Building Information Modelling/Architectural Technology
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an innovative, and relatively new, approach to building design, construction, and management. Architectural Technology involves working as part of an architectural or construction team, providing specific documents or technological requirements for the project.
Building Information Modelling
First introduced around 2002, BIM has changed the way industry professionals worldwide think about how technology can be applied to building design, construction, and management. Software underpins the BIM process but it’s wider than that, so working in the area will mean dealing with colleagues who are not involved in the design process. People will have different needs for BIM within the company in which you work.
Your career in BIM will depend on strong technical skills. Packages like Revit are industry standard and there are free download versions which you can make yourself familiar with. A typical job description for working in this area could include:
- Responsible for production of Revit Models
- Experience with Point Cloud Data or Laser Scanning experience
- Working with Topographical Surveys in Revit
- Production of 2D CAD (Computer Aided Design) Drawings from Survey Data
- Assistance in the overall development of the BIM protocols and systems
- A suitable qualification in a construction related discipline, primarily, but not restricted to, architectural technology
- An understanding of construction techniques and surveying systems and methods
- A good team player with excellent communications skills.
The architectural technologist usually works as part of the architect’s team, with particular responsibility for the preparation of production information such as working drawings, schedules and specifications. They also work on site surveys, administrative procedures to do with building regulations, fire safety certificates, planning applications, the building contract, etc. Some technologists develop specialisations in particular areas, such as specification writing, technology, materials, regulations, or CAD management, for example.
Most architectural technologists work for private architectural practices or in the architectural departments of Government Departments, Local Authorities or Semi-State Agencies. But there are also job opportunities with building contractors, manufacturers or suppliers of building products and materials, in private architectural technology practice, architectural graphics and model-making. As with architecture, career possibilities are very much dependent on the state of the economy.
What skills are required
You need to have mechanical aptitude, and the ability to think in three dimensions and how projects can be realised via software and communicated in presentattions and by other collaborative means. You also need to be able to work to tight deadlines and to work in a team. Above all, you need to have an interest in buildings, how they are built, how they work and how they are used.
Other tips on getting started on a career as an architectural technologist:
- Get in contact with people though LinkedIn who are past students at your institution and work in the industry.
- Try to join a firm that uses Revit as it will benefit you in terms of your overall career, and also your earning power.
- If you prefer construction detailing rather than architectural concept design, consider joining a construction company rather than an architectural firm. Architectural firms can be demanding with long hours but if you like the work it can be manageable.
Set up an online portfolio. Weebly is a useful option and it’s better to send a potential employer a link to your website rather than a big pdf file.