Architectural & Structural 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.

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.