Testway Housing in Hampshire has been using computer-aided design software from ArtiCAD to allow its residents to design their own kitchens.
With 6000 properties under management, Testway Housing replaces around 300 kitchens each year as part of their designated 20-year replacement cycle. Chris Scahill, contracts manager in Testway Housing’s asset management team, said, “Prior to using ArtiCAD-Pro, we could only produce black and white drawings from a plan view. Not surprisingly, these could be difficult for our residents to interpret. This resulted in them having to ask lots of questions and often not being entirely clear about the appearance and layout of the finished kitchen.”
Testway wanted to provide better information to its customers, while at the same time being able to give detailed technical information to its contractors. ArtiCAD-Pro was chosen due to the speed with which designs can be produced, combined with high-quality visuals and the provision of technical information for contractors.
Scahill said, “Now we can give residents full-colour 3D pictures, birds-eye views and plans, together with all the detailed technical information needed by our contractors. Since using ArtiCAD-Pro, feedback from customers has been excellent.”
Once a street or estate has been chosen by Testway as the next area for kitchen redevelopment, residents are visited by one of the asset management team to discuss the resident’s requirements. Testway offers its residents a choice of four different units, four different worktops and any colour emulsion. The vinyl flooring comes in a choice of six different colours.
Scahill explained, “We wanted to make sure that our residents had a good selection to choose from, but needed to keep the scope of choice to a reasonable level to make sure that we could still get value for money in terms of bulk ordering and buying.”
Residents receive the ArtiCAD visuals and plans around one week later. Scahill said, “ArtiCAD-Pro produces such clear visuals that it’s much easier for people to see exactly what their new kitchen will look like. If they do want changes, I simply make the changes in ArtiCAD-Pro and send them a revised design. Once approved, the design and the technical specification is sent to Aster Property Management, who then work with our kitchen supplier.”
Looking ahead, Testway has also just started to use ArtiCAD-Pro to design bathrooms which fall within major improvement programmes; this will see around 400 bathrooms being replaced each year. ArtiCAD said that a single ArtiCAD-Pro licence costs £3295, with additional licences costing £1495.