What scope of work do architects USUALLY handle vs. what engineers are in charge of?


Hello all,

I am still relatively new in the world of architecture; I am still in school but I have been working in this firm for almost a year now on my breaks. It is a very, very small firm (you can count the number of people on one hand, even if you include myself) and therefore we do everything. We do the design work (the obvious drawing sets and plans and elevations and details and etc.) but we also do the MEP for all of our buildings. Is this typical or is it because we are so small? I’m trying to get a sense of what the TYPICAL architect does as I know that will obviously change based on where you go, but basically what is the extent of knowledge that is genuinely shared. My brain thinks too much like an engineer, but my heart wants to be the artist. I’m trying to determine which one I am most likely to be lead down with this profession.

Thank you all so very much for taking time out of your day to help my growth.

Jan 5, 19 9:27 am

It's a matter of scale and complexity. 

On super tiny residential projects, you may not even need an Architect. 

Simple MEP systems? Contractor and vendor will help you figure it out. They may even bring their own in house stamp for things that need engineering stamps. 

At what point do you need an elevator consultant? Single unit that goes up 4 stories? You can figure this out yourself. Bank of 12 elevators that use automation to maximize passenger capacity? You are not really qualified to deliver that one. 

Do you really need a kitchen consultant, or building envelope consultant, or LEED consultant? Once a project is sufficiently complex, you may. 

Jan 5, 19 12:50 pm  · 

This may or may not be helpful, but the way we talk about it at my firm is per AIA ethics which in essence says that you should hire a consultant for anything that is too far out of your knowledge base.  So if its a simple mechanical system that you can figure out and be comfortable standing behind in the long run, that's fine.  But if you think your building is going to need something more specialized or outside of your realm of knowledge, it's helpful to have someone more knowledgable guiding you.  

Being an architect is a lot about organizing and gathering information.  Sometimes that means putting all of the right people (often specialists) in conversation so you can get an answer to a problem, or at least some solutions to choose from. 

Jan 5, 19 4:31 pm  · 

If you wanna be an artist Get Roark's formulas for stress and strain, There is a computer program for it

Jul 22, 20 11:59 pm  · 
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