Category Archives: Concrete

Architectural Technologist – Just wondering the web

Image representing Saeed Amidi as depicted in ...
Image via CrunchBase

A small part of most days, I put aside to just wonder the web, following up on notes I have made, in my moleskin, or on evernote, and in some cases, my day book, my partner Wendy calles it playing on the web, but I call it education, reading articles watching the ever increasing number of excellent videos, and following google+ blogs. for me it’s an essential part of my personal CPD, don’t expect to use the web and all it offers if you don’t do this.

There is no real point to this blog other than I came across this video below on scobles google+ site, which he seems to use more than anything now. It’s about startup companies, and there need for space, the need to belong  and be seen. Saeed Amidi owns the building where Google and Paypal got their starts.

VC and angel companies see them as a catalist for small companies they can invest in. So my question is should we start a similar place for small Architectural practices, worth thinking about, very low rents for desk space, not rooms, printer access, good broadband, central library, sample library. presentation space, private client rooms.

In Birmingham we have something similar called the Custard Factory, how many other cities have similar. My own wish would to have a large open office, be able to talk, mentor, gain help.share resources. At just a tad over an hour long, its an essential video to watch.



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Architectural Technologist – Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group

hudson (Photo credit: niznoz)

Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group has revealed their design of “west 57th”, a new 600-unit residential building in new york city. located between 11th and 12th avenues adjacent to the Hudson river. The video, I find riveting, not because of the project, but because I love to take a look at other peoples designs and see just how I might construct them. This project, I find spell binding, and wonder just what they are looking at in terms of materials, concrete or steel. I fancy steel, it would bend to the design I think and allow the sweeping facade.

I took a look on Google and the only plot that seems viable is this site it has the view of the Hudson, and the sloping facade would suite the site.

The companies web site shows the scope of their work, and big is the only word I can use, or perhaps large scale. But as always there is a but, how much of it is built ?. Look to info on the bottom left to get in and view their impressive portfolio, and some of it is just that, a portfolio of designs to draw in customers, take note all you technologists, this is the CV you want.



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Architectural Technologist – Concrete Gutter detail replacement

concrete gutter
concrete gutter (Photo credit: Scays)

I had a call recently re a blog I put up some time back re concrete gutters, and funnily enough I have a job on site currently with just this problem, but in this instance the offending gutter is at the rear of the property, and I can deal with it as I think I described in that blog.

The photo you see top right is basically what I intend to do, in that I will instruct the contractor to cut the concrete gutter back to line up with the existing brickwork, extend the truss rafters down and form a new eaves detail. I can then insulate the wall where the remains of the concrete gutter, which is stil bridging the old cavity wall.

The blog I mentioned earlier, I think I wrote as I was designing the very job currently on site, we have had time to refine our thoughts on this, but again, until we open up the roof, and see exactly what the construction is, this detail is as good as I can show the contractor, but it looks fare and workable.

As an addendum  I recently (18/02/13) , received a note from a company in Nottingham UK actually doing this exact detail in the way I describe, check them out, Concrete Guttering company

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Architectural Technologist – NEC Home building and renovation show

CPD Records
CPD Records (Photo credit: Scays)

If your attending the NEC Home building and  renovation show, this Saturday, drop by to see me, I’m on the “Ask the expert” stand all day, I shall be blogging, Google+ Facebooking and tweeting all day,

The show is usually very well attended, so looking forward to a busy day, but always pleased to see other Technologists, drop by and I’ll mention you.

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Architectural Technologist – More links and tips are now posted on Google +

Google+ wordmark
Google+ wordmark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love Google +, the way posts can ripple from small to increasingly large number of readers is quite amazing, so much so, I have started to expand my CPD onto Google plus, under my own name, +stevescaysbrook , plus some more general comments on life and things that seem to excite me. The Circles tabs allow specific people to read them, but most of my posts are public anyway.



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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 – Demolition Lesson Plan

lesson plans from 1979
lesson plans from 1979 (Photo credit: Fuschia Foot)

It’s been a while since I did anything about demolition work, so researching the lesson plan for last Wednesday, was very interesting, you can see the lesson plan I put together here,

We looked at the reasons for demolition, and the basic ways. I managed to find some interesting videos, of two of the methods, ie blowing it up, always very dramatic, to grabber, oh and also drop ball, not seen at all really now, but very common in my youth.

Health & Saftey comes high on the list, we spend a good hour or so looking at the various parts from noise, dust, flying debry, to fire, and water. Cutting of mains electricity, gas, water, sewage, and the like, Also a little law, from permits, H&S legislation to neigboure involvement. We also discussed how Architecture in general should design for demolition, sustainability, and reuse of materials in general.

In all a very interesting day. Very glad I now have internet access from the class room computers, the links for all the videos I looked at at are on the lesson plan at the bottom.

This comming Wednesday, we have a site visit, in the morning, plus a start on brickwork and blockwork section 5.5. I think it will involve a little basic brick design, and some drawing work in the afternoon.


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Architectural Technologist – Floating House


English: Literally a "house"boat on ...
Image via Wikipedia

BD, that great weekly ! rag of the UK Architecture industry, has an excellent article on floating homes, not new, in fact, I did several studies of houses that might float, when I was the Tech guy at Dow, but Baca Architects in London have made what looks like a proof of concept design and made it into a planning application and got it approved. The 225 sq M dwelling by the River Thames will rise from a fixed base in times of flood, the basement shellwhich is made of concreteacts as the hull, with timber frame construction to the living area.

House bouats come naturaly to mind here, but with a more land based application. Ideal for flood planes and areas near rivers that often get flooded.

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Architectural Technologist – Ground Anchors, Soil Nailing & Retaining walls


Ground Anchor retaining wall
Ground Anchor retaining wall (Photo credit: Scays)

I happen to be passing a long brick retaining wall the other day, and it reminded me that I have not looked into this subject recently, so this blog is really a reminder to do so, listing items of interest, and hopefully a couple of examples. The example I have used is a photo I took of a wall in the museum in Bournemouth, just below the Menzes Carlton Hotel. Notice how the load has been spread over the brick surface, not good looking, but then it was probably done by an engineer, practical, to the point, no fuss.

This link to Anchor Systems Europe has a nice list of the different types, and worth a read, with some excellent photos to expand each term. This paper on WTEC is also excellent, and a little more technical in it’s explanation, and of course Wiki has a nice paper on Soil Nailing, I like Wiki, because the tech ref list at the bottom of the article is excellent. The link to the Wiki article on retaining walls was more than useful.




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Architectural Technology – Hotel detailing and high traffic use – or a weekend in Bournemeouth

Image representing Google Reader as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase

Today I’m in Bournemouth, so this blog was written a couple of days ago, and stored as a date posted blog. Sitting here in my study, I rely of several sources for aricles, from Google Reader, to saved google searches, to other blogs, which are saved to google reader. Every time I find a good story line, I start an Evernote file and plunge notes and cuttings into it. I also read  several electronic paper, from the Times, the Financial Times, and two specific search type papers, Zite and Flipboard, both have my custom searches to find construction, or Architectural Technology related articles.

My hotel for the weekend, is an older building that has been extended over the years, I did a lot of this style of work, so will be looking for the tell tail signs of the alterations, but its an ideal chance to see how a building copes with a constant turnover of people, high trafic areas, are always a problem, good looks are so important to a hotel especialy in the reception area, so cheap low quality products just will not last, detailing has to be of the highest quality, and robust.

But other areas are also just as important, corridors, lifts, and individual bedrooms. Maintenance and general cleaning is something we as Technologists ofeten over look in our detailing, how will it be cleaned, bathrooms are a prime example, and baths the interface between tiles and bath , basins and their interface with tiles are areas of particular importance. the hotel owner want it to be easily cleaned and last, yet I have used hotel all my business life, and as such revisit hotels on quite a regular basis, so can see just how quick details deteriorate. some times because the detail was just not up to the job, sometimes because the cleaner has not bothered, or as in some cases, the cleaning agent, the chemical component has attacked the detail, and in the worst cases, the user has been the problem.

So staying in a hotel brings a unique oportunity to review detailing that has undergone a hard life, in a relatively short time, by a multitude of users from gueats, to maitenance guys, to cleaners, the natural ageing.





rerader, t

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