An Interview with Heather Murgatroyd (Chartered Architectural Technologist)

For our second blog, in celebration of World Architecture Day yesterday, we have spoken to Heather Murgatroyd, a Chartered Architectural Technologist who has been part of the GSS team since 2010.

“I became an Architectural Technologist as I’ve always loved design and felt it has always been something I’m good at. I think it can be very gratifying to be able to take a design, mould it into a workable solution through a range of different processes, whilst paying attention to the detail. I’ve always found this type of task very rewarding, which has ultimately led me to a career in architectural technology.

I have been working within the industry for over 15 years, beginning whilst I was studying Architectural Technology at University, when I worked part time for a local housing developer, which gave me an insight into the world of construction. I learnt a lot on the technical side of things, as well as using CAD to create plans and elevations, however it wasn’t something I wanted to do on a day to day basis. Following my graduation from University, I landed a job working for GSSArchitecture, where I have now been working for over 10 years.

GSSArchitecture are a long-standing architectural Practice who work on a variety of different projects. When I joined the Practice in 2010, they had just opened their Yorkshire office. Since then I have been lucky enough to work a variety of projects, which I am extremely grateful for. Working for GSSArchitecture has allowed me to progress in my career, given me new skills and the confidence to succeed, which has all helped towards me obtaining my qualification as a chartered member of CIAT.

At the moment a typical day in my role involves preparing drawings and specifications, submitting planning applications and preparing the associated documentation, liaising with the appropriate authorities, chairing site meetings, administering contracts and visiting site. I am also the lead of the Revit steering group, so I’m heavily involved in the BIM aspect side of the business.

I think I could speak for many people in this industry that the best part of the job is seeing a design you’ve been working on come to life. When you’re first on site and see the beginnings of something you’ve been working hard on for several months, it’s a great feeling. I have been involved in projects from the early concept stages all the way through to completion, and it’s a great feeling when you can hand the project over and see the building in use.

I’m currently working on an interesting conservation project in Durham. The works at Palace Green Library include the re-roofing of the Grade II* listed Bishop Cosin’s Library and internal refurbishment works to the Library, surrounding Grade I listed Exchequer Building and Grade II listed Palace Green Library, which have suffered severe water ingress. These buildings hold important historical value, so it has been fascinating to be involved in the conservation works to preserve them.

To anyone looking to pursue a career in architectural technology, I would say that working as an Architectural Technologist can be very rewarding. Working within a team is a key skill in the construction industry, you will work with a variety of different people throughout your career so communication skills are a must. I’ve learnt that no project is the same therefore you are always challenged and tested to achieve your full potential. I’m sure that anyone working in this field will find the career rewarding and will receive great job satisfaction watching your work come to life.”

Check out our blogs so far this week, and keep an eye on our social media channels for the rest of the week for more information on various other roles at GSSArchitecture.