Focus On Mark Bouch: Chartered Architectural Technologist at Clague Architects

Focus On Mark Bouch: Chartered Architectural Technologist at Clague Architects

For the third article in our ‘Focus On’ blog series, I spoke to Mark Bouch at Clague Architects.

Tell us a little about yourself…
I am a Chartered Architectural Technologist working for Clague Architects, a multi disciplinary practice with offices in Canterbury, Harpenden and London.

I joined Clague just over three years ago following a long period of sole trading, a move taken to progress my career and allow me to become involved in larger, more technical projects. Earlier this year I successfully completed my progression to become a fully Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.

My day in the office
I am normally at my desk by 7.30am, it's a good time of the day to check through any emails and plan the day's work before the phone starts ringing.

My projects are wide ranging and have included health centres, bespoke housing, a structural glass extension and large social housing projects.

My workload can be varied from one day to the next, I may be drawing details one day and writing specifications another; I may be out at site meetings or sat at the desk cross checking manufacturers' a mixed variety of work, but with the end goal of delivering the project on time to a high standard.

Who do you work closely with?
Within the company I work with a close knit team of four; a partner of the company, an Architect, myself and a younger technician. This range of professions within a single team allows us to take projects from conception to completion between ourselves. Working together also allows us to draw on the combined knowledge and sharing of information at each stage of a project, ensuring we provide the best possible service.

The variety of projects that we undertake brings us together with a wide range of clients - from the individual home owner through to the large national house builders. We deal extensively with contractors and numerous other construction professionals as part of the design process.

What resources do you use regularly?
Gone are the days where I use my drawing board to produce drawings, my world now revolves around my laptop. I use Autocad for all my drawing projects, backed up by word and excel documents to produce general specifications and schedules and NBS for projects requiring full specifications.

As a practice we are committed to moving forward on BIM, so as with everything, the technology moves on and the programmes we use change to improve our service to clients and integration with other consultants.

How do you specify products and keep up to date with the latest news?
The internet has become the font of all knowledge for sourcing information and the library of brochures in the offices has greatly diminished over the last few years.

Having previously been a recipient of the big red Barbour Compendium for many years in the past, Barbour has been part of my professional life for as long as I can remember, and now like all other aspects of my work, the Barbour Product Search icon is on my desktop to allow me to search for any products at the click of a button. The ability to view a number of suppliers and have a one-click access to their website is a great time saver.

Quite often I will have a product in mind for a project or we may be lead by the contractor or client on a design and build project, but when there is an opportunity to be more experimental, it's always nice to be able to look for a product type using the search function and be offered a variety of companies and products to choose from.

I am a great follower of social media and use Twitter and LinkedIn to keep up to date with construction news, comments and discussions.

As the CPD co-ordinator for Clague, it is my responsibility to ensure that we invite companies to present to us that will continue to move the practice forward with technical advances in materials and sustainable design. This personal way of learning has become invaluable on both current and upcoming projects.

And finally, what are your suggestions for the future of specification?
I'm quite sure that as technology progresses, so will the level of products that are available - along with the integrated technologies available to use within the buildings we design.

So the limits will only be set by our imagination to design and the desire to push detailing to the maximum for our clients...

Further information

Clague is an award-winning multidisciplinary design practice consisting of Architects, Interior Designers, Historic Building Consultants and Urban Designers, with over 60 people based in offices in Canterbury, Harpenden and London.

You can follow Mark (@mark_msb) and Clague (@ClagueLLP) on Twitter. You can also connect with Mark on LinkedIn.

Do you specify building products?
If you’re interested in featuring your company in our ‘Focus on’ blog series, or would like more information about Barbour Product Search, please contact Grace Lewis, Interim Editor:

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