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Re: Architectural Low Rise Projects (Lateral Stability)

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My son is a graduate architect.  When he gets a few years under his belt, I
hope he'll be receptive to learning how to become a  structural engineer,
too.  Not because it is a better job, but because I think he'll eventually
see that the real fun is in the hard work that I accomplish.  If not, so be

The way I look at it, the first architects were also structural engineers,
they were one in the same.  Just as for the medical profession, complex
concepts and better understanding of materials behavior forced
specialization.  I view structural engineers to be specialized architects in
the true sense of the word.  My dictionary defines an architect as "one who
designs and supervises the construction of large structures such as
buildings."  ME's and EE's do not do that; their work has to do with

The architects I work with sometimes want me to do or say things that I
can't.  This has forced me to stretch my understanding of structures a bit .
. . because in order to defend a position 'on record' requires a more lucid
understanding than is required for design.  When I was young, I disliked the
scrutiny, but now I am more appreciative of opportunity to interact with
them.  I always fess up directly to them when I don't know something.  They
know I'll figure it out, or possibly one of you will help me with my
understanding.  Since I'm not embarrassed to say "I don't know, but I'll
look into it", when I tell them "I know" something, they believe me.

If your architects' understanding of engineering fundamentals is lacking,
then enlighten them.  If they are not enlightened, then you are a poor
teacher or they are poor students; that doesn't make them assholes.  And if
they are assholes it is not because they are architects; its probably just
their nature, and they would be such even if they were structural engineers.

John P. Riley, PE, SE
Riley Engineering
20 Oakwood Drive, Blue Grass, Iowa 52726
Tel & Fax:  319-381-3949

may be this was too strong  a statement about all architects being a bunch
of ass holes. but as you said they may be ignorant & and not stupid. but
sir, their stupidity basically stems out of their ignorance first & then
their lack of understanding and appreciation of engineering fundamentals.


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