Architects can build buildings, but then why they need a Civil Engineer besides a Contractor?

"None of us is better than all of us." Well goes an old saying. After all, the entire strength and the complete might of a single person can never surpass the combined strength and the might of all. Its universal and indisputable. None of us can ever outsmart all of us, and that is the only reason human beings live in groups and are known as social animals. They don't live in isolation. It is a team that wins a match and not an individual. Even the solo games are win by a team comprising of players, coaches, motivators, and many others, though we see only the player in the arena. The same goes true when it comes to constructing, marvellous buildings, breath-taking structures, incredible skyscrapers, and beautiful masterpieces. They all need an architect, civil engineer, contractors, suppliers, and many others, but here we will confine us to architect, civil engineer and contractors only, though the list is non-exhaustive and will spread to a vast spectrum of different people and multi-skilled professions.

What do Architects do?

Architects are trained professionals in the field of art and science of building designing, who dream concepts and shape them into images and plans. They are licensed professionals and are authorized to transform unique concepts into stable structures while abiding by building codes and practices as per the law of the land, where the structures are built. These structures could be buildings or complexes from houses to stadiums and from indoor to outdoor all.

How do they start their work?

The architects are good dreamers and visualizers to visualize beautiful images, buildings and structures on vast landscape keeping in mind the utility and the surrounding environment to cater to those requirements without becoming a nuisance or creating a nuisance to the nearby inhabitants and without undermining the government rules, regulations, and other practices one ought to follow. They bring their imaginations on paper and transform their wild imaginations and concepts into a practical shape without considering the practical feasibility of it. They freely draw anything that comes in their vision without undergoing and investing in the process of implementing it. If they start visualizing with execution in their mind, then the inherent creativity will get shadowed somewhere. So far, so good. Once the visions and dreams are transformed on the paper, then the civil engineers and other structural specialists take centre stage to further take it to the next level.

What do Civil Engineers do?

The Civil Engineers infuse the technology, logic, rationality, and the science in the structures, the architectures have drawn or modelled. They come up with solutions to the complexities that arise in bringing those structures to the ground and construct them. They practically see to that how to reinforce the art created by the architects, without disturbing it in its elegance, beauty, and charm. They have to build the engineering drawing and designs as per the architect's drawing and have to translate these drawings on the construction site finally. They have to ensure the durability and the sustainability of the building over a period in the light of prevailing environmental and climatic conditions not to let get the structure weakened, damaged, crumbled, deteriorated, or decayed before expected life-expectancy of the structure. Every excellent task is a group work as hundreds of specializations are involved in delivering the essential masterpiece, and no one man can have those all to execute alone. One can have all, but then he will become the - "Jack of all trades and the master of none," as well said by – Robert Greene in his 1592 book, 'Greene's Groats-Worth of Wit.' And, a jack of all trades cannot accomplish anything in totality, set aside with a master's perfection. After the civil engineers have finalized the blueprints, they are approved back by the architects to confirm that they are in line with their vision and imaginations that they want to build. Once the blueprints are approved comes the contractors in play, and now the centre stage is occupied by the three different professionals, the architects, the civil engineers, and the contractors.

What do Contractors do?

The contractors finally construct the buildings and structures as per the blueprints made by the civil engineers and approved by the engineers. They have nothing to do with the rationality of the construction. Nor they have to worry about the outcome of the structure of how it will evolve out. They are meant to work in line with the drawings in toto and implement what they are supposed to do. The contractors have a large team of workers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, interior designers besides a hundred other people to erect the structure with complete finishing and perfection.

What else are architects responsible for?

Nowadays, architects have to consider a lot greater number of things while visualizing and shaping their dreams like Vaastu Science, green building features, value engineering, new innovative technologies available around us and many other aspects which are not-existential but can be brought to light considering their relevance and importance to the humankind as a whole. They have to visualize things in line with the several principles, codes, and practices, to remain resource-efficient, environmentally responsible, long-duration sustainable, operationally economical and socially ethical throughout the complete life-cycle of the building or the structure from planning to design, from construction to operation, and from maintenance to demolition. And, to achieve all, they have to remain abreast of updated technology, innovative engineering practices and evolutions happening across the world besides of today's world expectations, desires, and fantasies to cater to projects in line with their utility, convenience, comfort, efficiencies, efficacies, ease of renovation and refurbishment. They have to consider the government policies and the feasibility of providing water, electricity, gas, roads, sewer, connectivity, and the ambiance of the surroundings to gel well with the nearby structures and buildings rather than creating concrete structures that later on become weird, funny or an odd man out of the rest of the structures, which become prominent for all wrong reasons.


In light of the above, we can say that architects build buildings while working in synchronism with hundreds of other teams, including civil engineers and contractors, who play a significant role besides architects' inception of concept, dream, imaginations, and visualizations. Wars are won by the Generals but fought by the soldiers. The way the final onus lies on Generals, similarly the final responsibility of completing the project lies on the architects and therefore they claim the overall credit.


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