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Student Architect looking to do underground structures

antonjet

Hi, I want to somehow end up wanting to do some underground work, like designing underground bases for major firms.


Do they even hire architects for this or do they just hire civil engineers? 

How would I attain this? What qualifications would I need? I'm afraid I need to somehow do some structural engineering or civil in my studies. 

I DO not want to do another undergrad, would Masters in architectural engineering be good option? Would this be considered an engineering degree? Would I also get licensed as both an engineer and as an architect after completing this?

 
May 26, 19 9:20 am
RickB-Astoria

You'd need to know some level of structural engineering principles and how to do some structural calculations to become competent to practice architecture or building design. If you design buildings, you need some level of this domain of knowledge. Although you might not need to be an expert in structural engineering and would have one as a consultant as you would also have a civil and MEP engineers as consultants. Underground buildings comes with some particulars challenges which you need to account for that may not be the same with regular conventional buildings. 

When it comes to military projects in the U.S. Federal government, licensure as an architect or engineer may not be as applicable as state laws are not applicable to such federal enclaves. However, you will need the education, knowledge, experience, and skill set to do the work competently. Ask yourself.... do you have the education, knowledge, experience, and skill set to design underground buildings competently?


May 26, 19 10:23 am
antonjet

What do you mean 'licensure as an architect or engineer may not be as applicable as state laws are not applicable to such federal enclaves'? How else would I go about doing this?


I do hopefully want to help design clandestine underground bases for the military government but willing to do public work for major firms too. I just have a gut feeling I would need to study at least a minor of structural engineering / civil engineering in my studies for them to hire me as an architect for this. 

antonjet

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RickB-Astoria

I thought you were talking about the U.S. or a huge number of other nations but I was primarily speaking from the U.S. perspective. From a brief skim of the posts below, I see you are talking about Sweden. Sweden doesn't have an architectural licensing law so you will need an architectural education obviously and likely will be expected to get some sort of certification by the Swedish architect association or whatever just to get the kinds of credential. However, my general point about education and understanding of structural engineering principles and even civil engineering will be helpful for the success of such projects as underground facilities. You are talking about interdisciplinary knowledge base. You will want to involve consultants in the applicable engineering disciplines but you need to have some grounding so you can be effective. If you don't know the fundamentals and principles of the various engineering disciplines, how are you going to be of any use in complex projects. You'll need to also factor in military engineering fundamentals. I would recommend you get what education and/or training as needed because plain architectural education is insufficient for these application. You need specialized education / training in these specialized areas of underground structures and beef up on your understanding. You may even have to do some self-study research and learning. There are sources out there to get there. Remember, education doesn't end until you end your career and retire. Until then, you will always be learning and need to do so no matter where you are in the world.

antonjet

No, I don't really want to design underground bases in Sweden, I want to do mainly in the USA or other countries that are joint contracted with the USA.

Yes, that's why I'm looking for advice. What exact courses should I do from here, I have an undergrad in Architecture. 

antonjet

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RickB-Astoria

Ok, then my original post applies. Let me be clear, military bases of the U.S. Federal government is not within the jurisdiction authority of the States whatsoever. This is stem from the 18 U.S. Code § 7. Special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States - https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/7 - This provision of Federal law's power is in part enshrined from provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Military bases are generally EXCLUSIVE Federal jurisdiction. State license is not a requirement per Federal law. However, DOD, branches of the military under the DOD or any other department or agency of the Federal government may have hiring policies where they may want someone who is licensed at least in one state. In this case, a license is like a certification and is helpful at getting hired and being paid at certain GS pay levels or higher. However, like I said, it is not absolutely mandatory by the laws except in a few enclaves like D.C. and territories like Puerto Rico and some others. Bases and a lot of minor federal enclaves are not under state jurisdiction. A license is helpful but you don't have to have a license in the state where a base maybe built. You might not even submit plans to any local jurisdiction especially the bases you are talking about which is something you would basically give every local building department the proverbial "Go F--- off" because the plans are entirely classified documents.... national security / top secret clearance, etc. In short, you need to show you have the knowledge and skills to be deemed competent for the particular position. In the U.S., the federal government doesn't regulate the title or practice of architecture in the U.S. Code or C.F.R. However, individual territories may have its own territorial laws that will apply.

antonjet

I know being a licensed engineer or architect may not be a requirement to be hired by the military bases, but wouldn't having one increase my chances anyway, and even if I don't have a license, I would want one because I may want to work in public projects as well.

My major major goal is to be a part of any designing or constructing of these top secret bases no matter what. I will do anything. I just need to know the most efficient study route from here. Thanks

antonjet

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antonjet

Even if I have to do mainly structural engineering / civil, I would do it.

RickB-Astoria

"I know being a licensed engineer or architect may not be a requirement to be hired by the military bases, but wouldn't having one increase my chances anyway, and even if I don't have a license..." 

In short, yes. 

Moderately longer answer: Absolutely required by federal law....no. May be required or expected per hiring policy as some sort of credential, yes. If you want to do architectural practice that are not military facilicities such as public schools, college buildings, city halls, libraries and other such buildings then yes... a license would be required unless you work for someone who is.

Steeplechase

I’m not really sure what you are actually describing. Like entire underground complexes? Not sure if there are than many being built and they still require an architect. Large projects tend to have separate engineers for a reason and trying to be both architect and engineer won’t really help you.


You could also join a drug cartel. https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/the-tunnel/

May 26, 19 10:28 am
AlinaF

Solid 7/10.

antonjet

I have done my research and there as many as 200 clandestine underground bases in USA alone.

Yes, underground complexes that uses state of the art technology. I need a study path on how to do this. I have done my undergrad in Architecture. What should I do from here?

RickB-Astoria

I agree with Steeplechase. He doesn't have to be the engineer but he should have some knowledge in the applicable area including applicable engineering fundamentals to be effective in coordinating with the engineering disciplines and be able to effectively communicate in the project team.

Steeplechase

There being 200 such facilities doesn’t say anything about how many are being built now.

Architects are still involved in such projects. The layout of the spaces still need to meet life safety and accessibility requirements. Someone still does the coordination between disciplines. Waterproofing details can be really important in underground facilities.

You’ll need to be physically working in the US, licensed in a US state and be a US citizen. Even rather mundane DoD projects will require that only US citizens work on the project and be physically located in the US.

midlander

it's not clear what exactly you mean by 'secret bases' but you seem to have some misconception about the role of architects in designing below ground spaces.


there isn't generally any distinction between architects working on below ground spaces - it's designed according to use just as anything else. I'd say for the most part it's a part of the work that gets given to competent mid-level staff to manage because no one really gets excited about the spaces few people will see.


most large urban projects have some underground space for MEP or parking. Go work in a studio doing mixed use work in east Asia and you could easily have 5-6 levels of basement parking, mep, and retail if that's what you're in to. I know a firm that has a team in Shanghai focused entirely on planning and design of subway-station retail and support spaces. there are other firms specialized in subway stations too, part of that work includes architects.


if otoh you're talking about designing the foundations and substructure, yeah that's obviously a separate discipline (structural engineering) and studying architecture won't help you get into it. but it's also not separate from the ordinary discipline of structural engineering - it's an ordinary part of the work of all structural engineers.

May 26, 19 9:31 pm
antonjet

Yes, I get what you mean that is quite a seperate discipline, but the question is do these major civil engineering contractors (like Bechtel and Arup) that construct these bases hire architects to design these multi-leveled underground bases with floor plans and everything else?

My gut feeling is pointing towards the engineers to even design these bases like structural engineers or civil engineers, I don't think spatial design and aesthetics are really taken into account into these technologically advanced bases or maybe they are? 

I might be wrong. But I do have a gut feeling I need to take some engineering into consideration in my studies. 

antonjet

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RickB-Astoria

midlander, there are some differences but its more in the technical matters. There are specific conditions and requirements from applicable military specifications as well as general issues with building facilities deep underground. It's a specialty but there are fundamentals that goes into it all. It's not a simply weekend course, wham bam, you're ready kind of situation. It's not that simple. It would be great if it was but reality check says it isn't.

antonjet

Yes, I hopefully want to help design clandestine bases for the military / government and be a part of a major firm who contracts this?

I have an undergrad in architecture? What path should I take? 


There is a masters in Sweden that's called Masters in Civil Engineering Architectural Engineering

May 27, 19 1:40 am
midlander

Why don't you contact one of these firms and ask what their requirements are for such work.


As a foreign national your chances of being considered for work on American projects will be low (most likely impossible unless you are an immigrant with reliable work history in the US?) - there are fairly strict security clearance requirements including a background check for on many less sensitive government projects. Maybe there are European projects you could be involved in.


I think mostly these jobs are based on experience and work skills ; there will be no extra course of schooling that helps with this. I've certainly never heard of special courses of study for more common project types and expect it's similar for this.

May 27, 19 5:05 am
antonjet

I'm willing to be a citizen of the United States for sure. 

I have done some research and they do hire architects but am not sure about government military projects specifically with underground bases. 

May 27, 19 9:58 am
Non Sequitur

I'm thinking the selection process for military is rather strict and they don't select the design firms like they would for other buildings... that plus, how many of these things are actually built every year? can't imagine there is much competition so go out and find the firms that do this and apply for a job. I am sure you'll find out that it's more civil and structural engineering work than architecture, with a healthy amount copy-pasted from previous build models.

Steeplechase

A lot of DoD work is done with open RFPs, given to the lowest bidder. There is a good bit of competition as a lot of mid-to-large firms have teams dedicated to just churning out a lot of really mundane stuff like barracks and warehouses, but it is consistent business. Even that really mundane stuff can come with the requirement that all project staff be US citizens working in the US. Anything that even starts to get serious, requires security clearances and actual approval from the DoD to be on the project. This applies even to just picking up redlines for an afternoon.

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