Category Archives: Building Regs

Architectural Technologist – World Builder by BranitVFX

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About 3 years ago I found a video, about a strange man builds a world using holographic tools for the woman he loves. This award winning short was created by filmmaker Bruce Branit, widely known as the co-creator of ‘405‘.the landing of a jet on a motorway with a guy in a car getting lumped as the nose wheel. World Builder was shot in a single day followed by about 2 years of post production. Branit is the owner of Branit VFX based in Kansas City.

Why bring up this video from three years ago, simple, I was moved by the sentiment of the video, but even more taken by the science and futuristic vision of the CAD building resources. Has computing power moved on , can any of this be done now., it has logged over 2.8 million hits in the  three years, although considder that this film was using current thinking about a year before this, so maybe 4 years ago.

I have brought it back into view, just because I think of it as a mile stone, a way to view progress in the industry, a marker, as when this was produced it was little scifi, I had seen serval demo systems at universities, of holographic systems, they are so cool to use, you soon get the hang of the gloves and specs, heavy and cumbersome as they are.

Some of the film is still scifi, but bits, no a lot of the items I think have moved out of the realm of Scifi into possibility. Take for instance the keyboard and colour pallet used, just by tapping all his fingers together, why this gesture, well it’s a movement we would not generally make, but what about the holographic keyboard, well look about the net and you will see several projected keyboard, perhaps not totally holographic, but close the Celluon Magic cube is one such item, how long will it be before the gestures of a keyboard become the gestures on pulling a wall up in Sketchup, or pulling up a colour pallet, not long I think

There are several prototype mock ups of the new iPhone 5. Many implying the holographic keyboard, certainly the computing power is there, put in the projection, I’m sure apple can do better than the Celluon and from the iPhone to boot.

Next  Take the google eyepiece or glasses, surely this a development that could come easily, we know there is a front facing camera, will it be possible to augment a building using sketchup, whilst looking at the building, I think we are at that point.

 

 

 

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”


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Architectural Technologist – Hotel bedroom layouts

Over the years, I have drawn many hotel schemes and worked on so many upgrades and refurbishment’s. The same problems arrise every time, how to deal with a corner bedroom, I was waiting for my good lady to leave our room and I happen to be staring at the fire escape notice found on the back of every hotel door, and suddenly realised that it was an excellent way to compair room layouts and to see first hand just how the hotel I was in, had dealt with the problem and did it work.

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”


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Architectural Technologist – Maps with Apple or Google

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I, like many of you out there, use OS maps a lot. I buy from a shop in Stourport on Severn, I phone, give them an address, or  post code and I get a file by return on email, I like this service, The Map Shop, who I use, have a nice friendly atitude, I know I could go to one of the online electronic store but to be honest, I use a mac and original they the online services did not support us, so I used the Map Shop, and stuck with them, besides I like the banter and chat.

But thats not what I wanted to draw to your attention, its the battle thats now waging between Google and Apple, on their respective map services. I use maps from Google, I print to pdf any site, and use it as a background to outline a site boundary and features before I go the THe Map Shop and order n OS map. Vectorworks has a nice abitity to rescale and ones a known dim is used to pull the map into line it’s good enough to use for a quick scheme.

But now we have tow major players looking to get my attention, Apple have or will remove the google links and rely upon their own data, Gizmodo have an excellent article outlinging the two different maps although the Apple map  is till under Beta, I quite like the scrisp look of their maps, but I use Google not for just the basic map, but the street view which has helped out many a time, and all the embeded data, will Apple come in at the same level, I can’t think so, although the 3D map looks very promising.

3D also adds another question as to how I can add my building to it, several great videos on youtube outline this and I will do a little research to show how to do it, in another article, ok with a Vectorworks biast, but as general as I can.

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”


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Architectural Technologist – The Green Skills You Need to Become an Energy Contractor

STARNBERG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 15:  Workers wait...
STARNBERG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 15: Workers wait for the crane to get installed solar power modules for producing electricity on the roof of a house on October 15, 2011 in Wessling, Germany. Germany has and is continuing to invest heavily in solar energy, both in the public and private sectors. The German government introduced a feed-in tariff with its Renewable Energy Act in 2000 that guarantees homeowners a minimum rate for selling electricity from renewable energy sources into the nation’s electricity grid. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

I had an email in from Derek Singleton  recently offering an article that I thought you might find interesting, re green skills, not gardening, but adapting current skills to cope with the new PV wind and other production’s of electricity.

he basically say’s that two years ago, Software Advice reported that growth in the green construction market would require electrical contractors to become energy contractors. We based this theory on a widely distributed report which predicted that electrical contractors would be in high demand for renewable energy and energy conservation projects. In 2012, it appears that our theory is playing out.

I tend to think he is right, as the electricity supply moves from a nation 240 volt grid to a local 110 Volt grid and we use smart local systems, those electrician who have adapted might be open for a lot of work.

How does this affect us, well understanding this is part of the Architectural Technologist brief.do we have to design for it, are their installation items we need to know, cabling, positioning of equipment, so much might change.

I have been sent article to review from Derek before and always found them interesting, so read on and follow his links.

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”


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Architectural Technologist – Last Weekend, Half of Germany Was Running on Solar Power

This is one hell of a title for any blog to use, so when I saw this on Treehugger, I could not believe it, but what astounded me, and certainly the press seem not to have picked up on it, is,  in the wake of Fukushima, Germany is, or will be, shutting  all of its nuke plants, and has vowed to replace them with clean sources.

This is an massive statement to make, and one we in the UK could easily make if the right incentive was made.

But back to the solar power, running half of Germany on solar is huge, but last time I went there it was not obvious, I am travelling through next week, so stand by, I might change my mind.

But, and as alway I have a but, if the uk is to go this route, please can we avoid installing flat panels over existing domestic roofs, it’s just hideous, and a blight to the house design, there has to be a better way, At the grand design show in London I saw an excellent slate design that replaced the existing concrete of slate roof covering with a slick solar panel slate, producing as much if not more energy than before and looking not bad.

So Solar, wind and a little geothermal, all working together with a Smart Grid, all add up to a green economy. That and a new attitude to the use of power, ie not wasting it, switching to local 12v and a more sharing collaborative with smart systems.

CPD is huge, I have said for a long time, the Architectural Technologist is well placed to help design and develop the new solar technology, from the actual product to the installation. My moleskin is packed with notes, drawings and other snippets I have made on the subject, can’t get work, try looking into this market, and go for one of the more upmarket products to see if they want your technical expertise.

Sorry no hangout this week, Im on hols, but will be back in two weeks, I will be hanging out most of today, so if you see me, drop in, Lunch time might be a good time !


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Architectural Technologist – Profile Boards

Yesterday, I was a little busy, to busy to pull a blog together, the reasaon was I got into teaching a surveying course looking at setting out a small garage and adding profile boards to the site. Now this is something, most Architectural Technogists do not get involved with, so it was a refreshing day looking at the way profile boards are used on site, and one I thought worthy of adding to my CPD list.

We all know not to knock or move the boards on site, but do you realise how much they are used, from setting out, to levelling. Its a subject worthy of some research. It looks into basic surveying, geolocation, brickwork, tape work, and measuring, levelling, a hole heap of things.

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”


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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”


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Architectural Technologist – CPD Records updated with Tag’s

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I suddenly had one of those thoughts today, where I realised that some of my CPD records related to other topics, the record in mind was the Venice video yesterday an excellent technical overview of the city, it had so many different aspects from brickwork, to damp, to structure, to timber piles, to the far end of the list in water entering the lagoon in a tidal way.

So I sat and thought I need to add a separate column to my CPD activity list to allow me to add tags to the various other subjects covered, much the same way I can in evernote, in fact I have also added this video to Evernote and added a load of different tags. I’m not yet sure how I will make use of the tags, but be sure I will sort out a way. In fact there must be a way to link in my Evernote pages and tags, but perhaps thats another day.

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”


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Architectural Technologist – A technical overview of Venice

English: Taken from the Rialto Bridge, a lone ...
English: Taken from the Rialto Bridge, a lone gondolier takes his gondola up the Grand Canal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This 20 min film on the technical aspects of Venice is really quite good, from the way the lagoon works to the  building techniques, all are looked at from the damaged buildings, to the repairs, to the services.

There is a lot to see in this short video, from the construction to the Architecture, the way the Viennese lived and the way the buildings were used. The technical aspects of maintaining these buildings is well explained, from the water to the penetration, to the methods of stopping the deterioration of the brickwork, to the way the buildings are actually constructed.

I have been to Venice many times from business to several short holidays,  where each time I have been  subjected to the usual cultural tour, I would dearly like to go on one, looking at the content of this excellent video. Even the weather comes into play with the constant flooding, and having been in Venice when it was flooded, its worthy of some thought to the buildings.

CPD is again huge, looking at the video is a clear 1/2 hour, but adding just a little research into brickwork,repair techniques, timber decay,structure, and there is a lot to consider here, to basic services, I would expect a good 1 hour, perhaps more, I will claim the hour I think, and have rated it a quality “10” piece of CPD.

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”


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Architectural Technologist – Google Doc’s improved research notes

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I happen to see an excellent article yesterday re the developments in Google doc re referencing articles and other work, I tried it out on some work I was preparing last night and love the various modes you can use, from draging the title with its links, simple ref or a preview set into a separate block.

For students working on a piece of research, this is a great way to operate, both from the research side to sharing work with others, like tutors.I think I would like control over where it searches, like just my google docs or picasa, or perhaps just google docs, perhaps even Evernote, but I’m being picky, as the curent system was dam good for the small piece I wanted to prepare. I will be using again without question, I have to pull a larger piece together over the weekend for tis blog, so we wil see.

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”


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