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The role of the engineer in the architectural profession

Function of the Engineer Professional

The responsibilities of engineers and architects often overlap. Both professions are integral to the design and construction of structures, such as buildings and bridges. Architects design the space to meet client needs, as well as the aesthetic appearance of the inside and exterior of the building. Engineers’ main responsibility is to ensure the design is safe and meets all appropriate building codes. Engineers concern themselves with making buildings safe and functional by selecting structural materials, determining the structural members of the design, and specify the electrical, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and plumbing systems. One way that engineers and architects communicate their ideas to each another is through blueprints, or technical drawings.

Architectural engineering, also known as building engineering or architecture engineering, is an engineering discipline that deals with the technological aspects and multi-disciplinary approach to planningdesignconstruction and operation of buildings, such as analysis and integrated design of environmental systems (energy conservationHVACplumbinglightingfire protectionacoustics, vertical and horizontal transportation, electrical power systems), structural systems, behavior and properties of building components and materials, and construction management.[1][2]

From reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to the construction of resilient buildings, architectural engineers are at the forefront of addressing several major challenges of the 21st century. They apply the latest scientific knowledge and technologies to the design of buildings. Architectural engineering as a relatively new licensed profession emerged in the 20th century as a result of the rapid technological developments. Architectural engineers are at the forefront of two major historical opportunities that today’s world is immersed in: (1) that of rapidly advancing computer-technology, and (2) the parallel revolution arising from the need to create a sustainable planet.

Distinguished from architecture as an art of design, architectural engineering, is the art and science of engineering and construction as practiced in respect of buildings.

In South Africa the architectural engineer has to be a licenced engineering professional.

The practice of architecture includes planning, designing and overseeing the building’s construction, and architecture, as a profession providing architectural services, is referred to as “architectural engineering”

 

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