. This will include advise from a Conservation Architect, full sketch and/or 3D illustrations as required. In most cases your only expense would be to commission a drawn survey, subject to the size of the project.

*although the decision process is out of our hands, so this cannot be guaranteed.