Tag Archives: Birmingham City University

Architectural Technologist – Birmingham City University Prize giving

It's so important to recognise achievements made when studying, either by good marks or at award ceremonies, yesterday I attended the Birmingham City University award ceremonies at Birmingham Council house, were a lot of last years successful students gathered to collect certificates and awards.

This year, I was especially pleased to attend on behalf of CIAT to award a certificate to Nick Harper for the most outstanding student for the 2011-12 year in Architectural Technology.

As I typed, I received a message to announce that CIAT is 48, we have come such a long way from the photos being pushed up onto Facebook and other places. Sadly I don,t recognise any of the people, I hope that Adam, can fill in the gaps and add their names in the comments.

The photo I took is of an empty hall waiting for the students and lecturers to arrive, I got here early, partly because I can't abide being late for anything, but mostly because it was drummed into me over many years, to arrive early, check case, calm, check appearance, calm, and get your mind in order, make sure you have the contacts names ready, and spare names just in case they can't see you. It's so important, I hate it when people arrive unprepared. By the time we finished lunch, the hall filled up nicely,


Architectural Technologist – CPD event 27th Nov 2012

For those of you in reach of Birmingham City Centre, the West Midlands CIAT region 5, will be holding a CPD event “Architectural Visual Precast Solutions” to be held at the Birmingham City University room 388.

Given by Carl Suttcliff of the Concrete Centre, it will prove to be as good as the last event were Carl gave a one hour packed with information presentation. all CIAT, RIBA,IOB,RICS, members are welcome, 90 minute CPD Certificates wil be sent to any one needing proff of attending.

Whilst I was in Belfast over the weekend, I happen to ask one of the local CIAT members if any one had any video footage of the office block being demolished the last time we were in Belfast for the, I think 2004 AGM, and Eddie Wear MCIAT found out that John Stevenson MCIAT had a copy still on his machine, he sent it to me and with John’s permission, I have loaded it up to YouTube for you all to see, it’s very short, but it shows exactly how good a controlled explosive demolition can be in removing in one short moment a high rise building.

I have never been involved in this style of demolition, I can only think the contractor was eating his hand as the count down went to fire, we never did manage to see the site afterwards, but looking at the way the building pulled into it’s self the rubble must have stayed very compact on the site. I visited the site this time and I think the Victoria shopping centre is what was built on the site.

I have now loaded up a large chunks of my Belfast Architectural pictures to Flickr, the one I use today shows just how fine the detailing is, not just on this building, but on many, all you have to do is walk and your constantly seeing great Architecture and details, from the brickwork, through to great stone details.


Architectural Technologist – students old and new

Well it's been one of those weeks so far, yesterday I gave a lecture to some first year students at the Birmingham city University, who have just this week started upon their course of Architectural Technology. Most if not all the course turned up, and all I hope have signed up for student membership to CIAT.

Then today I have attended to Summerhill school Kingswinford, to try and convince a small group of students that Architectural Technology is a viable future. They might look at the construction market and wonder if what I will be telling them is worth listening to, after all, the construction market is currently in the lows, in fact the lowest I have seen it in nearly 40 years, but like all industries, it will come out the other side of this recession and be hungry for Technologists who can draw, know construction, and can take a design and make it work.

But and I always have a but, I have an old friend who used to say “and another thing”, I always ask the question, why stop at just Architectural Technology within an Architects practice. As I stated yesterday, to the first year students, the knowledge you are going to come out with within your degree course is the ideal stepping stone to look at not just Main steam Architecture, but a whole heap of related professions.

Take me for example, I started in Architecture, but as the early 1980 recession took hold, I went sideways and became the Tech guy for several material manufacturers, ending up as the Dow Styrofoam tech guy, working all over Europe. Insurance companies will also be a good route for a career. Cad companies and perhaps construction magazines if your particularly good at writing.

What I am trying to suggest is that the CIAT Architectural Technologist course is one of the best degrees for the construction industry. You will learn construction, CAD, and a lot about Design, which many manufacturers would dearly like to have within their company.

I tried to upload this post before my students arrived, but signal strength stopped me, so sorry for the late post.

Today's photo is one that a good friend of mine in the Republic of Ireland, posted on Facebook, I just love stone work, this picture is of a particularly fine stone arch.

Architectural Technologist – BIrmingham City University – BIM event


Seacole Building of Birmingham City University

Seacole Building of Birmingham City University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BIM is the buzZ word in our industry, but it depends on who you talk to as to the meaning if the word, most, if not all have their own thoughts on it, CAD companies seem to think, only they understand it and their software, in a new format, is the only way to understand it, and use it. They keep telling me only 3D can be used for BIM, rubbish, 2D is more than capable of achieving a high level of BIM

Do you really think I’m that gulable, BIM has been about for Ages, In the form of notes and class or layering structure withing the CAD program’s, so why do the CAD companies seem to think its worth spending money buying their software, I know that 3D takes BIM to a much higher interaction, than can be achieved with current 2D CAD, and the generation of sections and elevations suddenly becomes so quick, and interactive, but the effect to create a 3D model is so often out of place in my level of work, extensions and small cut an carve work. Plus my contractors would still required the same information, my 2D plans provide. so at what point do I change from 2D to 3D, there is no real answer, at my age change like this requires a major upheaval of systems I have put in place that work, but that should not be the answer, it should be now, change, 3D will take longer short term, but the benefits will out way the pain !!, so yet again I pledge to make some move over to 3D, but please, all the CAD companies, I will not buy new program’s, the one I have is more than adequate, but if, and only if, they introduce a program that does not involve updating all my files, I might look at it.

So I was quite please to receive a note from Birmingham City University, promoting a BIM event that gives the users, a chance to show and talk about their current use of BIM, with a panel that is not just selected CAD developers, but real construction proffesionals who are day to day, in the construction business.

The event, if I can call it that, is on the 4th July, it will present BIM in action, focusing on design, cost and construction, with the hand over of the BCU building as the focus, a real live building.

The speaker list is like a who’s who of construction in the West Midlands and to be honest, worth attending just for the social contact and possible work, yet alone the BIM angle :


Hosted by Birmingham School of the Built Environment (Birmingham City University)

The 2016 Government Construction Strategy in BIM implementation is fast approaching; many Clients, Architects, Contractors and Quantity Surveyors are seeking to understand its potential impact.

In 2011 Birmingham City University appointed Willmott Dixon as the contractor on their £61m City Centre scheme providing a purpose-built home for the world-class provision for the University’s Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) and Media Centre.

The project is the first phase in a £125million investment plan at Birmingham’s Eastside using BIM.

This event, the first in a series, will present BIM in ACTION focusing on the design, cost and construction with an indication of the handover of the new building. The event will offer a unique insight into the practicalities, challenges and solutions that the team have faced in the implementation of BIM.


BIM in action

Demonstrate best practice

Highlight solutions

Lessons learnt so far


  • Chair – Birmingham School of the Built Environment
  • Client – Birmingham City University
  • Architect – Associated Architects
  • Quantity Surveyor – Faithful and Gould
  • Contractor – Willmott Dixon
  • MEP – NG Bailey
  • Structural Engineer – Ramboll

There will be a cost for this event of £25 for CIOB Members and £30 for Non-Members. If you would like to reserve a place please book via the ‘book event’ button below or contact Georgina Floyd. wdanish@ciob.org.uk

The cost of £25 is small fry, and must surely represent the best value for money event ever, ok £30 for those of you who have not taken up CIOB membership.

If you would like to attend, , reserve a place via Georgina Floyd on wdandish@ciob.org.uk

Or go to the http://ciob.org.uk/events/bim-action web site


 Don’t forget, I will host a tech hangout every Thursday @ 12:30 pm, call in to chat, moan,find out something, anything to do with Architectural Technology. follow me on Google + “+stevescaysbrook”

Visit Vectorworking


// http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js

Enhanced by Zemanta

Architectural Technologist – AT University open days

The AT course at Birmingham City University held their open day yesterday 25th May, to display the final year student work, I was invited and duly arrived to find three lecture rooms full of excellent work. Modfels, working drawings, day diary’s, sample boards, and videos of the highest quality.

I spent over an hour talking to students and lecturers on the work displayed, getting their take on the course, their hopes for the future, work and how they felt. Why, well if the disaplin of AT, and CIAT in general, then we as the old timers, must show some interest, see what they have achived and give some encouragement, help them make that last great step, to define them selves and look for work.

CIAT as always have been tireless in promoting our degree courses, checking on them, and refining the cource, but and as always there is a but, we need to get the students to join and partake, and get through there pops to achieve chartered member status. We the older and in some cases founders, are getting on, we are thinning out, we need the youth to take over and expand the Discipline  of AT.

So back to the work, I was impresses, the quality of models, the designs and detailing that they showed was first rate, and the display or presentation was in the most part, eye catching, and thats what counts, was I drawn to certasin stands, yes,, why, it caught my eye, colour, the model, the poster on the back drop, all contributed to the feel and look of each students stand. Also the use of a day book, you know my feelings on the use of this paper book, for jotting notes, feelings and details we see in daily life, well, guess what the students at Birminghasm are encouraged to use a day book, excellent, and some of these were laid out as part of their display, excellent, I hope the habit is now in their blood, because its a part of being an Architectural Technologist.

As always each stand had a video walk through of their cad drawings, and all were just excellent, most if not all concentrated on the overall feel of the building, and reminded me of a School of Architecture, and I must remind every one, we are not Architects, but Technologists, design is a daily part of being a Technologist, but there is and always will be a clear line between the Architect and a Technologist, I feel that sometimes we cross this line, it’s hard not to, given the training and close procimity to Architects,  but in reflection of the work I saw, there was a nice balance between understanding the need to look at designing a building on one hand  and our role of the detail and product design and use, making it work  within the law on the other was well balanced.

Birmingham City University must be congratulated on the work shown, its of the highest quality, but they are only one of many universities offering AT as a cource, and in two weeks I travel to Northumbria to act as an External examiner of their work, I know the standard will be high, I saw their mid term work and was impressed, so Im looking forward to the trip..

Todays photo was one of many I took, the rest are on my Flickr account and I hope on my Google+  blog, take a look, the students deserve some recognition for their hard work. As I left the University, all to early to attend a client meet, I could not help feel satisfied, the students talked well about their work and hopes for the future, but I am afraid the current climate is  not being or will be kind to them, they have to up the game plan to attain work, my be even go sideways into another disaplin, but the training and skills they have acieved will stand them well, it has for me.

CPD is there, it is the reflection of the students training, reflection on your training and the need to continue, researching, keeping your day book, and above all, that constant need to improve.

Don’t forget, I will host a tech hangout every Friday at 3 pm, call in to chat, moan,find out something, anything to do with Architectural Technology. follow me on Google + “+stevescaysbrook”


Visit Vectorworking




Enhanced by Zemanta