Posted by: yhetz03 | July 6, 2008

CIVIL ENGINEERS vs ARCHITECTS

Nowadays, the term civil engineer and architect are often argued which is which and who should be. This is because there is a considerable overlapping of work descriptions between these two professions whom the laypersons dont clearly understand. Sometimes, these terms are used interchangeably due to their similarities in nature. But if we try to broaden our understanding between these two, the distinction is very much visible by functions, principles, ideas, and scientific applications of those governing knowledge to which it stands for. I would like to differentiate these two in as much as I can, based on my knowledge and as a result of my research for the purpose of giving a clear demarcation line between these two. I hope these information can help.
Let me start by defining the term architecture as a way architects should be. The term architecture can be used to mean a process, a profession or documentation.

As a process, architecture is the activity of designing and constructing buildings and other physical structures, primarily done to provide socially purposeful shelter. A wider definition often includes the design of the total built environment, from the macro level of how a building integrates with its surrounding man made landscape to the micro level of architectural or construction details and, sometimes, furniture. Wider still, architecture is the activity of designing any kind of system.

As a profession, architecture is the role of those of providing architectural services.

As documentation, usually based on drawings, architecture defines the structure and/or behavior of a building or any other kind of system that is to be or has been constructed.

Architects have as their primary object providing for the spatial and shelter needs of people in groups of some kind (families, schools, churches, businesses, etc.) by the creative organization of materials and components in a land- or city-scape, dealing with mass, space, form, volume, texture, structure, light, shadow, materials, program, and pragmatic elements such as cost, construction limitations and technology, to achieve an end which is functional, economical, practical and often with artistic and aesthetic aspects. This distinguishes architecture from engineering design, which has as its primary object the creative manipulation of materials and forms using mathematical and scientific principles.

Separate from the design process, architecture is also experienced through the senses, which therefore gives rise to aural, visual, olfactory, and tactile architecture. As people move through a space, architecture is experienced as a time sequence. Even though our culture considers architecture to be a visual experience, the other senses play a role in how we experience both natural and built environments. Attitudes towards the senses depend on culture. The design process and the sensory experience of a space are distinctly separate views, each with its own language and assumptions.
Architectural works are perceived as cultural and political symbols and works of art. Historical civilizations are often known primarily through their architectural achievements. Such buildings as the pyramids of Egypt and the Roman Colosseum are cultural symbols, and are an important link in public consciousness, even when scholars have discovered much about a past civilization through other means. Cities, regions and cultures continue to identify themselves with their architectural monuments.

Architecture as a profession is the practice of providing architectural services. The practice of architecture includes the planning, designing and oversight of a building’s construction by an architect. Architectural services typically address both feasibility and cost for the builder, as well as function and aesthetics for the user.

Architecture did not start to become professionalized until the late nineteenth century. Before then, architects had ateliers and architectural education varied, from a more formal training as at the École des Beaux-Arts in France, which was founded in the mid seventeenth century, to the more informal system where students worked in an atelier until they could become independent. There were also so-called gentlemen architects, which were architects with private means. This was a tradition particularly strong in England during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Lord Burlington, designer of Chiswick House, (1723-49) is an example. Some architects were also sculptors, such as Bernini, theater designers such as Filippo Juvarra and John Vanbrugh, and painters, such as Michelangelo and Le Corbusier.

In the 1440s, the Florentine architect, Alberti, wrote his De Re Aedificatoria, published in 1485, a year before the first edition of Vitruvius, with which he was already familiar.[10].[11] Alberti gives the earliest definition of the role of the architect. The architect is to be concerned firstly with the construction. This encompasses all the practical matters of site, of materials and their limitations and of human capability. The second concern is “articulation”; the building must work and must please and suit the needs of those who use it. The third concern of the architect is aesthetics, both of proportion and of ornament.

The role of the architect is constantly evolving, and is central to the design and implementation of the environments in which people live. In order to obtain the skills and knowledge required to design, plan, and oversee a diverse range of projects, architects must go through extensive formal education, coupled with a requisite amount of professional practice.

The work of an architect is an interdisciplinary field, drawing upon mathematics, science, art, technology, social sciences, politics and history, and is often governed by the architect’s personal approach or philosophy. Vitruvius, the earliest known architectural theorist, states:

Architecture is a science, arising out of many other sciences, and adorned with much and varied learning: by the help of which a judgement is formed of those works which are the result of other arts.” He adds that an architect should be well versed in other fields of learning such as music and astronomy.[11] Vitruvius’ broad definition of the architect still holds true to some extent today, even though business concerns and the computer have reshaped the activities and definition of the modern architect in significant ways.

On the other hand, Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction and maintenance of the physical and natural built environment, including works such as bridges, roads, canals, dams and buildings. Civil engineering is the oldest engineering discipline after military engineering, and it was defined to distinguish it from military engineering. It is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines including environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, water resources engineering, materials engineering, coastal engineering, surveying, and construction engineering. Civil engineering takes place on all levels: in the public sector from municipal through to federal levels, and in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies

HISTORY OF CIVIL ENGINEERING PROFESSION:
Engineering has been an aspect of life since the beginnings of human existence. Civil engineering might be considered properly commencing between 4000 and 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia when humans started to abandon a nomadic existence, thus causing a need for the construction of shelter. During this time, transportation became increasingly important leading to the development of the wheel and sailing. The construction of Pyramids in Egypt (circa 2700-2500 BC) might be considered the first instances of large structure constructions. Other ancient historic civil engineering constructions include the Parthenon by Iktinos in Ancient Greece (447-438 BC), the Appian Way by Roman engineers (c. 312 BC), and the Great Wall of China by General Meng T’ien under orders from Ch’in Emperor Shih Huang Ti (c. 220 BC). The Romans developed civil structures throughout their empire, including especially aqueducts, insulae, harbours, bridges, dams and roads.

Until modern times there was no clear distinction between civil engineering and architecture, and the term engineer and architect were mainly geographical variations referring to the same person, often used interchangeably. In the 18th century, the term civil engineering began to be used to and exchange, and in the construction of ports, harbours, moles, breakwaters and lighthouses, and in the art of distinguish it from military engineering

Civil engineers typically possess an academic degree with a major in civil engineering. The length of study for such a degree is usually four or five years and the completed degree is usually designated as a Bachelor of Engineering, though some universities designate the degree as a Bachelor of Science. The degree generally includes units covering physics, mathematics, project management, design and specific topics in civil engineering. Initially such topics cover most, if not all, of the sub-disciplines of civil engineering. Students then choose to specialize in one or more sub-disciplines towards the end of the degree. An engineer’s work must also comply with numerous other rules and regulations such as building codes and legislation pertaining to environmental law.
In general, civil engineering is concerned with the overall interface of human created fixed projects with the greater world. General civil engineers work closely with surveyors and specialized civil engineers to fit and serve fixed projects within their given site, community and terrain by designing grading, drainage, pavement, water supply, sewer service, electric and communications supply, and land divisions. General engineers spend much of their time visiting project sites, developing community consensus, and preparing construction plans. General civil engineering is also referred to as site engineering, a branch of civil engineering that primarily focuses on converting a tract of land from one usage to another. Civil engineers typically apply the principles of geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, environmental engineering, transportation engineering and construction engineering to residential, commercial, industrial and public works projects of all sizes and levels of construction.

Civil Engineering is divided into different fields namely:

Coastal Engineering
Coastal engineering is concerned with managing coastal areas.

Construction Engineering
Construction engineering involves planning and execution of the designs from transportation, site development, hydraulic, environmental, structural and geotechnical engineers. As construction firms tend to have higher business risk than other types of civil engineering firms, many construction engineers tend to take on a role that is more business-like in nature: drafting and reviewing contracts, evaluating logistical operations, and closely-monitoring prices of necessary supplies.

Environmental Engineering
Environmental engineering deals with the treatment of chemical, biological, and/or thermal waste, the purification of water and air, and the remediation of contaminated sites, due to prior waste disposal or accidental contamination

Geotechnical Engineering
Geotechnical engineering is an area of civil engineering concerned with the rock and soil that civil engineering systems are supported by. Knowledge from the fields of geology, material science and testing, mechanics, and hydraulics are applied by geotechnical engineers to safely and economically design foundations, retaining walls, and similar structures. Environmental concerns in relation to groundwater and waste disposal have spawned a new area of study called geoenvironmental engineering where biology and chemistry are important.

Water Resources Engineering
Water resources engineering is concerned with the collection and management of water (as a natural resource). As a discipline it therefore combines hydrology, environmental science, meteorology, geology, conservation, and resource management. This area of civil engineering relates to the prediction and management of both the quality and the quantity of water in both underground (aquifers) and above ground (lakes, rivers, and streams) resources. Water resource engineers analyze and model very small to very large areas of the earth to predict the amount and content of water as it flows into, through, or out of a facility. Although the actual design of the facility may be left to other engineers. Hydraulic engineering is concerned with the flow and conveyance of fluids, principally water. This area of civil engineering is intimately related to the design of pipelines, water distribution systems, drainage facilities (including bridges, dams, channels, culverts, levees, storm sewers), and canals. Hydraulic engineers design these facilities using the concepts of fluid pressure, fluid statics, fluid dynamics, and hydraulics, among others.

Materials Engineering
Civil engineering also includes elements of materials engineering, also known as materials science. Construction materials with broad applications in civil engineering include ceramics such as Portland cement concrete (PCC) and hot mix asphalt concrete, metals such as aluminum and steel, and polymers such as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and carbon fibers. Current research in these areas focus around increased strength, durability, workability, and reduced cost.

Structural Engineering
Structural engineering is concerned with the structural design and structural analysis of buildings, bridges, towers, flyovers, tunnels, off shore structures like oil and gas fields in the sea and other structures. This involves identifying the loads which act upon a structure and the forces and stresses which arise within that structure due to those loads, and then designing the structure to successfully support and resist those loads. The loads can be self weight of the structures, other dead load, live loads, moving (wheel) load, wind load, earthquake load, load from temperature change etc. The structural engineer must design structures to be safe for their users and to successfully fulfil the function they are designed for (to be serviceable). Due to the nature of some loading conditions, sub-disciplines within structural engineering have emerged, including wind engineering and earthquake engineering.Design considerations will include strength, stiffness and stability of the structure when subjected to loads which may be static, such as furniture or self-weight, or dynamic, such as wind, seismic, crowd or vehicle loads, or transitory, such as temporary construction loads or impact. Other considerations include cost, constructability, safety, aesthetics and sustainability.

Surveying
Surveying is the process by which a surveyor measures certain dimensions that generally occur on the surface of the Earth. Modern surveying equipment, such as electronic distance measurement (EDM), total stations, GPS surveying and laser scanning, allow for accurate measurement of angular deviation, horizontal, vertical and slope distances. This information is crucial to convert the data into a graphical representation of the Earth’s surface, in the form of a map. This information is then used by civil engineers, contractors and even realtors to design from, build on, and trade, respectively. Elements of a building or structure must be correctly sized and positioned in relation to each other and to site boundaries and adjacent structures. Civil Engineers are trained in the basics of surveying and mapping, as well as geographic information systems.

Transportation Engineering
Transportation engineering is concerned with moving people and goods efficiently, safely, and in a manner conducive to a vibrant community. This involves specifying, designing, constructing, and maintaining transportation infrastructure which includes streets, canals, highways, rail systems, airports, ports, and mass transit. It includes areas such as transportation design, transportation planning, traffic engineering, urban engineering, queueing theory, pavement engineering, Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), and infrastructure management.

Sources:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Engineering

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architecture

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Responses

  1. i can’t really imagine how much effort u spent on doing this research which is really important to any one who have not clear understanding between these professions.
    I appreciate your work
    keep helping the laypersons
    thank you

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  5. Congratulations! Great civil engineering blog


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