Architectural technologist , who are they?

The Architectural Technologist , also known as a Building Technologist, provides building design services and solutions and is trained in architectural technology, building design and construction. They apply the science of architecture and typically concentrate on the technology of building design and construction. They may negotiate the construction project, and manage the process from conception through to completion.

Most architectural technologists are employed in architectural and engineering firms, or with municipal authorities; but many provide independent professional services directly to clients, although restricted by law in some countries. Others work in product development or sales with manufacturers.

In Britain (Chartered Architectural Technologist), Canada (Architectural Technologist or Applied Science Technologist), and other nations, they have many similar abilities as Architects and can work alongside them. There, they are sometimes directors or shareholders of an architectural firm (where permitted by the jurisdiction and legal structure). To become an architectural technologist, a degree or diploma (or equivalent) in Architectural Technology is required, followed by structured professional and occupational experience.
The role of Architectural Technologist:

The role of an architectural technologist is not to be confused with that of an architect. Although the architectural technologists’ role does include some building design they actually specialise in the technical aspects of building design and construction. This means they use technology i.e. Computer Aided Design (CAD) and VR skills to check that the designs architects produce will actually work. in addition, it is the job of the architectural technologist to research and select the right building materials for the project.

Architectural technologists work in building design and construction projects with different members of a design team, working especially closely with architects and designers, forming a link between the architect's concept and the completed construction, bridging the gap between the ideas of an elegant functional building and the reality of that building performing successfully. Architectural technologists are to ensure that the right materials and building techniques are used and that the building meets all the building regulations and other legal requirements. Architectural technologists must also monitor the quality assurance, cost and the meeting of deadlines throughout the lifetime of a construction project.

In the UK, a fully qualified Architectural technologist of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) can take full responsibility for the project management replacing the architect.

In multidisciplinary project team, an architectural technologist is expected to carry the following work activities:

* Administering contracts and project certifications;
* Advising clients on procuring the best and most appropriate contracts for the work they are undertaking;
* Appraising the performance of buildings which are in use and producing maintenance management information;
* Assessing what surveys (e.g. Land surveys) are required before work can commence and ensuring such surveys are undertaken and their results fed into the project;
* Carrying out design-stage risk assessments;
* Contributing to planning applications and other regulatory application procedures;
* Contributing to the overall running of business.
* Developing project briefs and working on these as the project progresses;
* Evaluating and advising on refurbishment, re-use, recycling and deconstruction;
* Evaluating environmental, legal and regulatory issues and advising on these;
* Leading the detailed design process and co-ordinating design information;
* Liaising with appropriate authorities (e.g. Planning enquiries and building inspectors) when producing documentation for statutory approval;
* Managing the work of trainee technologists;
* Obtaining feedback on work in progress and finished results from clients;
* Preparing and presenting design proposals using computer-aided design (CAD), VR and traditional drawing methods;
* Producing, analysing and advising on detailed specifications for suitable materials or processes to be used in construction;
* Meeting with clients and other involved professionals at an early stage to agree the project brief;
* Understanding how the design aspects of a construction project influence and relate to performance and functional issues, so that practical questions can be addressed at an early stage;

Adding to the above, the architectural technologist is expected to work collaboratively with the other members of the project, linking them with the architect to ensure a collaborative work and a successful project.