Architectural Engineering can be easily understood as Building Engineering. The Architectural Engineers utilize the engineering principles and technology for the designing and planning of buildings. Architectural Engineering has a broad area. It includes aesthetics, spatial design, material management and safety management.
The progress in technology has brought about lightening fast development in every field but the area which has largely benefited is the urban division. Suddenly we have been seeing huge, towering buildings in place of small unimpressive structures of yester years. Today, all around us, we only see sky-scrapers – Shopping Malls, Offices, Residential and Commercial Apartments, Hotels and Multiplexes. There are such awesome structures which sometimes leave us speechless. It looks like there is a competition to construct the highest and the best looking structure of the universe. But we love this competition as it has given us an ultra-modern environment and enhanced our way of living. It is needless to say that this revolution is caused by Architectural Engineering.
Architectural Engineers also known as Architects are involved in each and every phase of building construction like seeing that the building is properly planned and designed, taking care of the functional aspect of a building and taking into account the economic and safety aspect of a building. Basically they must satisfy all the needs of the client concerning the construction. They create ideas, sketch the ideas on the paper, make blueprint of the design and then get it developed into a beautiful building. The Architectural Engineers also solve problem that erupt at any stage of the construction and also manage the project.
Architectural Engineering can be a very interesting but a person must have the right aptitude only then one can succeed in this career. One must be very good in Maths and Physics and have legal knowledge. He should be an extraordinarily talented artist, must have a very good hand in drawing and sketching. Imagination and creativity is the strength of an Architectural Engineer. Architectural Engineers have to deal with clients so he must have good communication skills. They have to work in coordination with many people including the contractors, surveyors, technical staff, engineers, brick layers, masons, carpenters and electricians etc. So they must also have good communication skills and be aware of the environmental factors. They should also be able to trace the minutest of details and have an analyzing ability. Apart from these qualities an aspiring Engineer should work hard and have physical stamina to survive the long hours on the site of the building.
Educational Requirement: The basic qualification for becoming an Architectural Engineer is B.Arch or Diploma in Architecture. The eligibility criterion for B.Arch is 50% marks in Class 12th Board Examination in science stream with Physics, Chemistry and Maths. English is compulsory. If a person wishes for an advanced course, M.E in Architectural Engineering, he must achieve high percentage of marks in Class 12th Board Examination along with the bachelor’s degree. The students can also opt for Diploma in Engineering.
Selection: - The admission to the Architectural Engineering course is very competitive. There are state level and national level examinations AIEEE (All India Engineering/ Pharmacy /Architecture Examination). In addition there is a National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA). This test is taken on the Internet along with a drawing examination. It is conducted by National Institute of Advanced Studies and Architecture in association with Council of Architecture (COA). A person has to pass the entrance test – JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) to attain admission to the IIT. Selection is done on the basis of marks obtained in board examinations i.e. 10+2 and the marks obtained in Entrance Test.
Duration: - The B.Arch is a 5 year course and when a student achieves this degree, he can proceed further for an M.Arch course which is of 2 or 3 semester duration. The Diploma courses in Architectural Engineering may be full time or part time, as person desires to take up. However a part-time diploma course may take 7 years to complete.
Different Branches –
There are varied branches of Architectural Engineering and the Architectural Engineers can attain specialization in any of these fields. This is a good way to become expert and have an edge over others.
1. Acoustics and Illumination – Acoustics and Illumination is the discipline of Architectural Engineering which deals with the sound and lighting system of a building. The Acoustics and Illumination Engineers are focused on the generation, propagation and reception of sound in a building. They are also concerned with the basic physics of light and illumination which includes relation of light with matter and the analysis of color and lighting for the interior of a building.
2. Building Mechanical and Energy - Building Mechanical and Energy is the discipline of Architectural engineering with the efficient and reliable functioning of the mechanical equipment of a building. The engineers related with this field are concerned with the designing and functioning of sanitary systems, air conditioning systems, pipes, valves, boilers and fans, efficient fire protection system, steam systems and gas systems as well as the efficient functioning of elevator and escalator.
3. Construction Engineering and Management - Construction Engineering and Management is the discipline which is concerned with the planning and management of construction of a building. The engineers of this field work on the designing and planning of a building. The take care of the quality control, survey of the site of a building, on site material testing, estimation of the cost, safety engineering cost engineering and making the budget.
4. Electrical and Illumination Engineering - Electrical and Illumination is the discipline of Architectural engineering which deals with the power systems and lighting systems of a building. The Engineers of this field are concerned with the perfect electrical circuits and proper power distribution systems. They are also focused on the setting up perfect lighting systems of a building.
5. Fire Protection and Life Safety Engineering - Fire Protection and Life Safety Engineering is concerned with protection of people against sudden danger of fire in a building. The work of the engineers related with this field concentrate on installing efficient fire suppression systems and fire alarms. They also focus on having excellent fire and smoke barriers in a building and the absolute control and management of smoke. They are also responsible for creating proper evacuating system while designing a building so that the people may be able to leave the place immediately before any mishap. They study human behavior to calm them down in such a dangerous situation.
Career Options for Architectural Engineers : -
Architectural Engineering is a very popular field of Engineering because there is a lot of construction work happening all over the world. They are involved in each and every aspect of building construction right from the time when the it is conceived to the designing, planning, site inspection, construction work, all the amenities needed, safety measures and the time when the building becomes is live and raring to become a symbol of beauty and elegance.
Naturally, there is a great demand of Architectural Engineers in the government as well as private sector. A qualified Architectural Engineer can work in the central and state public works departments, urban development corporation, housing, municipalities, state housing boards and city development authorities. They can also get employed by industries or private architectural firms. They can work as consultants and real estate developing firms. Those who are not interested in the technical aspect can take up teaching jobs in various institutions which have Architectural Engineering as a discipline.
Some of the Architectural Engineers can work privately but for this they must get registered with Council of Architecture. They can also work in a variety of positions including Engineering Assistants, Engineering Technicians and Construction Manager and Supervisors. After acquiring enough experience they can even set up a business of their own. There is also a job of Architectural Engineer Technologist who work in offices and assist the Architectural Engineers in the architectural projects. They have various functions like producing basic construction documents, analyzing the design of systems, planning the cost estimate and making drafts etc. They also work on the computer graphic and planning software and provide their skills to the architectural firms and construction companies.
Salary – ; Architectural Engineer begin on a pay scale of Rs.4000/- to Rs.7000/- per month. With experience their remuneration can rise up to the scale of Rs 10,000 to Rs.20,000/- . This pay scale is decided according to their performance. In the private sector an Architectural Engineer has tremendous benefits. In this sector they can earn from thousands to lakhs. Consultants can charge from 4 to 10 percent of the total cost of the construction of a building. In U.S.A, the annual salary of an Architectural Engineer is $56,000 in the beginning which can increase up to $90,000 with experience and performance. The average annual salary of an Engineering Technician is $40,000 and Construction Manager takes home $70,000 annually.
A person aspiring to become an Architectural Engineer can expect a very interesting career in the offing. And with a little hard work and concentration on can reach the pinnacle of success.
The Best Architectural Engineering Colleges in India are: -
School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi
Sir J.J. College of Architecture, Mumbai
Chandigarh College of Architecture, Chandigarh
National Institute of Technology,Patna
J N T U School Of Planning And Architecture
Dignity College Of Architecture
Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
Indian Institute of Roorkee
The Best Colleges in the
for Architectural Engineering are -
- California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California
- The University of Texas at Austin
- Illinois Institute of Technology
- Drexel University
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- University of Colorado Denver
- University of Miami
- University of Wyoming
- Kankas State University
- Missouri University of Science & Technology
Top Indian Firms for Architectural Engineering -
- VSA Space Design (P) Ltd.
- Edifice Architects Pvt.Ltd.
- Manchanda Associates
- Hafeez Contractor
- Chitra Vishwanath Architects
- Architect Consultants
Top Global Firms for Architectural Engineering
Tony Bartley Architect
Tharin Architect Inc.
David Evans & Associates
Bennett Architect Inc.
Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP
6. RTKL Associates Inc. Baltimore, Md