Tag Archives: Business

10 years and still going

konstrukshon_logo_181108I received several emails via linkedin the last couple of days to say happy anniversary, seems I have been running Konstrukshon for 10 years, it does not seem like it,  there have been ups and downs, clients who don’t pay, site problems and time deadlines, but over all, I like working for myself, 10 years and still going.

Running your own company is something your not taught at college, I learned the hard way, and relied upon my years within practice and a large chemical company to survive, that and my membership to CIAT, without whom I don’t think I could have made it.

So for all you budding entrepreneur’s take heart, its hard work, but the end result is worth it. My best advise, get a god accountant, next make a plan, try to sort out who when and how your going to get work, money and pay your self. Next sort out your office, do not go for an expensive room somewhere, I have effectively worked out of a small bedroom for my last 10 years, all I needed was a good, fast, internet, I keep almost all of my paperwork as electronic, in fact, the biggest room taker in my office is my books.

Time management is the other biggy, here I have to be rigid, and keep to the plan, otherwise I don’t earn money, I tend to work early and finish not to late, which is the other big problem working from home and the reverse of not working, its the oh I’ll just do this and before you know it, its 10 in the evening and your in the bad books with your partner. Manage your time.

Put something away for the rainy day, big fees come in, don’t spend it all, some for you, some for the tax man and some for the unexpected, try to plan for the obvious expenditures, like your computer replacement, say every 5 years, thats how long mine seem to last. Holidays, plan well in advance, and please don’t take your laptop with you, just in case.

Thats it, a quick overview of running your business, it takes a lot more than this, believe me, but if you take one piece of advice its do it, but plan the path, you will not keep to it, but it will provide a life line to allow you to check, and if necessary, pull back inline or amend.    Have fun.

 

 

 

 

Architectural Technologist – The need for old construction techniques

iphone_picI have just purchased another old construction Book, this time  “Barry Construction” its a book dear to my heart, as its the book I took with me through 8 years of college, and reinforced ” The need for old construction techniques “. I have no idea where my original copy went, so when I saw a copy on Ebay, it was a no brainer, I had to buy.

You might ask why, the construction is way out of date, the answer is simple, a lot if not all my current work is altering construction done in the late 60’s early 70’s, the period this book and the like, i.e. McKays covers, I need to remind myself of the way construction was done, so I can design or adapt current building construction to fit.

What I like about this book is both the text used, and the copious small sketch drawings, used through out the book, plus and I can’t remember a book like it from the period, it was spiral bound, it lay on the drawing board flat. Should there be a new construction book that takes this older construction and show the students how to blent old and modern, I think this might be a small project over the next few months.

I know some manufacturers have details related to their products, but this book might take a more general academic view. Take for instance bonding new brickwork to old, different brick sizes, coursing, and in so many cases different mortar. How do you hide the joint, my way is with a RWP, same as the expansion joint.

The CPD is vast. Of course if you know of a good reference book that deals with this subject, let me know so I can review it.

Architectural Technologist – Foggy Weather

Brooklyn Waterfront-January 2014This morning, and for that matter yesterday too, the weather at 6:50 am was,, well decidedly cold, so much my car was frozen over, and I had to take drastic measures with a scrapper to remove the use from my screen.

But thats not why I mention the foggy weather rather the effects its having on our buildings, its now that cold sharp snaps are freezing the wet soaked walls and causing the damage we will see later in the spring.

Whats the CPD well it’s that old favourite of mine, observation, looking at this damage and recording it, so that when you next detail that particular construction you remember it and try to avoid the problem, perhaps by material choice, or the actual detail itself. There is also the research one should do to keep abreast of the weather, foggy or otherwise, why and how it works, from the simple formation of fog, to the more complex global weather patterns, why, well we design and detail for it, and with todays job and client market, we are designingg with not just our home climate, but weather for countries that are the complete opposite to us.

I am a major fan of Leo Laport and his TV station, I love the talks and conversation on the internet, this morning as I drove to college I listened to a fascinating talk on Distruption, not civil, but natural business disruption. I enclose a link below to the well over an hour long talk Leo has with Larry Downes, re his new book, you can see the show via the Twit site, and have access to the show notes, I strongly suggest you do this, or just sit back and watch below. but take a look at the promo video for his book, its really interesting, and you might want to rethink your CAD strategy after watching both videos.

Does this apply to us as Technologist, dam right it does, I have to give a presentation to Coventry University in a few weeks time looking at the Tech world we as Technologist live in, and this is going to be a backbone theme of my talk, “Disruption CAD”, I have just ordered his book, together with another book I am keen to read, Dog Fight, the business war between Google and Apple, same thing !, I think so.

//twit.tv/embed/14604

Architectural Technologist – Gorilla Glass explained

Gorilla. Close Up.

Gorilla. Close Up. (Photo credit: vladdythephotogeek)

I happen to see this video from corning today and thought I would share it. Basically I have been going on about Gorilla glass being used in construction for some time, I think this video from Corning shows why. The flexibility, the shear strength both in impact and flexibility make it a must for new product design, and as a means to get the interaction shown in their videos, plus, the ability to print onto the glass with conventional pronting press is stunning, and all because it can flex to quite tight radiuses.

Let’s not degrade this flexibility and ability to take print, its a major design area, and one we as Technologists should be well placed to innovate in, from solar shades to extension roofs, to conservatories, to wall linings, all are open to some use of this cleaver material, and well worth some CPD time to innovate and pull ideas together.

 

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Architectural Technologist – btech lesson plan – brickwork & Storm water drainage + Site Visit

Illustration of relationship between imperviou...

Illustration of relationship between impervious surfaces and surface runoff (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week, we have been looking at brickwork, because a trip to a local site had also been arranged, it had to be crammed into the afternoon session, but the lecture notes give most of the points I wanted to cover, and by and large I think I got through most of it.

The site visit was excellent, looking at the external rainwater retention system, the way water is gathered into the central play area drainage points and fed into the storm water system, and slow ly leaked into the local river, utilising a water retention grate system to hold back large volumes, releasing it slowly. helping to control local flooding.

We also looked at the way the new building was or is being connected to the older part, looking at brickwork, brick sizing, co-ordination of modern bricks to blocks, and the problem of older brick sizes.

For your info I took a few photos to use as an aid memoir, these are stored up on my flickr account. The rest of the day was taken up with starting the module 2 disatation, setting up the topics and getting an idea on subject matter from the class hand book, together with a little more drawing of a window head detail.

Next week, its more on the pmodule 2 written work, some research and reference notes.

 

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Architectural Technologist – Ecobuild 2012

roof slates

roof slates (Photo credit: siaronj)

What a day, a long and arduas trip to see Ecobuild, getting there was easy, walking the long hals, easy, getting home via the M25 and M40 crap. Nuff said !.

Still the exhibition more than made up for the bad travelling experience going home, an excellent exhibition. As always I made plans as to what and whome I wanted to see, and managed to fill all the boxes. I also spoke on the CU stand re my companies work with Vectorworks and the work we do under the Vantagepoint Cartographics Ltd banner, building large Arborculturist style maps of large gardens and building databases of the trees and other intems, plus the seasrching and showing any tree on the large estate.

Apart from the presentation, I managed to see some old friends on the Dow stand, catch up with one of two products I use a lot, and find some new ones that caught my eye, like always I make plans, but alway leave a little room to wander and see if anything looks new or innovative, and I’m glad to say PV was in abundance. A lot we the same old same panels, dam ugly and just not attractive. but passing one stand I was pleased to see that they have made a slate alternative that looks and fixes like a real slate for pitched roofing. Solar Slate have a simple yet effective product to use the sun without having those ugly panels. Solar Slate can be mixed with traditional slate easily, its the same thickness, but fixing is slightly different, no nailing just a clever clip arrangement. There will still be the mess of wires at the back, out of sight, but it looks like a normal slate roof and thats all that matters, apart from the fact its generating power.

Todays picture is of a traditional slate roof, I did take photos of the stand, and these will be on my flickr account some time today. CPD here is vast, and I could claim a stack load of hours, but I will limit it to just 2, being the innovation and general wandering I did, whilst I found solar Slate.

 

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Architectural Technologist – James Dyson On The Lazy Engineering Behind Fake Energy Efficiency

James Dyson

Image via Wikipedia

Like him or not, and I do, James Dyson is an excellent Engineer, and, I hear you asking what has this to do with Architectural Technology, loads is the correct answer, loads.

His article in Fastcoexist, outlines the way we should be designing, and its that word, design, that links us as Technologists to engineers. James advocates the thought process he uses to design efficient motors, and I see the same thoughts we should be using to design say a door, cheap and nasty just does not work, we need to design for lasting use.

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