Structural Engineer vs. Architect

December 14, 2022

What’s the difference?

There sometimes can be confusion over the difference between Architects and Structural Engineers. Since the creation and maintenance of buildings require a variety of expertise, both professions play key roles. On a very basic level Architects are responsible for the look of building and how people interact with it, often through design and in the case of HLZAE, through maintenance and restoration. Structural engineers, on the other hand, make sure that the building can withstand any force it sees within its lifetime.

The architect coordinates all of the consultants involved on a project. Architects also oversee the construction and at HLZAE, the restoration and preservation of existing buildings, ensuring they are code compliant, leak proof, and that their facades are intact and window walls maintained.

Structural Engineers must consider two main forces when evaluating a building:

  • Gravitational forces – Anything within the structure that adds weight to the structure. These loads can be further broken into two categories:
    • Dead load – loads that are permanently on the building like substructure of the building, and its finishes and facades
    • Live loads – loads that are transient in nature, like people moving in and out of the building.
  • Lateral forces – Loads that are perpendicular to gravity, such as earthquakes, wind and out of balance soil loads.

Structural engineers play a crucial role in the design process by ensuring that the structures created by architects can safely support all intended loads and remain stable throughout their service life. Their expertise allows architects to bring their vision to life, creating beautiful and functional structures that are safe for the public to use. Without the unique work of structural engineers, many of the impressive buildings and structures we see around us would not be possible. 

– Ariel Mazor, Project Associate

Both these forces must be considered in the design to ensure structural stability. A Structural Engineer at a restoration firm like HLZAE must understand modern and historical materials in order to develop and repair rehabilitation programs and extend a buildings life. In restoration, the design needs to work within the constraints of the building and be constructable by the contractor.

Luckily, Structural Engineering and Architecture services can be found at HLZAE, as well as so much more! With over 20 years of experience and a wealth of subject experts under one roof, HLZAE provides expertise at any stage of your project, from design to execution. Let us be your go-to experts for all your building’s needs!

Recommended Articles

Sorry, we couldn't find any posts. Please try a different search.