New voice for Middle East urban design


A worldwide professional body which focuses on the technology of architecture is looking to establish itself in the Middle East to provide an overall voice for the design and build industry.

The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) is celebrating its half-century this year with its stated goal of focussing on the build-ability, sustainability and durability of a structure, incorporating building pathology, performance, design management and operation.

The group was instigated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) after a survey entitled “The Architect and his Office” expressed a need to have a society that would represent those who assisted the work of the architects.


International director Tara Page (pictured) said: “Architectural Technology is an organic discipline, which is has to be reactive to changes in the industry and advances in technology. After one of the hardest-hitting global recessions in memory, the economy of the UAE is now in growth which is spurred on by increasing activity in the construction sector, particularly in Dubai.  We are seeing the development of innovative megastructures in the region, which could not be built without today’s technologies, including the BIM process which is a key area of knowledge for our members.

CIAT membership director James Banks said: “Dubai is leading the way with the implementation of technology within architecture. CIAT and Chartered Architectural Technologists are ideally placed to push the boundaries and implement excellence in the field for the benefit of society as a whole.”

The other Emirates and Qatar are also a focus for the organisation’s expansion plans.

Page said: “Although Dubai has emerged as a major economic area and has seen huge growth and development over the past 50 years, the region is still expanding in areas such as Sharjah and Ajman so there is still plenty to do.

“CIAT sees opportunities to promote its members’ skills and the profession of Architectural Technology, which is a growing, creative and innovative discipline and is vital to the design of buildings to achieve optimum performance in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and functionality.

“With Dubai hosting the World Expo 2020, the theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future – Mobility, Sustainability & Opportunity fits perfectly with CIAT’s objectives.”

CIAT is already working alongside architect practices Brewer Smith Brewer Gulf and Atkins (Middle who have both joined its Group Membership Scheme.

The group said its members’ knowledge and ability to implement practical excellence benefit the whole design team and can help to ensure projects are delivered on time and within budget, as well as ensuring prime performance of a building with regard to build-ability, sustainability, functionality and ongoing maintenance.

Page added: “CIAT as a professional institute works for the benefit of society and strives to professionally qualify key members of the design team, and for that reason wants to work with universities to develop degrees, practices to develop their staff and members in the region to promote Architectural Technology as an important design discipline.

“We are a young, fast-growing institute that is adaptive to member and industry needs whilst maintaining integrity and transparency through its rigorous quality standards.”

Looking across the Middle East Qatar is another country on the group’s radar,

Banks said: “The rapid rate of development in advance of the 2022 FIFA World Cup will increase demand for competent professionals practising the technology of architecture. The diverse and ever-evolving discipline of Architectural Technology is ready made to meet the demand in Qatar.

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