Architecture vs Engineering

Architecture vs Engineering

Let me make one thing clear, Architecture and engineering are two very different professions.

One without the other is a recipe for disaster.

An architecturally designed home with a lack of engineering input may be doomed in the years to come.

Whilst an engineering masterpiece without any architectural input may lack the fundamental essentials making it is a enjoyable environment to live

Let’s start with Architecture.

Architecture: the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings.

As Architects, we are trained to design around the human experience, to explore all factors interacting with the built form which contribute to the quality of everyday life.

Good architecture is often subliminal and unappreciated. You wont realise how carefully thought out each detail is, until you are overwhelmed and confused in a space that lacks the basic architectural principals.

Architects focus on the environmental and psychological factors surrounding the design, from the sun and wind paths, to the impacts of colour on mood.

Our role is to ensure a house feels like a home, that it is comfortable and practical, whilst at the same time, spaces evoke emotion and form follows function.

We draw upon the surrounding information to form colour palettes, organic shapes and unique stories around the client, aspiring to create a dwelling that is as unique as they are.

Often an Architects role is to co-ordinate all design professionals. This could be one consultants or over a dozen at any given time.

Architects are traditionally very creative individuals, but to be successful in architecture we tend to spend a large portion of our time discussing laws, guidelines and regulations around construction, and manipulating our original ideas to suit.

Architects also manage building contracts during construction for clients, ensuring that neither party is taking advantage of the other. That the design is coming to life as imagined and that the project stays on time and budget.

Engineers are often brilliant people

They are traditionally trained in one to two areas, be it structural, civil, electrical, hydraulic or mechanical engineering as an example. It is very rare that one engineer is both educated and qualified in all fields.

When it comes to residential architecture, structural engineers are the most common. So we will focus on them.

Structural Engineers are trained to design the bones and muscles of the built form. Their precise calculations ensure that the ideas of an architect stand the test of time.

Good structural engineers know the exact tension and breaking point of each structural element, thus knowing exactly how far to push the boundaries without ever tipping the balance that little bit too far.

Structural engineers focus on the construction and build ability of the design, whilst factoring in elements such are live and dead loads.

Live loads are considered to be people or goods in a building, things that are ever changing and moving. Vehicles are also considered a live load.

Dead loads are often permanent. They will always be there and they are often unchanging. It is the overall weight of the entire design before the impact of the environment around it.

But structural engineers aren’t just worried about the elements they specify or the people interacting with the building, they also have to consider Mother Nature and her worst.

Structural engineers are the reason why buildings stand the test of time, why skyscrapers dont fall down during earthquakes, why tornado-proof structures are safe to occupy even at life threatening wind speeds.

Structural Engineers are like mortar for bricks, without them even the best design will eventually crumble.

Structural Engineers are often very detail orientated people, with a exceptional knowledge of mathematics.

A good structural engineer is worth their weight (and fee) in gold.


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