Architects and engineers: a lifetime conflict?
In each construction building, architect and engineers should communicate and collaborate to achieve the client’s vision, apply the design standards and produce a high quality and performance building. Since the old ages in the industry, people used to think that the architect role applies only in the design stage while the engineer role starts in the construction phase, and this what created a big obstruction. If the engineer was not involved in the project since the early stage, who would tell how this project will be constructed and what system will be the most suitable for it. At the same time if the architect is not involved in the construction phase how to ensure that the construction is going exactly like the existing design concept and idea. In fact, both complete each other the architect represents the right brain with creativity and ingenuity while the engineer represents the left brain being practical and system builder. The following infographic by newscolararch shows the difference between them relating to each project phase. The infographic shows that both the architect and engineer are needed in each phase. For example, if the engineer will put down the budget architect should design within this cost limit; otherwise, his design will only be an idea that cannot be executed.
Collaborate to create
When an architect and an engineer collaborate effectively on a project, they achieve the best levels of creativity. When their both discipline’s compile together, the engineer contribute with his practical and structural knowledge while the architect preserves the project sense of art and concept. However, to achieve this collaboration, effective communicating practices should be held on different layers as:
Direct personal contact: Face to face regular meetings usually minimise the work misinterpretation. Through emails and texts, sometimes both parties got a gap in understating that can only be fixed with the team gatherings and meetings.
Opposite discipline respect: Both parties should respect that they have a different kind of experience and knowledge and know that throughout the project they will integrate this knowledge to maximise the efficiency of the project.
Multi options solution: The problem arises when one of the two parties have an issue relating to the other, for example, the existence of a structural column that is not existing in the design. The party who is facing a question should not only introduce one answer as of “I should but this column here no matter what the design will be” instead he should give multi options design alternatives to stand on common land.
Answer questions with abstraction: Simplifying cut down the long route of explanation. Always depend on abstracted levels of queries and technical idioms to receive a clear answer.
On the route to collaboration, the second step that follows “effective communication” is the successful information sharing using online technological tools. Know more about this step, next.
Why buildings are better when architects and engineers collaborate
Usually, one background is not enough to produce an epic project idea. Multi dimension knowledge bases should intersect to get out with a comprehensive and creative concept. Currently, design tools and methods as BIM allows both architect and engineer to keep working and updating together as information sharing is getting much more straightforward. According to a study by bimforum “Architect and engineering team have to decide on several key geometric parameters, which can seamlessly be exchanged via a web-hosted database. The architect sends the information that is necessary to describe their building geometry accurately to a shared database and informs the engineer’s machine when the upload is complete. The engineer’s modelling software then constructs an analytical model, applies materials, loads and constraints based on building type and building code and triggers the structural analysis.” Shared database process simplifying will enable intuition, sensibility and will give more time to study the design itself creating multi options in each phase.
If both parties can have access to the most recent updated version of the design work, this will minimise time wasted on trying to fix an already existing block or defect. New ConTech apps as PlanRadar made this step easier. Project new plans, update report from site, defect tickets and every small aspect of the project is stored in an online cloud where the responsible parties can access anytime. Solving this dilemma will improve the work performance, cost-effectiveness, innovation, quality management, client satisfaction, professional development and minimise the hustle of work pressure.
Finally, the key to profitable collaboration is in understanding that it is not about technology but psychology. No one can codify a system to enhance integrated collaboration among teamwork as much as their own enthusiasm and eagerness to work. It is more of corporate culture values more to be an implemented system.