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What is an Architectural Technologist?

By April 21, 2018News

Over the past 25 years, Chartered Architectural Technologist David Granger has guided our company from a one-man operation to the dynamic and successful practice it is today. But if you have ever wondered to yourself, “what is an Architectural Technologist?” then wonder no more…

what is an architectural technologist

Where did the role of Architectural Technologist come from?

The practice of architecture has been around for thousands of years. For as long as people have lived in buildings, someone has been required to design them. But the role of the Architectural Technologist is only 60 years old. So where did it come from? And what does an architectural technologist do?

It all started back in 1958 when the role of the ‘architectural technician’ or ‘architechnologist’ was first proposed at the RIBA Conference on Architectural Education. It was suggested as a route for those who wished to specialise in the technical aspects of building design. This had the effect of creating a new professional role – the architectural technician would be responsible for producing a building’s technical specification, as well as for the production of technical information.

A few years later, in 1965, the Society of Architectural and Associated Technicians (SAAT) was formed to represent architectural technicians. After many years of growth, SAAT changed its name to the British Institute of Architectural Technicians. By 1994 the title of the Institute changed again, this time to the British Institute of Architectural Technologists (BIAT), to recognise the development of the professionally qualified Architectural Technologist. And then in 2005, in its 40th year, BIAT received its Royal Charter and became the current Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT).

Chartered Architectural Technologists (MCIAT) are qualified to offer design services and manage projects from start to finish. They lead the technological design of a project, forming the link between concept, innovation and realisation.

What does an Architectural Technologist do?

Architectural Technologists are involved in all aspects of a project. They have the knowledge to advise on materials and construction, taking a project from survey stage through to designing schemes and producing working drawings. Working closely with clients, builders and many other professionals, the Architectural Technologist is at the heart of any development.

Surveys

A lot of jobs start with a measured building survey and this is often carried out by an Architectural Technologist. In many practices, an Architectural Technologist will draw up these surveys in the office using AutoCAD (computer-aided design) or Revit (a 3D building information modelling programme). These drawings become the template for the scheme, so it’s very important that as much information is included on these as possible, such as window heights and stair details.

Design

An Architectural Technologist can design schemes and concept ideas. These ideas are usually a collaboration between the client and the design team. A sketch is the first chance a client gets to see a design proposal on paper, which allows them to visualise their ideas and brief.

Feasibility Studies

In some cases, there may be a field that has the potential for development. In this case, feasibility studies can be carried out to assess the land, its value and its potential, and the Architectural Technologist can undertake these too, often using topographical surveys (measured survey of the topography of the land) to make them more accurate.

Planning documents

These drawings develop into detailed planning drawings which can be used to gain planning permission etc. where necessary. An Architectural Technologist can fill in the relevant documents and submit applications, taking the pressure off the client.

Working drawings

Finally, Architectural Technologists produce the working drawings, including technical information, drainage layouts and production details etc. Working drawings provide guidance to reduce the risk of issues arising and often builders require them in order to construct the project.

We’re here to help

If you’re thinking about a project, whether it’s an extension, an alteration or conversion, or a new build or larger development, we would be happy to have an initial consultation with you. Give us a call on 01530 560939, or contact us using the form below.

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