Tag Archives: Construction and Maintenance

Big City Data follow up

Flat IronYesterday, I went to CIAT in London to view applications for membership, in the most part, they were just fine, in fact most were excellent, , but having time on the train I managed to get some reading done, and also follow a lead I have been looking at for a couple of days, on the Science of Cities, all part of my Big City Data follow up  thing, and I happened upon this paper by, well a group of writers actually :

M. Batty,a, K. Axhausen, G. Fosca, A. Pozdnoukhov, A. Bazzani, M. Wachowicz, G. Ouzounis, and Y. Portugali

Although I think a man called  Michael Batty CASA could well be the lead,  called  “Smart cities of the future“. Although written in 2011, its still valid and forward looking, given the pace of change and of course, technology in this sector, thats some going, and was the subject reading of almost all my trip to London and back.

You can see the main site at Complexcity.info were Michael Batty CASA, writes extensively on the smart city and were there are plenty of links and papers to follow up  on the subject.

Its a pity that he does not delve into the construction and distribution of cables in both new and refurb, and perhaps the biggest area, the way WoB and IoT might well benefit the health and functioning of buildings in a smart city, may be he does, I have yet to cover all the site.

In all, I recommend this paper as a first read, on Big City Data and the Science of cities of the future, and one I shall come back to in future posts.



Google Travel Log

CDM SheetIt’s a little scary, but I quite like the ability to check where I have been over the last month of so, ok I know my diary will tell me, but the actual proof is the map log Google produces,as the Google Travel Log the slightly scary bit is most people do not know this is happening in the background, but me being the tech I am, its fine with me.

Easter has been a bit of a catchup, I still have been into Uni helping the final year students detail their projects, plus a little trip to Gloucester college to do much the same with the HNC students.

I have also been writing like fury, trying to get presentations sorted and add a little more to my book on Architectural Technology, I am not sure how to launch this, wait till its completed, or do like so many seem to do, and upload it a chapter at a time, the latter looks good to me, I’ll see.

I have been adding more to the CDM presentation, together with adding documents and article I have found on the internet, the best and the one I am using a lot is the CITB site, their list of pdf documents is really good, use the link to the right for “CDM Industry guidance”.

As the academic year comes to a close, I plan to catchup on a few articles, and books I have read recently, I seem to be fixated on the birth of the USA, the war of independence and a little on the civil war, a fascinating point in History, and the links I have via my family name, to the USA.

I have also been reading the odd Architectural book and also been purchasing a few, a Classic is the Chings “Architectural Graphics”, and Magdalena Droste’s very excellent book “Bauhaus”, a book that opens up so many questions and point of construction , it seems the ideas were great, but lacked construction detail.

I also managed to pick up an old copy of “The Architectural Review” Jan 1907, a classic new year review, and full of detail, and adverts for products.

I have to do a presentation on doors and detailing, when I return from the Easter break, the presentation below is the result of a few days research, please use as you see fit.

Google is becoming more important to me, both the way I use gmail, and Google Docs, I use Apple machines, but I had chance to play on a Google Chrome Book recently, and it does all I want plus more, with the exception of CAD, so how come I have spent over £2000 on a new Mac, I am wondering that to !.

Autocad has a easy to use web internet version of their standard product, but it lacks some finer points so simple stuff only, but it shows the way.

Todays photo is of my CDM table I use to plot safety points on my drawings, updated with colour.

Google Drive

Drive_logo (1)As both a teaching medium, and as my primary writing, spreadsheet, and photo store ( next to Flickr ), Google Drive is farley important to me, I use it daily, and link to the various docs, presentations, and spreadsheets, quite a lot.

So I tend to try and keep up with any tutorials, and one of the better places to do this is on Google Plus, but you need to search for it, I use one particular subscription called Simply “Google Drive“, and it has loads of articles, links and good advise.

Next comes Youtube, and again a search for tutorials shows there is quite a bit, although its fairly basic, lots of intro stuff, but some are quite interesting.

Architectural Technologist – Just what do we need to Teach

wpid-Photo-22-Sep-2013-1455.jpgThe title says it all, “Just What do we need to Teach” our students, I sat down last weekend and listed all I could think of, the list is, as you might expect is long.

So I want some feed back, do I have all listed, is there something I have missed off. What are the priorities, Its not impossible to cover all of this in three years but there has to be priorities, what do you consider is required knowledge for a young graduate joining your practice.

I intend to display this list on several web sites and social gathering places, now is the time to influence the tutors who are now looking at course structure, lectures are being written of last years notes are being tweaked or re written. For instance, how important is CAD, or surveying, or construction, what are you looking.

Would you except some of this list to form a CPD chart, let me know.



General Construction
Material types and properties
Materials – Deemed to satisfy
Materials – Agreement
Specifications in General
Spec writing
Freehand drawing
“T” square and paper
CAD in general
Major packages
Presentation of information
Paper V’s pdf
IFC – Project collaboration
Detailing – Purpose
It’s 100 years old and still working
Material Selection
New Build
Photo collection
Day book details
Draw once – Use a lot, detail bank
Surveying in General
Dumpy Level
Leveling Columation
Levelling Rise & Fall
Total Station
Easting & Northing
Tape & Rod
Instructing and receiving surveyor information
Easting & Northings OS maps
Latitude & Longitude
Quantity Surveyor
QS Role in general
B of Q
Electronic  B of Q
Financial Projects accountancy
Project management
The Client
The brief
Confirmation of Appointment
Building Inspector – Approval
Building Inspector – Inspections
The main contractor
Sub contractor
Gant & Network analysis
Prime cost and Provisional sums
Tender Acceptance
Project management
Architects instruction
Material specification change
Practice set up
Financial Aspects
Registration CIAT – RIBA
Professional ~Indemnity
General office insurance
Communication in General – Phone & Email – Web site
Elements in general
Floors Upper
Roof – pitched
Roofs – Flat
Building Codes
Building Regulation
British Standards
International Standards
Insurance compant standards
Thermal Performance
Material Choice
U Value
Building Orientation
Visual Aesthetics
The Architects design
Colour & Texture
Shadow control
The life of the building
External Works
Site security
Building security
Storm – Foul


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 – A History of Architecture – Sir Banister Fletcher

iphone_picThe book “A History of Architecture” by Sir Banister Fletcher, is perhaps a book that needs a status of REQUIRED READING. The version I have is a loaned copy from Gloucester College Library and I have it for a few more weeks, before I have to give it back,  although the last time it was taken out was March 2011. Ebay and Amazon have copies available and it’s not going to be long before I purchase my own copy, but for now its my library version.

This is the history of English Architecture, not the complete history, but dam near it. the version I have is the 18th Edition, printed first in 1975, now in its 20th edition, its not cheap, but so worth getting a copy. there were editions and written by both his and his father, but the major revisions with the 6th edition in 1921, when much of the text was rewritten by Fletcher and his first wife seems to me as the real first edition.

I started reading this book as I am researching the old operative Master Masons and their involvement in the design, construction innovation and general site organisation of construction in and around the 1100’s.

Already, I have had to make so many notes away from my core research, just because I found the book so interesting, there is not so much construction detail, but a lot on the history, why and how the various designs came into being, and evolved.

As a Technologist, my training only skimmed this at college, all those years ago, we tended to concentrate on construction, drawing technique and presenting information to the client and contracting team and very little on Architecture , but like all, we learned Architecture by just being with Architects. So slowly the ways and why of being an Architect have slowly sunk in. Now I can’t stay away from it, I like the history and feel, these lost master mason might hold a lot to the way we travelled along the path of  design.

So although I stray a little, my core is research into people like William of SensMaurice the EngineerLalys – an Architect from Palestine, and James of St George, the influence of the crusades on castle design and how battle and siege techniques helped evolve there design.

Architectural Technologist – Stone Slate Mixed clay Tile Roof

Pitched roof with heavy slate bottom courseThe picture used today is one I took at Lullworth Cove and shows the way local roofs close to the sea front are detailed with slate used at the lower edge and clay on the upper areas.

The CPD is to understand why, first stop is to understand the wind pattern and the vortex created by the wind as it flows over the edge. plus the distance the stone projects beyond the wall face.

A lot of the older roofs in the area are detailed the same, some have just two courses, others like this roof at least half the roof is covered in Stone slates. This Wiki site notice has some interesting notes on the subject.

In some parts of the country, stone eaves were used as a bedding for the thatched eves, helping to stop bird or animal attack, so maybe these roofs were retiles rather than thatched this one might well have been originally fully dressed in stone slates and cheaper tiles used as they needed replacing. This useful pdf has more on the subject.