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A long time ago, an engineer could be an architect too. But as time passed and the expectations from certain roles started to evolve, the role of architecture became different from that of an engineer. Technically speaking both architect and structural engineer ‘design buildings’; however, their roles are quite different from each other.

What does an Architect do?

An architect designs the building from the aesthetical perspective along with building’s essential system. These include lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing and acoustics along with the safety measures for the building. The safety system can be fire prevention or suppression system, emergency exit and security settings. In all, an architect is responsible for the conceptual part of the building- how the building should look like, feel like and what functions it can serve.

What’s the role of a structural engineer?

A structural engineer is the one that is responsible for the ‘skeleton’ of the building. It’s the responsibility of the structural engineer to review a structure’s design & determine that it will hold up to gravity, wind and other forces. And the material used in the construction of the building will ensure the structure of the building remains intact.’

Both structural engineer and architect work together in making the final product live up to the expectation where the architect makes sure that the building looks as intended and the engineer makes sure that the building is safe from the structural standpoint.

What is more important to the building- architect or structural engineer?

Architecture and structural engineering both are the prominent components of constructing a building. An architect is more focused towards the form and function of a structure. Whereas it is the structural engineer role to make the architect’s vision a reality.

An engineer is taught to solve problems using their chosen function specialties and the architect is taught to think of the whole picture- to have a vision of the complete building. That’s why an architect is often associated with the term Maestro due to their oversight function of constructing a building. Whereas, technical aspect and building safety regulations of the building structures are carried out by the structural engineer. Hence, both architect and structural engineer are equally important to produce functional modern buildings.

Why Architect gets more limelight?

Every sky scrapper in the world was once an idea in someone’s mind. Before it the ultimate standing mass of concrete and structure, it is a concept art on the drawing board of an architect. Creativity is always in the limelight and since an architect is the artist of the profession, they usually get the glory. Structural engineer deals with the technical aspect of the building and usually work out of the limelight. Architects are perceived to be the one who supplied the vision and the engineer’s job is to implement it. For a layman, it’s more important for him to have a building aesthetically pleasing and is not concerned much about which bolt went where in the column or beam of the building. Hence, architects are the ones who usually get the limelight. But let’s not forget that while the architect ensures that the building is pleasing and functional, an engineer is the one who makes sure that the building stands up.

If you require either a structural engineer or an architect get in contact with us! We have both specialist architects and specialist structural engineers that are available to help with your project.