Architectural engineering and structural engineering are both considered to be under the scope of civil engineering. However, there are major differences between the two, and those differences will be addressed throughout this article.
Architectural engineering is easily identified as the field of engineering concerned with the building’s essential system and design, while structural engineering is responsible for working on the nature of the structure of the building. Both are considered to be part and parcel in the design and construction as both highly contribute to the safety as well as the quality of any building.
Roles of Architectural Engineers and Structural Engineers
An architectural engineer is concerned with creating the building’s main systems such as heating, air-conditioning, lighting, and ventilation. An architectural engineer is also concerned with designing the building’s safety systems such as the fire prevention system and appointing the emergency exits.
On the other hand, a structural engineer reviews the design to ensure that it would withstand the different natural surrounding conditions. Therefore, it is a structural engineer’s responsibility to select the appropriate materials that are to be used in construction.
Training and Education of Architectural and Structural Engineers
One of the main differences between architectural engineering and structural engineering is the information that comprises the training and education of the engineers. Where architectural engineering education is concerned with elements of material science, mechanical engineering and architecture, the training and education of structural engineers includes elements of geology, material science, mechanical engineering, and building site hydrology.
Development and Innovation in Architectural and Structural Engineering
Much like any other science or field, the science of engineering is experiencing daily developments and innovation, where the latest technologies are invading the architectural and structural engineering fields.
In new architectural engineering, the development of updated programs that are now being used in designing and construction are almost rendering the old, conventional ways useless. Consequently, this means that for architectural engineers to be successful, they must always learn about the new technologies and programs that are arising in order to successfully stay up-to-date with new methods and concepts.
Moreover, in structural engineering, there is a great leap taking place related to the materials used in construction. Developing new construction materials and that are eco-friendly and can withstand the global climate and geological changes has become a very important new aspect for engineers and aspiring engineers to understand. An engineer should familiarize themselves with these new materials and how they are used and processed in order to be caught up with the industry itself.
As mentioned above, architectural engineering and structural engineering are complementary specialties that both fall under the category of civil engineering. It is clear and obvious that structural engineers and architectural engineers should work hand-in-hand in order to achieve their goals and execute their shared projects successfully.
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