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Architects and engineers: can’t we all just get along? – featured on The Real Estate Conversation

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More often than not, civil engineers and architects don’t get a chance to collaborate, so they’re not always practiced at working together.

You might think there’s an inherent tension between architects and civil engineers, with design and function often at odds, but the relationship doesn’t always have to be fraught.

Scott Clements, Managing Director of Inertia Engineering in Queensland, believes a loving relationship can exist between civil engineers and architects if they bounce ideas off each other and work together. “Ultimately seeing how their creativity and experience can result in a great project for the user and community in general,” he says.

More often than not, civil engineers and architects don’t get a chance to collaborate so they’re not always practiced at working together, says Clements, who has worked in the built environment for more than 20 years.

“I believe that one of the concerns architects have is the lack of service from a civil engineer, and sometimes the lack of understanding of architectural or building issues,” says Clements. “This often comes from working with civil engineers that aren’t experienced in working with built-form projects. The engineer’s background may be from land or infrastructure, where they don’t often have to collaborate with architects or consider building issues.”

It’s important that architects and civil engineers form a strong relationship as a consultant team is only as strong as its weakest link, he says. “The difference between a good civil engineering solution and a poor one can be huge, particularly in relation to project costs,” he says. “Often the good solution will need strong co-ordination with the architect to make it possible. Working together can create a big net gain for the project.”

Early involvement from both disciplines as well as ongoing communication is the key to ensuring both teams stay on the same page, says Clements.

“The concept or schematic stages of a project should have heavy involvement from each discipline so that all possible solutions are proposed and considered,” he says. “This sets up a smooth and efficient design process and leads to lower costs when the project starts on site.”


The original article appeared on The Real Estate Conversation.