The Architectural Technologist, also known as a Building Technologist, provides building design services and solutions and is trained in architectural technology, building design and construction. Architectural Technologists apply the science of architecture and typically concentrate on the technology of building, design and construction. They can or may negotiate the construction project, and manage the process from conception through to completion.
Most architectural technologists are employed in architectural and engineering firms, or with municipal authorities; but many provide independent professional services directly to clients, although restricted by law in some countries. Others work in product development or sales with manufacturers.
In Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Hong-Kong (Chartered Architectural Technologist), Canada (Architectural Technologist or Applied Science Technologist), and other nations, they have many similar abilities as Architects and can work alongside them. There, they are sometimes directors or shareholders of an architectural firm (where permitted by the jurisdiction and legal structure). To become an architectural technologist, a three year diploma (or equivalent) in Architectural Technology is required, followed by structured professional and occupational experience.
Most provinces in Canada have an association representing architectural technologists and technicians. On behalf of the public, the provincial governments have granted the provincial architect's associations with the privilege to regulate the profession.
In the province of Ontario, there have been protracted efforts by the Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario (AATO) to persuade the provincial government and the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) that the public would be better served by having members of the AATO licenced to design small buildings. In 2003, the architects (OAA) curtailed the efforts of the technologists (AATO) by establishing a parallel association of architectural technologists licensed by the OAA to design small buildings, called the Association of Applied Architectural Sciences (AAAS), which awards the "Licensed Technologist OAA" designation. Rather than provide members of the AATO access to licensing, who are educated and trained in architectural studies, the OAA partnered with the provincial engineering technologist's association (Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists - OACETT) and established the requirement that only OACETT engineering technologist members are eligible to be licensed to provide architectural services.
Republic of Ireland
In the Republic of Ireland, the Royal Institute of the Architects from Ireland RIAI declares being the leading professional body for Architectural Technologists in Ireland. The RIAI recognises the professional Architectural Technologist as a technical designer, skilled in the application and integration of construction technologies in the building design process. RIAI Architectural Technologists are recognised as professional partners to Architects in the delivery of exemplary buildings in the Republic of Ireland and worldwide. However, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland has always prevented its technician members to provide a full architectural service. Many qualified architectural technologists believe that a conflict of interest exists, that the RIAI represents architects and cannot adequately defend the interests of architectural technologists: "The RIAI acts as the Registration Body and Competent Authority for "Architects" in Ireland and only provides support services for Irish AT'".
Another representative body is the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT). The technical membership of the RIAI (RIAI tech) is equivalent to the technician membership of CIAT (TCIAT). Chartered members of CIAT (MCIAT) are qualified and recognised to lead a project from inception through to completion. The RIAI and the CIAT were represented within the Building Regulations Advisory Body (BRAB) which advised the Minister for the Environment on matters relating to the Building Regulations. BRAB is no longer active. CIAT is now challenging the Building Control Regulations 2014, which are depriving its members from providing full architectural services in the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Government appears to have no valid reason to prevent CIAT members from practising in the Republic of Ireland. The restrictions imposed on members of the CIAT are viewed as anti-competitive and in breach of European Law for free movement of services. The CIAT is awaiting for an opinion from the European Commission on this issue.
In South Africa the profession is by the South African Institute of Architectural Technologists SAIAT. Senior architectural technologists (10 years or more in practice) enjoy the same statute than architects. The South African Institute of Architects SAIA explains that: "Architecture can be practiced in one of four categories of registered person, namely professional architect, professional senior architectural technologist, professional technologist or professional draughtsperson. The possibility of progression from one category to the next has been provided for in the Regulations."
In the United Kingdom, chartered architectural technologists enjoy the same status as architects. They deliver similar services with a different orientation. The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists CIAT regulates the profession. CIAT defines chartered architectural technologists as follow: "Chartered Architectural Technologists provide architectural design services and solutions. They are specialists in the science of architecture, building design and construction and form the link between concept and construction. They negotiate the construction project and manage the process from conception through to completion. Chartered Architectural Technologists, MCIAT, may practise on their own account or with fellow Chartered Architectural Technologists, architects, engineers, surveyors and other professionals within the construction industry. As professionals adhering to a Code of Conduct, they are required to obtain and maintain mandatory Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) if providing services directly to clients." They specify products with reference to the RIBA Product Selector, Architects Standard Catalogue, Barbour Index and trade literature.
- Architectural technology
- Architectural engineering
- Building engineering
- Construction manager
- Building services engineering
- Architectural Technologists and Technicians, Working in Canada, Government information website
- Refer to the OAA website
- Refer to the OAA website
- RIAI Standard of Knowledge, Skill and Competence for Practice as an Architectural Technologist (2010), as published on RIAI website
- "An Irish Register for Architectural Technologists" Linkedin conversation
- Refer to BRAB (Building Regulations Advisory Body) as per the Irish Minister for the Environment website
- See Building Control Regulations 2014 as published by the Irish Government
- Parliamentary question from MEP Mairead McGuinness as published on the European Commission website: "On 1 March 2014 national legislation, the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2013, will come into force in Ireland. The new legislation precludes chartered architectural technologists(1) from providing their current professional services within the building environment. In anticipation of the implementation of the regulations, chartered architectural technologists are reporting a number of difficulties, such as restrictions reducing the number of members of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) who can bid for projects due to commence after March 2014. They say that this results in a loss of potential clients as well as economic loss. Does the Commission interpret the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2013 as a breach of EC law, specifically legislation relating to competition and the free market? Does the Commission feel that the new legislation prevents chartered architectural technologists from earning a living in their field of training and expertise(2)?"
- Answer to parliamentary question given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission as published on the European Commission website: "The Commission is aware of the introduction of a register for architects and building surveyors by the Building Control Act of 2007. On 1 March 2014 this regulation will be amended to circumscribe the profile of professionals who can design, inspect and certify for compliance all buildings greater than 40 square meters. Such regulatory protection, for a profession with not only significant safety but also environmental and urban impacts, is common across many Members States and as such Ireland is not a minority in seeking to reassure that standards are made, met and maintained. The Commission has received a number of complaints raising concerns that the actions of the Irish government and the impact of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulation 2013 pose a breach of EC law in areas on the recognition of professional qualifications, freedom of movement and, with specific regard to its impact on Architectural Technologists. Commission services are currently examining the issues raised to determine any possible contraventions of EC law and if any actions may be necessary in such cases."
- Website of the South African Institute of Architectural Technologists SAIAT
- refer to the website of the South African Institute of Architects SAIA
- Extract from CIAT website: "What is the difference between a Chartered Architectural Technologist and an Architect?"
- David T Yeomans; Stephen Emmitt (23 April 2012). Specifying Buildings. CRC Press. p. 207. ISBN 978-1-136-36538-6. Retrieved 10 December 2012.