Architectural Technology


Venice under water

The recent "acqua alta" (high water) in Venice, Italy reached a depth of 1.56 meters (5 ft, 1 in.) on Monday - the deepest flood in 22 years, and the fourth highest flood level in recent history, claimed Venice's Tide Center. The water began to subside on Tuesday, while residents and tourists made their way through the city, hip-waders or not - one man even took the opportunity to ride his wakeboard through Piazza San Marco (until police stepped in). Although this flood was severe enough for the mayor to ask tourists to temporarily stay home, Venetian floods are fairly routine, several occurring every year, and residents usually take it all in stride. (25 photos total)

Venice 'under water' after worst floods for 20 years:

Venice has been hit by the worst flooding in more than 20 years, as high winds and days of heavy rain pushed the level of the city’s lagoon to more than five feet above its average height.

By Nick Squires in Rome
Last Updated: 11:43AM GMT 02 Dec 2008 From

More than 95 per cent of the historic city centre, including St Mark’s Square, was under water as the city was swamped by the most severe flood since 1986.

Tourists and residents were stranded in hotels and houses as the duckboards and pontoons which normally cope with Venice's high tides simply floated away.

Elderly people had to be carried to safety and shops and homes had to use pumps to bail out the water.

Venice’s mayor, Massimo Cacciari, advised tourists hoping to visit the city to “think again”.

The situation was worsened by a transport strike affecting Venice’s famous vaporetto ferries.

The governor of Veneto province, of which Venice is a part, criticised transport workers for choosing such a bad time to strike.

“I’d like to give them a medal for their sense of responsibility,” Giancarlo Galan said with heavy sarcasm.

Venice’s lagoon often rises to 40 inches above its normal level during 'acqua alta’ or high tides, particularly in autumn and winter.

But anything above 50 inches risks flooding the city and causing chaos for its 60,000 permanent residents and the tens of thousands of tourists who descend on it each day.

The worst flood in modern times was in 1966, when the lagoon rose more than six feet and caused widespread damage.

Experts say the severity and frequency of floods is becoming worse due to silt deposits raising the floor of the lagoon and a rise in sea levels caused by global warming.

After years of argument and indecision, Venice has started building a system of moveable barriers to control the inflow of water from the Adriatic Sea, but it is not expected to be finished until 2012.

Bad weather has affected much of Italy in recent days, with snow storms in the north, heavy rain in Umbria and Tuscany and thunder storms over Rome and as far south as Sicily.


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.



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