Difference Between Civil Engineering and Architecture: The beautiful structures and monuments that have overtime become tourist attractions were not built in a day. The hardwork and expertise put into the finessing of such structures are phenomenal.
These marvelous edifices were the brainchild of architects and civil engineers who but for their talent and industry, these structures would only be a dream. While these professionals work hand in hand to see to the successful completion of the structures, their roles are quite distinct yet complementary.
The purpose of this article is to explore the disparity between the functions and professions of architects and civil engineers. Keep scrolling to find out the differences between civil engineering and architecture.
Architecture vs Civil Engineering
Architecture is the art or science of designing and constructing habitable structures. Civil engineering is the profession of civil engineers who are special kind of engineers whose occupation is the design and construction of mostly public works.
The duo of architectect and civil engineer are essential professionals who must be on site if one wants to erect a strong and formidable structure that can stand the test if time and weather.
Architects and civil engineers are indispensable professionals whose services are of utmost importance in the construction industry. The construction of contemporary buildings and state of the art complexes as well as public infrastructural projects would be impossible without these professionals.
While architects are saddled with the responsibility of designing, planning, and advising in the construction of various structures ranging from houses and commercial buildings to skyscrapers and monuments, civil engineers, on the other hand supervise the entire process of a building project from design to completion.
They are trained in the design and construction of structures, especially public works such as roads, bridges, water supply projects, dams, and other works of that nature.
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Differences Between Architecture and Civil Engineering
1. Area of Specialization: Civil engineers are usually in charge of a wider range of projects which may include transportation infrastructure, public amenities, and water systems, while architects are mostly known for working with habitable buildings.
2. Point of Action: Architects are visible and contribute mostly at the pre-construction stage of a project, while civil engineers are there from start to finish. Civil engineers supervise all the stages of the construction work directly.
Architects are usually occupied with designing and constructing of interiors and finishing elaborate projects.
3. Hierarchy of Duty: Civil engineers are the overlords at a construction site. They supervise all the other workers including the architects, construction managers, mechanical engineers, and so on.
4. Nature of the Job: Architects spend a good part of their time designing in offices, while civil engineers are everywhere from the office where they are tending to some paper work to direct site supervision.
5. Accreditation and Certification: Both civil engineering and architecture require that a person who wants to practise either of the professions acquires the minimum requirements which include a bachelor’s degree as well as a state licensure.
However, civil engineers often have to bag post graduate degrees to be promoted to a senior position while architects usually go for an Msc and tutelage to increase their chances of better employment.
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6. Career Opportunities and Responsibilities: Civil engineering is a broad discipline thus, it offers professionals in that field a variety of job opportunities. Civil engineers get contracts for the construction of different kinds of buildings, irrigation or water system projects, and dams. The nature of these projects means that professionals in this area get a lot of job opportunities and construction contracts in the government sector even more than in the private-sector.
Architecture provides professionals in that field with job opportunities such as designing the artistic look, functioning, and feel of buildings, houses, offices, and so on. Architects are responsible for designing aesthetic systems, draft drawings with specific plans, inspecting the building support systems, and such things.
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7. Scope and Concerns: Both civil engineering and architecture are important for the proper construction and actualization of many building projects.
Civil engineering’s main concern is with measurements, risk analysis, overseeing construction works on the sites, quantity surveying, procurement and testing of building materials, taking safety measures on the construction site, and so on. And it does not end there. The scope of a civil engineer’s job description is ever- growing with the growth of the population.
On the flip side, Architecture’s major focus and concern is with artistic drawing and designing. It is also involved in the utilization of space as well as making use of the right shapes and colors to achieve the best designs, aesthetics, and an environment that is generally good looking.
So we see that the scope and concerns of both the architects and civil engineers are very wide. They both play crucial roles when it comes to erecting standard and beautiful structures.
8. Skills and Focuses Required: The skills required in civil engineering, mainly includes technical, scientific, analytical, and mathematical skills which are necessary for building safe and durable structures. It entails using quality materials with well mapped out cost estimations.
The focus and concern of civil engineering is mainly bordering on innovation and realization of the design for constructing any infrastructure.
Architecture on the other hand, mainly requires mathematical, designing, and artistic skills for composing the look and feel of the building using quality materials that will ensure that the appearance of the building comes out as beautiful. The concern of this course is majorly with creativity and designing the proper functionalities of any structure.
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9. Branches of the Profession: The branches of Civil Engineering include: Environmental Engineering (which as the name entails focuses on structures involving the environment), Structural Engineering, Water Resources Engineering, and Geotechnical Engineering, amongst others. Thus, the branches are usually focused on the surroundings of infrastructures.
Architecture has the following branches and specializations: landscape architecture, interior architecture, urban planning or designing architecture urban planning or designing architecture, industrial architecture. These specializations and branches are focused mainly on the interiors or artistic design of buildings and structures.
10. Nomenclature: Students who have completed the mandatory 4-year course in civil engineering at an accredited institution of higher learning and are licensed to practice are known as civil engineers.
The nature of their job entails spending part of their time in the office where they do their designing as well as drafting work. Other times, they would be at the construction sites where they oversee the different constructions of buildings.
Students who have completed the 5-year course in architecture and have received their licenses to practise are referred to as architects. These professionals spend most of their time in the offices where you will find them working on the interior designs. However, they go to the project site sometimes for measurements and appraisal of the work progress.
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In this article, we have shown that civil engineering and architecture are distinct courses. While civil engineering is a 4-year course at the University culminating in the award of a Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng), students of architecture have to undergo 5 years of study before they are awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in architecture (Bsc Arch).
Both disciplines have divergent areas of specializations and are of immense value to their fields. They are both very essential in the construction of any project. Therefore, it cannot be said that one is better than the other. Nor can we say that one profession is more important than the other. Rather they play complementary roles. Students looking to get into any of these professions are advised to follow their interests.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.