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CAD architectural drawing of a luxury eco cabin in the Scottish highlands

Achitectural Design Services

North Woods offers a complete architectural design service, as part of our design and build contracts, and for stand-alone projects. We work with private clients, businesses and community organisations.

All design work, whether for offices, houses and even sheds is carried out on specialist 3D Architectural Cad Software enabling a high degree of client interaction and collaboration. The software allows a large number of ideas to be developed and many permutations of a concept to be explored relatively quickly. From early concept to fabrication drawings, 3D imagery helps to refine and develop the design and is invaluable in communication with engineers and fabricators as well as for early planning and development control discussions.

We can produce fly-throughs, sun studies and can model whole landscapes from survey data, even hand-drawn data. We offer this visualization service to architects and engineers and it is much appreciated by all our clients, whether in the private or public sectors.

For domestic homes, it gives clients an invaluable opportunity to understand, refine and participate in design decisions enhancing the entire process of procurement.

a bespoke architectural design for an ecological timber house built near Ullapool, Scotland

Design Principles

North Woods designs are informed and influenced strongly by timber design and construction methods used more prevalently in continental Northern Europe and North America. We also draw heavily from the principles popularised in the European Passive House standards for ultra-low energy buildings.

These techniques and technologies include -

  • The use of solar gain to achieve passive free space heating.

  • High levels of insulation & airtightness to maximise thermal efficiency.

  • High-efficiency glazing to minimise heat loss.

  • The use of natural light and renewable heating technologies to minimise energy consumption.


  • The use of heat recovery ventilation systems to maintain healthy indoor atmosphere while reducing heat energy loss.

All these features help reduce the operational energy required by the building over its lifetime.

We combine these concepts with the use of materials chosen for their lower embodied energies and for their reduced environmental impacts through overexploitation and pollution etc.

 sustainable design of an ecological timber house designed using passive house principles

Design Process

All our buildings follow a unique design journey that begins with an initial discussion with the client. From that point, we collaborate with the customer to create a design brief, which then informs the initial sketch concepts that are created using 3D CAD software. Once a building concept has been chosen by the client the design can then be developed and refined through a process of feedback and discussion. This highly bespoke and individual design process allows continued involvement and adjustment to elements of the design and the specification as the project evolves.

architecturally designed CAD image of an ecological timber cabin
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