Hello friends 👋
Another Level 2 post is below for your enjoyment! Here is the link to the first Construction Tech post if you've missed it: Construction Technology - Level 1
When I wrote the first post I said it is the competency that I am least comfortable with. That still remains true today. I find that construction tech is like an abyss whereby the more you learn the more you feel like you don't know. It can be demoralising but don't worry! Even chartered QS's don't know everything about construction, it's a learning process and you will be learning construction well into your 60s.
The point I am trying to make is, no matter how daunting it seems, it will all fall into place.
You don't need to become an expert at construction to become chartered, you just need to cover the basics. Level 2 requires you to be competent at Level 1, i.e. you should have a broad understanding of construction, from the methodology to the materials, to the processes etc. You need to have a brief understanding of it all.
DISCLAIMER: The following is not an exhaustive set of notes, but it's an attempt to help those who, like me at the beginning, did not know where to start! Please feel free to let me know if I have said anything incorrect or out of date!
So what is Level 2 Construction Tech about?
The RICS note that to demonstrate competence at Level 2, you need to demonstrate your ability to:
Apply your knowledge to the design and construction processes.
Appreciating how design solutions vary for different types of building such as clear span requirements for warehousing or acoustic requirements for accommodation
I mentioned above that you need to have a rudimentary understanding of all the major construction disciplines. However, you will need intermediate knowledge of the types of construction you are working on.
For example, if you work on the construction of bridges, you should know the different types of bridges, how they are constructed. By this I mean you should be able to briefly describe how they are constructed from substructure onwards. But, this does not mean it is expected for you to know how every nut and bolt is fitted or whether you need to do load calculations.
If you need specific examples of what you need to know, speak to your counsellor/supervisor and they should be able to tell you the minimum detail you need to know for your sector. Remember, it will differ from the rail industry to housing, to skyscrapers - bear that in mind.
Based on this you should be able to identify examples from your projects which you can use. You will use this in your summary of experience, so expect the assessment panel to ask you about it!
Understanding alternative construction details in relation to functional elements of the design such as different types of foundation or structural frame solutions.
This is where it gets slightly tricky. You need to be able to logically explain and suggest alternative construction solutions based on the context.
In the bridge example, you need to be able to explain why one might use a steel deck versus a concrete deck. What are the pros and cons? What costs more? What's the installation procedure?
Another example - on the railway, trains are powered by either overhead line electrification (OLE) or conductor (third) rail. If this is your line of work you need to explain why one might use one over the other, the pros and cons etc.
That's all for this post!
If you have any queries please drop me a message.