A CIAT professional or architectural technologist is similar in many ways to an architect. The training they receive from their universities is different but often interweaves and their service offering in many cases is identical. The general feeling in the world of architecture is that architects are the masters at the artistic conceptual end of the spectrum, whilst technologists provide the technical backbone to delivering the project.
Whilst it is easy to generalise the traits of an architect or architectural technologist, in reality often the skills or natural design abilities of these two professions are based on their work experience and natural abilities, rather than what they studied at university. There are many technical architects in the market and many conceptual technologists.
This article looks at the generalised view of the architectural technologist and how their studies add value to a residential project.
Residential projects are simple, right?
Often clients believe their residential project to be simple, when in fact most residential projects are more technical than you imagine. The complexities of dealing with things such as existing structures, restrained site access, neighbours in close proximity, an aged property stock with poor foundations, listed building status, building geometry and existing features. In many ways extending your home can be more technically challenging than building a new build home on a fresh site. The design parameters are often much stricter and therefore the design response often has limited scope to be truly conceptual. This often means an architectural designer with a skill set more closely linked to the technological aspects of the project will often provide a more suitable design response as they are likely to understand and consider the technological challenges in a more meaningful way.
The Architectural Technologist comes into their own when faced with such technical challenges because their training at university is broad. Whilst every university has different programmes, those that focus on collaboration across different disciplines such as the UWE architectural technology and design BSc are common place. The technologists during a 4 year sandwich program will study design with the architects, surveying with the building surveyors, project management with the PMs, engineering with the structural engineers, services engineering with service engineers and construction law. Whilst also studying architectural technology, the science behind building performance and having a year out in practice.
This means that whilst not being experts in all of the aforementioned areas they have a good understanding of several of the key elements that are required to make a successful residential scheme come together.
Apart from navigating the complexities of refurbishment projects, more often smaller residential schemes don’t have the benefit of a large design team that commercial projects do. It is imperative that the architectural designer has a rounded understanding of these other professional areas so that they may advise you in the most appropriate way.
The Architectural Technologist will often add value to the process by reducing the number of external consultants you may need (an example is that many architects practices do not feel comfortable producing measured surveys). This can also lead to a smoother project process as more technical issues are foreseen in the design process.
Ask the right questions, ask them do they have a good technical understanding? What is their preference, conceptual or technical design? Or ask for examples of their drawn work. Ask what parts of the project they plan to have to sub work out for or bring in another expert in that field.
At Western Building Consultants we pride ourselves in having a diverse team of architects, architectural technologists, surveyors and engineers. We will always try to match our team against the skills required to successfully manage your project. Whilst our technologists are often cross trained in other areas we also employ and train consultants in specific areas such as the Party Wall Act. The benefit of this approach over our smaller competitors is you can receive all the knowledge benefits of a large team for your small project and you are not so reliant on your architectural designer having all of the skills themselves to manage your project.
By having less external consultants, costs and work flows are controlled better. Helping you to achieve your project in a cost effective and timely manner. Western Building Consultants can help with our one stop shop and streamlined process for surveying architecture and engineering.
Experienced, qualified and regulated by RICS, CIAT & Trading standards BWC. We will be with you every step of the way from concept to completion.
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Top notch service here from Paul Keegan who was super patient with us and when we finally got access for a building condition survey on our new premises, he went above and beyond the call of duty to get our report back to us over a weekend. Thanks WBC you came up trumps for us.
We want to say big thank you to western building consultants. We couldn’t be happier with everything they’ve done for us.
We are a small local building company that were looking for a similar sized company to work with us on many various projects from loft conversions and extensions to structural works of all sizes.
It’s been a relationship that’s worked great from day one. It’s been over a year now of working with western on at least a weekly basis. Whether its the office staff, architects or structural engineers they’ve been second to none. Always helpful and accommodating even throughout this pandemic which must of been a struggle.
I love that we can offer westerns services along side our own and the feed back we get from all of our customers when they’ve had contact with western is great.
In the 20 years I’ve been a builder this company is the best I’ve used and we will continue to use them for the next 20 years.
Tweedy Brothers Total Building Services
Exceptional service provided by Maria Simone; she incorporated as many of our requests as possible when designing a beautiful extension for us despite many limits and delays from the planning office. Her professional, thorough and friendly approach made us feel confident that we were in safe hands and we look forward to working with her and the rest of the team.
Have received a great service from Jo at Western Building Consultants so far. She is always very responsive, works extra hard for our tight timeline and kept me updated through out the process and was really quick to understand our project objective.
This is the third time I have worked with Western Building Consultants and as usual they have been a pleasure to work with. I dealt directly with Sam and Jo who did the Structural Calculations and the Drawings respectively for my residential to HMO conversion project. They were accommodating, engaging and professional.
I look forward to the next project!
I had a very positive experience with Western Building Consultants right from the start with requesting a quote from Ebony through to the delivery from Jo. Jo delivered exactly what i needed to a very good standard so much so that i’ve already booked in for another job. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend WBC to others.
Our journey with Western Building consultancy so far has been fantastic! Jo’s patience and ability to understand my scribbles and ridiculous ideas made designing our venture fun instead of daunting. Communication is always prompt, professional and most importantly sincere. I’m really looking forward to how the rest of our project progresses!
I have enjoyed working with Western Building Consultants on a complicated project for about 4 years now. During that time they have without fail given me a high level of customer service, being welcoming, responsive and competent.
As a customer I particularly appreciate that WBC are value for money. They also stick to their quotes and don’t add a lot of extras. Help and advice is always forthcoming generally at no extra charge.
Thank you so much for all your advice today. That was so very helpful, not only with the structure of the property but especially with your comments about the whole set up. I can see that we were within a gnat’s whisker of entering a complete can of worms… Thank you so much for saving us from making a stupid mistake.
Thanks to you both your help in this matter – you were both extremely efficient and accommodating (more than I can say about other companies I contacted).
Your professionalism has been invaluable, thank you.
Thank you for your extremely comprehensive report. It will be of immense help when deciding on the works we would like to carry out on the property. We have decided to take your advice and move into the property and live in it for a while to assess our requirements.
Thank you for your prompt service, could not have asked or expected more. I note your comments and in an ideal world everything would have been 1.
Will not hesitate to recommend you, and will make a point of letting the estate agent know this too.
I just wanted to say thank you very much for your thorough and clear report. It is written in an informative and jargon free way which has made a pretty hefty document ultimately digestible and easy to understand.
Hello Kerry, Many thanks for the report and invoice receipt.
Please pass on my thanks to Paul for the survey. In my working life, I read many stock survey reports – I work with social housing providers to set up their asset management strategies – and this was one of the clearest and most comprehensive I’ve seen.
Dear Paul, Thank you so much for your fast response and the detail in your report is very very good and greatly appreciated. Thank you for your efforts.
Many thanks for your swift and thorough return of this report, we so appreciate you getting this back to us on such a tight turn around this week, and on the first read it seems extremely clear and comprehensive.
Hi Kerry / Paul, Thanks for sending the survey across.
I’d also like to thank you for your excellent service and professionalism. I considered many surveyors before choosing to proceed with you and it’s clear that I made the right choice. I won’t hesitate to recommend you to family, friends and colleagues in the future.
“We have commissioned three building surveys from WBC until we found the house that was right for us and all thanks to you”
I never expected so much detail, the report was really great and there were things I never even considered, even being in the construction trade
The report was brilliant and went into so much detail, having had reports from other surveyors in the past this report was far superior
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“We used James Dean …Western Building Consultants as an architect. Very good”
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We were really happy with them, they came highly recommended by several people”
“Excellent service and help from the initial design/planning stage through to the end of all works”
“I can recommend Western Building Consultants. They are great on structural calculations, advice and technical drawings to whatever extent you want. We used them for advice and calcs for taking out our main load bearing wall downstairs. They were recommended several times over when we started looking.”
“Superb, professional, efficient, friendly, positive”