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Architectural Engineering or Architecture?

:bigsmile: Hi. I'm Alex- I'm Senior Director of Studies at Heriot-Watt University. :hello: I'll be on the phones all day tomorrow if you fancy calling for a chat: 0131 322 3222

A question we get asked a lot is: "What's the difference between Architecture and Architectural Engineering?":confused: - So I thought I'd try and help clear up that confusion here.

What is Architectural Engineering?

Architectural Engineering ('AE') is the engineering behind buildings: their systems, and the way they interact with people, with their environment, and particularly how they use energy.


It’s not Architecture. Architecture degrees are more arts- and studio-based; there is more focus on history and theory, and much more time drawing and modelling spaces.

In contrast, Architectural Engineering focuses on the technology and strategy of building design, using passive and active strategies to save energy and create positive environments for human life.

It’s not Architectural Technology. AT courses tend to be very software-based, and focus on how to put together technical details to meet regulations, using computer drawing and modelling. Our ArchEng course has some software use, but we’re more interested in teaching you a wide scope of technical knowledge and theory, and giving you skills to become excellent problem-solvers in a fast-changing environment, so that you can innovate and advise on sustainability and energy use.

It’s not Civil or Structural Engineering. We share a lot of courses with these programmes in the early years, but while they go on to focus on ‘hard’ technical behaviours of structures or materials, we offer a wider scope of courses that include Health and Wellbeing, passive solar strategies, urban energy networks, user evaluation, and facilities management. We're about people :party::party2:

.. and about energy:bike::taz::yy:

It is similar to Building Services Engineering, but importantly includes a wider ‘holistic’ understanding of people’s interaction with buildings, and passive strategies for conserving or generating energy, not only active (eg powered) services.

It's a great course: it's a mix of all sorts of fascinating things, and it'll set you up for a great career in any number of industries. Our grads have a 100% employment record!!

Subjects we like.... Maths, Design, Geography, DEC!, English, Stats, Physics.... and more.

Interested? please message me
Reply 1
Very well put and this will help future students to take their decisions after reading this post. At least it was for me! Thanks Sir.
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