Chris Wilson is a designer-drafter for Atlantic Prefab, Inc. (API) based in Wilton, New Hampshire. High-Profile recently sat down with Wilson to talk about how he got his start, and the future of technology in prefabrication.
High-Profile: What is your background and how long have you worked for Atlantic Prefab, Inc?
Chris Wilson: I have been with API for two-and-a-half years. Prior to working at API, I spent two years as a drafter for Structures Unlimited, a sister company of Kalwall.
HP: What does Atlantic PreFab do?
CW: API creates prefabricated panels and trusses for commercial buildings.
HP: What do you do at API?
CW: I work directly with Mark Beroney, the general manager, to take plans and models from the architect or engineer and implement our prefabricated wall paneling system directly into their designs. I am in close contact with the clients in regards to ironing out the details to deliver our products in an accurate and timely manner.
HP: When did you first discover you had an interest in the architectural field?
CW: In the fourth grade, I had a teacher tell me that I should be an architect . . . and I decided to go with it! I’m happy that teacher took the time to pay attention and point that out to me, and plant a seed that has stayed with me all along.
HP: Tell me a little about your education.
CW: While attending Manchester High School, I was able to take college prep courses at MST (Manchester School of Technology). That is where I was introduced to Revit, the industry’s most up-to-date software when it comes to drafting. I was also lucky enough to have been mentored by a licensed architect and former city planner for the city of Manchester.
After high school I realized that designing and drafting was the field for me and pursued an associate’s degree in architecture engineering technology from NHTI and a BS in architecture from Keene State College.
HP: What advice would you give to students who are both creative and have an interest in math? What should they be doing to prepare for a career in the design field?
CW: My advice for students who are interested in a career in design is to take related classes before you enter college. It not only helps you digest the more complicated material when you finally reach college, but it also helps you put together a portfolio which most places will need during the submittal process to get accepted into a program. The more art and math classes you can take at a higher level the better.
HP: What technology do you use to do your job?
CW: AutoCAD and Revit. Learning Revit in high school and college really gave me an advantage going into this industry.
HP: What do you think is the most beneficial part of the technology you use for your job?
CW: One of the great things about Revit is that you are able to collaborate and assign portions of the project to different users and everyone involved can work within the same project. We are able to insert our system into already existing models that we receive and that’s exciting. This technology also allows for higher quality coordination and the client is able to import our files/designs into their models for collision detection with other trades.
HP: Where do you see this technology going in the future?
CW: I see drafting moving more away from 2D applications to complete 3D parametric modeling. Luckily, Revit is easier to learn than some more sophisticated software used in the field at the moment. To make the switch over to 3D parametric modeling will help any company lead the charge on a smarter and more efficient way to get things built.