Tag Archives: Belfast

Architectural Salvage Yard

Kitchen SinkI have a large house conversion on at present, nothing unusual about this, I have several waiting to be done, but this one involves a lot of restoration, and the client wants to keep the floor boards intact, and keep the same in place on the new areas, so I am looking for a supplier or a Architectural Salvage yards of old timber floor boards, not the nine inch t&g boards, but wide and long butt edge planks.

My first job is to look at the timber type, next its to take some pictures, then I intend to trawl the Architectural Salvage yards to see if I can find any that match.

I have done this before, looking for old building materials, I once did a survey on an old house and showed a picture of the very old scullery with a double Belfast sink, see todays photo, I have several calls from like minded people asking if it might be for sale. In my search I found this site Andy Thornton, and I have no connection with this site, but its a nice well laid out web site that offers complete units, for shops, not my particular interest, but if your looking for an old style shop, it might just be the place to go.

My search on Google brought up several interesting other sites, and of course several I have loaded into Evernote, I have the Evernote app for safari that checks my personal knowledge base on Evernote, very handy.



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 – CIAT AGM all done and dusted

Whew, what a weekend, great to see some old mates again, and take a few beers with friends, the official part went without a hitch, and was much to be expected, knowing who was mostly in charge.

The city of Belfast was a great experience, I just did not realise how many great buildings there are, I spent a lot of time just walking and looking, from the not so obvious Masonic hall right in the middle of the shopping area to some of the very fine stone buildings lining the main streets.

You have to look up though, so many of these buildings have been butchered buy shop owners, wanting to add their corporate image regardless of the buildings needs. Such a shame, I visited the Titanic experience, more on this later, but from the old films its possible to see the glory of these elevations. So the real message and were you might score some CPD time, was above the ground floor, the detail was and is stunning.

The Titanic area is going from strength to strength, the marina is in it's infancy yet you can see the potential, the actual Titanic experience building is fantastic, a new construction that is clearly part of the titanic, we held our Evening diner dance there and saw the excellent reconstruction of the main timber staircase, and is well worth a visit, the exhibition cost £13 to enter and takes a good couple of hours to walk through, but it tells the story of Belfast and the building of ships very well, with a lot of video, quite cleverly the video is both on the walls and on the floor,, interesting.

The actual building used by the Harland & Wolf company are still there, adjacent to the new building, and the drawing office is still in existence, although you can't access it, internally, a pity but the windows allow a view of the internal area and several signs have photos of the old office, and not surprisingly I can recognise the scene, as it resembled the office I started in years ago.

I have taken so many photos, a lot are in my Flickr account and many more will be eventually loaded up, this is going to take some time to tag and name.

So overall, a great AGM, and surprisingly with plenty of CPD opportunity, from the City of Belfast itself.

The photo today, from my Flickr account, is of the two drawing offices, with the two large cranes in the background.

Architectural Technologist – CIAT AGM

Well here I am, waking to a damp, and slightly cold Belfast, we are here to attend the CIAT annual AGM, most of the main formal business will be conducted this morning, so the remaining weekend time is spent seeing the town and attending the presidents ball tonight.

This is the last time we attend an annual event, after this weekend we revert to a bi annual event, Unfortunately this means the 50th celebrations might not be allocated to anyone, Birmingham wanted to play a strong part in this, so we wait to see how it will be handled,

Back to Belfast, what a city, despite all the troubles of past years the city centre is awash with CPD, with excellent buildings to view, the many civic buildings which we went to view last night are just excellent, I push a lot of photos up onto my Flickr page last night.

Today after the AGM, I go to the Stormont, to have a look at the building and I hope the landscaped park that surrounds it.

Plus I think a visit to the Crown pub owned by the National Trust, the atmosphere is fantastic, but so is the decor, with almost all the seating in little private snugs, made of timber. Hence the photo today, taken in the pub just next door to the crown, Robertson's.

One last item, we are to be entertained tonight in the new Titsnic building, so another chance to gather some CPD, and bath in the Titanic story, plus I hope a chance to view the many exhibits.

Architectural Technologist – CIAT Belfast AGM

There has never been any doubt in my mind, as soon as I heard that we were going to Belfast for the 2012 AGM, I thought yes, this is one even I am not going to miss, it was like Hong Kong, a one off experience that had to be attended.

So with my flight ticket purchased, we are off Friday week, to Belfast City airport, already invitations are coming in, for meets, mostly in bars and I will if I can let you know how they go. But I want to try and get online as much as I can so for a while, alcohol consumption will have to be kept to a minimum.

So as soon as I get there if the local WiFi is sufficient I plan to hold a hangout on my google+ account and see who is about, probably the Friday evening, say about 5pm before things get going, and I can't say no to beer anymore.

A highlight I am looking forward to is Prof Sam Allwinkles membership report, last year in Cambridge he outlined the basic problem of the original members growing old, and leaving, with not enough younger student members coming through to full membership. This year Sam is going to expand upon this and I for one am very interested in his conclusions. There has been some comments made on the various linkedin pages, mostly about our title, I for one don't see this as a problem area, changing our name again is not going to help, we are as the title on the tin say's and I don't think changing it again, will bring more members through to full membership.

For me it's about the time after graduation, I am a fan of the logbook, but not in it's present format, and before you ask, I don't have a real concrete answer, I personally think students should attend university for two years, post graduation, using tutors and work, so it has to be part time, to fill out the pops as we call it, attending lessons or my preference, online tutorials to expand on their knowledge base, and then a final year preparing for their interview. You might say it's very similar to the RIBA, and your not wrong.

Is there a confusion in the market place as to what we do, certainly there always a problem with the general public, for those of us running there own business, but I partner with an Architect so it's not a real big issue with me, but I know it is with others. Members working as straight staff members within a practice, should not have an identity problem, although here I see to many, calling the selfs Technologists, I don't have a problem with this, we should always use our full title Chartered Architectural Technologist MCIAT, that's protected and shows just who and what you are.

Today's photo is of a building I am working on, we have done quite a bit of refurb work on the brickwork all round this building, and with the roof drainage, you might remember my blog on the gutter brackets. But the reason for this photo is that we want to restore the main elevation, the windows were bricked up years ago due to vandalism, and the interior modelled using that blank wall, so we can't remove them, but it's been suggested that we use a mock window fascade, ie a thin blank window, I am of two minds on this, so will have to let you know.


Architectural Technologist – CIAT AT magazine

I always look forward to the CIAT, AT magazine, and the September/October issue is a belter, for two specific reasons. If your not a CIAT member you can down load a PDF copy from the CIAT web site.

First and foremost is the excellent article on BIM from Keith Snook Hon MCIAT, a two page article that give one of the best overviews and insites into BIM and its future, I have seen for a while, this is not a quick read, there is just to much information, my copy has pencil marks all over it, highlighting certain points and standards. For me the Uniclass system and its development is key, but so are the many, and I mean many, British standards involved, lots to pull in and worthy of at least an hours CPD, just looking up the standards mentioned, and giving the whole subject some thought time.

Next, is Prof Sam Allwinkles PPBIAT MCIAT article on membership, I was there at Cambridge when Sam gave his presentation, it was execllent, and opened may of our eyes to a problem only a few had any knowledge of. This article is really to clarify the need and outline his work done to date, and say definativley that this is not going to be a quick fix solution. There is no answer, or even a suggested route, but like always, Sam has clearly stated the need. At the end of the article Sam has indicated that he intends to provide an update after all our formal business is done and dusted. I for one count this as a highlight and eagerly await what Sam has to say, I don't expect an answer, just some possible routes.

Belfast looms high with this issue, as it should, this years AGM is going to be a belter, I can't wait to attend, not only for CIAT, but for the theme of Titanic, if your attending, then look me out. I intend to report in depth, with photos loaded to Flickr and if I can, a few articles and interviews.

Architectural Technologist – Belfast CIAT AGM 2012

Coat of Arms of Belfast City Council
Coat of Arms of Belfast City Council (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No CPD today, jsut a reminder that the 2012 CIAT AGM is in Belfast this year and my ticked is booked, I realy am looking forward to the weekend, it’s a time to see old friends and take a few beers with new ones, its a time to cement relationships, and make new ones,

I have just finished a stint teaching students, and as always I tried to get the ones who are in Architects offices to join up, and become student members, it cost nothing, and give so much, from status to a learning path that should last a life time, plus, as many of use aproach retirement, I want to bring on the younger members to take over and push CIAT to new and better things, there is a lot to do, always will be, and it does not get done without the partisipation of the core members.

So if your planning to attend Belfast this year the dates are 16-17-18 November 2012, details can be found on the CIAT web site, although currently its not up yet.

A whole bunch of us are flying to Belfast City from Birmingham, so if your about, you’ll know were to find us.

Did you watch the Google I/O last night, well I did and was highly amused, better than an Apple event, but not so slick.

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 – Late to work

Google 的貼牌冰箱(Google refrigerator)
Google 的貼牌冰箱(Google refrigerator) (Photo credit: Aray Chen)

No blog of any meaning today, I got stuck in a load of traffic trying to get round a bad accident on the M5 near Tewkesbury, so I missed the first lesson and made it to the second morning session.

So what else, well the letters and paperwork for the CIAT belfast conference is now out Jan in Central office has sent me all the details, I shall be there on Friday and more than lightly leave monday morning, I left on Sunday from cambridge and should not realy have driven, I think I was still hung over, late afternoon, so this year, I plan to leave it a little !.

It should be a good do, and judging by the last one I went to in Belfast all those years ago, Monday morning might be just about right.

What ever happens I will meet and greet old friends, sip a few dark ones and sample the whiskey. It was the wine that got me into trouble in Cambridge, I blame Bob.

Perhaps we should hold a Google+ hangout to let every one in, I’ll work on it

Slainte, mines a pint

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 – Architectural Technologists CIAT and membership

A new link has appeared on the CIAT Architectural Technologist Linkedin page asking ”

Do clients really understand the role of an Architectural Technologist?

The answer has to be sometimes no, so I put up a short reply, stating so, and low and behold Dave my very good friend from Belfast, puts up a great reply in the same mode, saying that members should make more of CIAT and get involved, he’s right the more we are active in the region and at City Road, the more the client base in the UK, and for that matter the globe, I’m still very keen to see like-minded associations in other parts of the world making links, the more we get the role of the Chartered Architectural Technologist under the nose of those that matter, you can be sure it will not come from any other quatre, they are to busy looking after their own needs.

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