At this time of year many kids in school are starting to think about their futures when they enter the world of work. We want to encourage more of them to consider a future with our traditional buildings industry. You are as likely to find professionals in the traditional building sector working in advanced laboratories and developing the latest computing technology as you are holding a chisel and hammer.
Popular perception might stereotype traditional building services and architectural as a rather old -fashioned occupation. You might be expecting bearded enthusiasts to be reminiscing as they reach for a dusty old leather-bound book from a library that might not look out of place in a medieval monastery.
In reality, the traditional building industry is at the cutting edge of high technology.
There is the heating and electrical tech, that most of us are already familiar with; sustainable heating, power and IT networking, etc. However, this is fairly run of the mill.
The real exciting stuff is the technology used in the survey, analysis and restoration works.
Point cloud surveys, enable us to record building fabric in incredible detail. This provides an accurate 3 dimensional computer model for future reference. It also enables us to accurately fabricate and insert new work within an existing structure when walls and floors are neither straight nor level.
Microscopic analysis of stone is necessary to ensure that the incorporation of any new or replacement stone within a traditional building, is going to be compatible with the existing stone.
Thermographic imaging can identify hidden defects within the building structure.
Drone technology features prominently in modern heritage surveying, accessing hard to reach corners with a range of imaging scanners.
Technology in the historic environment reveals more and more about our own history. It gives us a deeper understanding of our environment and how it has changed and evolved through time. It gives us a better appreciation of the materials and the techniques that were used then and how we can use them now.
The genius of traditional construction practice was a result of evolutionary process, trial and error, over thousands of years. Our fore fathers learnt through trial and error, and years of experience, what worked and what did not. By comparison, modern materials are relatively untried and untested and every year another problem seems to be encountered.
With the right expertise, our built heritage can be adapted to create healthy, sustainable home and work environments, fit for the future. So where is the cutting edge of technology? where is the future for our industry? Does it lie with our traditional rather than contemporary buildings?
The Engine Shed, run by Historic Environment Scotland provides a wealth of information for everyone with an interest in our historic environment, for the general public to professional skills development. Find out more here...>
Inverness City Heritage Trust organise events locally for schools, showcasing careers in the traditional building sector. Find out more here...>
MAAC studio are accredited conservation architects working with traditional buildings throughout the North of Scotland.