The architectural engineer (PE) in the United States
Main article: Architectural engineer (PE)
In many jurisdictions of the United States, the architectural engineer is a licensed engineering professional. Usually a graduate of an EAC/ABET-accredited architectural engineering university program preparing students to perform whole-building design in competition with architect-engineer teams; or for practice in one of structural, mechanical or electrical fields of building design, but with an appreciation of integrated architectural requirements. Although some states require a BS degree from an EAC/ABET-accredited engineering program, with no exceptions, about two thirds of the states accept BS degrees from ETAC/ABET-accredited architectural engineering technology programs to become licensed engineering professionals. Architectural engineering technology graduates, with applied engineering skills, often gain further learning with an MS degree in engineering and/or NAAB-accredited Masters of Architecture to become licensed as both an engineer and architect. This path requires the individual to pass state licensing exams in both disciplines. States handle this situation differently on experienced gained working under a licensed engineer and/or registered architect prior to taking the examinations. This education model is more in line with the educational system in the United Kingdom where an accredited MEng or MS degree in engineering for further learning is required by the Engineering Council to be registered as a Chartered Engineer. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) facilitate the licensure and credentialing of architects but requirements for registration often vary between states. In the state of New Jersey, a registered architect is allowed to sit for the PE exam and a professional engineer is allowed to take the design portions of the Architectural Registration Exam (ARE), to become a registered architect. It is becoming more common for highly educated architectural engineers in the United States to become licensed as both engineer and architect.
Formal architectural engineering education, following the engineering model of earlier disciplines, developed in the late 19th century, and became widespread in the United States by the mid-20th century. With the establishment of a specific “architectural engineering” NCEES Professional Engineering registration examination in the 1990s, and first offering in April 2003, architectural engineering became recognized as a distinct engineering discipline in the United States. Up to date NCEES account allows engineers to apply to other states PE license “by comity”.
In most license-regulated jurisdictions, architectural engineers are not entitled to practice architecture unless they are also licensed as architects. Practice of structural engineering in high-risk locations, e.g., due to strong earthquakes, or on specific types of higher importance buildings such as hospitals, may require separate licensing as well. Regulations and customary practice vary widely by state or city.
The architect as architectural engineer
See also: Architect § Professional requirements
In some countries, the practice of architecture includes planning, designing and overseeing the building’s construction, and architecture, as a profession providing architectural services, is referred to as “architectural engineering”. In Japan, a “first-class architect” plays the dual role of architect and building engineer, although the services of a licensed “structural design first-class architect”(構造設計一級建築士) are required for buildings over a certain scale.
In some languages, such as Korean and Arabic, “architect” is literally translated as “architectural engineer”. In some countries, an “architectural engineer” (such as the ingegnere edile in Italy) is entitled to practice architecture and is often referred to as an architect. These individuals are often also structural engineers. In other countries, such as Germany, Austria, Iran, and most of the Arab countries, architecture graduates receive an engineering degree (Dipl.-Ing. – Diplom-Ingenieur).
In Spain, an “architect” has a technical university education and legal powers to carry out building structure and facility projects.
In Brazil, architects and engineers used to share the same accreditation process (Conselho Federal de Engenheiros, Arquitetos e Agrônomos (CONFEA) – Federal Council of Engineering, Architecture and Agronomy). Now the Brazilian architects and urbanists have their own accreditation process (CAU – Architecture and Urbanism Council). Besides traditional architecture design training, Brazilian architecture courses also offer complementary training in engineering disciplines such as structural, electrical, hydraulic and mechanical engineering. After graduation, architects focus in architectural planning, yet they can be responsible to the whole building, when it concerns to small buildings (except in electric wiring, where the architect autonomy is limited to systems up to 30kVA, and it has to be done by an Electrical Engineer), applied to buildings, urban environment, built cultural heritage, landscape planning, interiorscape planning and regional planning.
In Greece licensed architectural engineers are graduates from architecture faculties that belong to the Polytechnic University, obtaining an “Engineering Diploma”. They graduate after 5 years of studies and are fully entitled architects once they become members of the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE – Τεχνικό Επιμελητήριο Ελλάδος). The Technical Chamber of Greece has more than 100,000 members encompassing all the engineering disciplines as well as architecture. A prerequisite for being a member is to be licensed as a qualified engineer or architect and to be a graduate of an engineering and architecture schools of a Greek university, or of an equivalent school from abroad. The Technical Chamber of Greece is the authorized body to provide work licenses to engineers of all disciplines as well as architects, graduated in Greece or abroad. The license is awarded after examinations. The examinations take place three to four times a year. The Engineering Diploma equals a master’s degree in ECTS units (300) according to the Bologna Accords.
Further information: Engineer’s degree
The architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering branches each have well established educational requirements that are usually fulfilled by completion of a university program.
An air handling unit is used for the heating and cooling of air in a central location (click on image for legend). Bringing together knowledge of acoustic engineering and HVAC is one example of the multi-disciplined nature of architectural engineering
Architectural engineering as a single integrated field of study
Main article: Building engineering education
Its multi-disciplinary engineering approach is what differentiates architectural engineering from architecture (the field of the architect): which is an integrated, separate and single, field of study when compared to other engineering disciplines.
Through training in and appreciation of architecture, the field seeks integration of building systems within its overall building design. Architectural engineering includes the design of building systems including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, fire protection, electrical, lighting, architectural acoustics, and structural systems. In some university programs, students are required to concentrate on one of the systems; in others, they can receive a generalist architectural or building engineering degree.