Architectural drafting services play a vital role in the building process and this fact is well understood by top service providers. While an architect produces the conceptual design for the structure and then gradually comes up with the final design in discussion with the client, an architectural drafter creates the construction drawings enabling them to bring those designs to life.
Architect vs architectural drafter: A study
It’s quite apparent that architects and architectural drafters work in close association to make a building project successful. One often wonders how they differ in their roles, obligations, qualifications, expertize, and skills. Let’s try to put these things in perspective here.
An architect undertakes the planning, designing, and overseeing of the construction of a building or interior space. They coordinate with different stakeholders and experts like clients, consultants, city planners, licensing authorities, contractors, architectural drafters, etc.
Architectural drafters undertake the job of producing building plans and specifications. They convert the architect’s concepts and instructions into drawings needed for the construction process using specialized computer software like CAD, BIM, etc.
Architects hold professional, moral, environmental, and techno-legal responsibility for the buildings they design for the stipulated period. They can be held answerable if the structure is not safe and compliant with all relevant codes and regulations. This is the reason that architects require licensing to work professionally.
Architectural drafters are responsible only for the drawings they produce and hold no responsibility for the structure. As a result, they don’t need any professional license to work at an architect’s office or an engineering firm.
In order to work as a licensed architect to provide architectural drafting services, one must acquire an accredited university degree. Some architects even go for a Master’s degree to add a specialization to their expertise. They then have to apply for a license from a competent authority or state.
Architectural drafters, on the other hand, do not need a university degree or a license. They can do a certificate or Diploma course after High School and receive training under an established drafter.
Fundamental differences in drafting by an architect vs an architectural drafter:
An architect and an architectural drafter are two important pillars of the building process. One creates the design and the other transforms that vision into drawings. These drawings guide the construction team in erecting the structure. The quality of the drawings determines how close the completed structure is to the design conceptualized.
Naturally, an architect can also make drawings, and at the same time, an architectural drafter can also develop concepts. So, what are the key differences in architectural drafting services between an architect and an architectural drafter? This is briefly discussed here.
- Creativity vs technicality
Architects have an overview of the entire building project; their focus remains on creativity and aesthetics. What’s important for them is the juxtaposition of spaces, the convenience of the user, and the services being provided.
An Architectural drafter concentrates on the technicality and specifications of the project. They provide the requisite measurements as well as construction and material details and other specifications required to make the drawings comprehensive for the end user.
Architects are programmed to focus on the aesthetic part. They would like their drawings to look clean and attractive. They might unknowingly leave out some details.
Architectural drafter focuses on accuracy and precision so that the drawings convey the exact idea of the structure to be built. Each dimension and detail would be an exact piece of the jigsaw puzzle to be erected by the contractors.
- Easy comprehensibility
Architects of course want the drawings to be easily understood by the construction team and contractors. However, architectural drafters having thorough experience in drafting software like CAD specialize in dishing out drawings that contain all necessary details. These drawings are easily understood by the team of contractors so there are no costly confusions or misinterpretations.
Architectural drafting is the job to provide relevant drawings and documentation to take the building process forward and transform the design intent of an architect into a solid structure of stones and bricks, cement and concrete. The role of an architect vis-à-vis an architectural drafter could sometimes be reversed or interchanged, but in the end, it’s always better to go with the specialization one offers.