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Old 01-02-2008, 10:34 PM
AGLA AGLA is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 1,723
There are lots of different kinds of engineers. in most states both architects and engineers need to follow their education with an internship prior to getting licensed. In bot cases a bachelor's degree will suffice.

A lot of architecture programs in universities are now giving Master's degrees in just five years. I'm not sure where you are getting this idea that it is easier to become an engineer or that an architect has such high knowlede beyond the foundation of a building. My personal experience is that architects tend to have problems once they get outside of the building.

I think it has something to do with being unaccustomed to being in full control. In a building you can always adjust it to meet your own needs. Need more room for a heat duct? Just design a higher ceiling. Bath tub doesn't fit? Bump out the wall. They can almost always adjust their constraints, so they are always in control.

The same is not true when it comes to site work. You have to adjust everything to deal with the realities of the site. For examle: You can't just decide that the driveway will have a 3% grade. It actually has to go from the grade at the street to that of the garage within the distance that the two ae apart.

I see architects design walkout basements where you have to make a canyon out of the backyard because it really does not fit. I see them design handicap accessible doorways only to put wood siding three inches below the threshold on each side and expecting a sidewalk with no rails to go right into the building even though they know building code requires 8" between the grade and the wood on the building.

It takes a lot to design and spec' buildings. I respect architects and what they do. But many don't have a clue once you get outside of the building. It almost always has to do with a lack of fully understanding of grading and drainage. There are certainly some that are expert in it. I just have to say that my personal experience is that most are not. I do site plans in a civil engineering office as my full time job.
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