Relationship between Structural and Architectural Design





  • Structural Engineering and Architecture are two different sciences that are inter-related. Structural Designing deals with the study of design of steel in a structure i.e., the internal skeleton of the structure that helps to keep the structure durable, sound and stiff.
  • Whereas Architectural Design deals with design of spaces meant for a particular function. It helps to create ambient environment that is pleasing to eye. The Architect designs the building keeping all the functional aspects in mind that are to be incorporated into the design and then they are executed by a Civil or Structural Engineer.
Inter-relationship of Architectural Design and Structural Design

Inter-relationship of Architectural Design and Structural Design

  • The structures and structural members are designed to meet the functional and structural aspects. Both the aspects are inter-related. The functional aspect takes into consideration the purpose for which the building or the structure is designed. The functional aspect includes the determination of the amount and arrangement of space necessary for the structure.

  • A good design is one which is able to perform satisfactorily the services for which it is designed. The functional aspect includes the determination of location and arrangement of operating utilities, special equipment, machinery or other features, incident to the proper functioning of the structures.

Co-relation of Architectural Design and Structural Design

  • At first, the preliminary layout of the structure is made which is a part of Architectural Design.
  • Then the layout of the structure is then handed over to the structural engineer. This layout is useful in determining the type of the structure to be used, the general size, shape and arrangement of the various parts of the structure.
  • The approximate dimensions of the structures are established. These dimensions are used for the structural design.
  • In the structural aspect, it is ensured that the building or the structure is structurally safe, strong, durable and economical. Many structures are built to shelter humans and to protect them from the forces of nature.
  • Occupants of the buildings should feel safe with regard to their lives and properties. The safety of many individuals at one time depends on the structural safety of the structure. The structures are designed between two limits namely the structural safety and economy.
  • The structures and structural members are designed to satisfy three basic principles of design. The structures should be strong, stable and stiff.
  • All sections of the structures should have strength at least equal to the structural effects of design loads and forces that occur during the construction and use. All the loads should be taken into consideration which a building or a structure would be required to bear.
  • A structure may be required to withstand any loads out of the various loads or combination of various loads. These loads include overhead and other cranes, equipment, etc., in industrial buildings, occupancy etc. in buildings; vehicles on bridges; water in hydraulic structure; loose materials for bins and bunkers and so on.
  • For the purpose of determining the maximum stresses in any structure or member of a structure, the various loads have to be taken into account such as:
  • Dead load of the structure
  • Live Load of the structure
  • Wind Load
  • Snow Load
  • Seismic Load
  • Temperature effects

Once the required calculations for the structure are done, certain checks are performed to make sure that the structure remains durable, sound and stiff.

Architectural Design and Structural Design are meaningless without each other. It is a combination of creativity and technicality. Technology is advancing and so are the techniques of Architectural and Structural Design. More variety of construction is possible without much hassle.



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  1. #1 by Sekgota Beaucares on March 8, 2012 - 10:43 pm

    I am tryning daily to ridge +/-10 compains a day sending my cariculums for experience its been a year now,were do they think we ll gt it from if they dont hire us?

    • #2 by BenzuJK on March 8, 2012 - 11:01 pm

      Hello Sekgota,
      I totally understand your problem. You could get a good job if your final year project has been done properly and professionally. That is why we have thesis in our final year where we show our talent in the field. If you fared well in your research project and are still unable to find a job then maybe you should recheck your resume. Maybe there is a need to make it sound more impressive and interesting.
      People from companies who hire graduates do no know you personally. The only way to create an impression on their minds of what kind of personality you are and what skills you possess can only be done through writing. They need to know you before they hire you. That’s obvious, isn’t it?

  2. #3 by padmanaban ganesan on March 3, 2012 - 10:12 pm

    useful article

  3. #4 by Mildred Delgado on September 20, 2011 - 5:49 pm

    Very good point. These are the key points in design and structure in the way I see them. Thank you for this article.

    Mildred

  4. #5 by Albert Bell on August 13, 2011 - 6:26 am

    I can’t tell you how many times i run into an engineer who has no talent for aesthestics! Many just plug the numbers and give you a beam size or steel connection design without any regard for the reality of how it is going to look in place or ties into the architectural design.

    When you find a good engineer that will work with you and understands the overall design concept stick with them! They are more of a rare find than you think

  5. #6 by Tim Johnson on March 14, 2011 - 10:49 am

    Another interesting article on design and structure. As adesigner I am always looking at these things and marvel at the beauty of some of them.

  6. #7 by Ani Samuel on December 21, 2010 - 4:15 am

    Am a dedicated Nigerian Student, Please I’d love to be getting updates on the links which can give me reasonable information on structural design. I believe there a recommended schools by your sites,I’ll also love to know them and i want to ask if there is possibility for students to get scholarship and what are the qualifications. Thank you so much, this site has been of immense help to me.

  7. #8 by custom waterfalls on August 18, 2010 - 8:28 pm

    A project as big as that requires determination, patience and love.
    Well, you must love what you do to finish that beautiful project.

    Great job!
    Keep it up.

  8. #9 by santhosh on August 14, 2010 - 10:27 pm

    thnaks for this interesting article…..

  9. #10 by Sphynx Cat on May 17, 2010 - 5:59 am

    Structural Engineering and Architecture are simply amazing fields. These building designs that we have right now are unbelievably fascinating. Humans are truly intelligent beings. Thanks for this interesting article.

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