Since June is Engineer Dee’s construction month, I would like to start on the right foot by declaring my position on this architect-engineer ‘rift.’ This issue roots from whoever should the client contact or hire first when it comes to house construction.
(For the record, I am a licensed civil engineer. My professional practice in construction is limited, but having studied engineering for close to five years with working knowledge in the field up until today gives me some right to speak on this matter.)
In agreement with the campaign of the United Architects of the Philippines, I believe that for plans and designs, architects get to have the first say. Engineers follow.
This does not mean to say that engineers do not get involved in the construction process at all. It is general knowledge that we are essential to finish projects related to buildings or structures. Engineers (civil, electrical, and mechanical, among others) have value in all types of construction.
However, one of the main job descriptions of architects is to take into consideration all factors surrounding the construction especially under design-build contracts. They facilitate the overall design, form, and space. For the most part, they are in charge of the functional and aesthetic part of structures, including residential buildings. They are the designers so they are the first people to talk to if you plan to build your own house.
Meanwhile, it is the engineer’s job to make sure that what was planned and/or designed by architects pass all safety measures and according to building laws and structural codes. This is why engineers study mathematics and scientific principles in depth for real-life applications. Because engineers are builders, we carry a huge responsibility to uphold safety.
After laying down the roles of both architects and engineers, it should be clear by now that the both need to collaborate, not pit against each other. A successful project is delivered by a team of professionals, not by one alone.
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