An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings, that have as their principal purpose human occupancy or use. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, itself derived from the Greek arkhitekton (arkhi-, chief + tekton, builder), i.e. chief builder.
Professionally, an architect's decisions affect public safety, and thus an architect must undergo specialized training consisting of advanced education and a practicum (or internship) for practical experience to earn a license to practice architecture. The practical, technical, and academic requirements for becoming an architect vary by jurisdiction (see below).
The terms architect and architecture are also used in the disciplines of landscape architecture, naval architecture and often information technology (for example a software architect). In most of the world's jurisdictions, the professional and commercial uses of the term "architect", outside of the etymological variants noted, is legally protected.


Architecture (Latin architectura, from the Greek á¼€ρχιτέκτων – arkhitekton, from á¼€ρχι- "chief" and τέκτων "builder, carpenter, mason") is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.


An attic is a space found directly below the pitched roof of a house or other building (also called garret, loft or sky parlor). As attics fill the space between the ceiling of the top floor of a building and the slanted roof, they are known for being awkwardly shaped spaces with exposed rafters and difficult-to-access corners. While some attics are converted into bedrooms or home offices, complete with windows and staircases, most attics remain hard to get to and neglected, and are typically used for storage. It is a word ultimately derived from the Attica region around Athens, Greece.

Attics can also help control temperature in a house by providing a large mass of unmoving air. Hot air rising from lower floors of a building often gets trapped in the attic, further compounding their reputation as inhospitable environments. However, in recent years many attics have been insulated to help decrease heating costs since on average, uninsulated attics account for 15% of the total energy loss in a typical house.

In some places "attic" is used more specifically to apply to lofts which have boarded floors and ceilings, and usually windows or skylights, and then "loft" is kept to mean a dark, unboarded roof-space which lacks these features.

Building Structure

Structural building engineering is primarily driven by the creative manipulation of materials and forms and the underlying mathematical and scientific ideas to achieve an end which fulfills its functional requirements and is structurally safe when subjected to all the loads it could reasonably be expected to experience. This is subtly different from architectural design, which is driven by the creative manipulation of materials and forms, mass, space, volume, texture and light to achieve an end which is aesthetic, functional and often artistic.

The architect is usually the lead designer on buildings, with a structural engineer employed as a sub-consultant. The degree to which each discipline actually leads the design depends heavily on the type of structure. Many structures are structurally simple and led by architecture, such as multi-storey office buildings and housing, while other structures, such as tensile structures, shells and gridshells are heavily dependent on their form for their strength, and the engineer may have a more significant influence on the form, and hence much of the aesthetic, than the architect.

The structural design for a building must ensure that the building is able to stand up safely, able to function without excessive deflections or movements which may cause fatigue of structural elements, cracking or failure of fixtures, fittings or partitions, or discomfort for occupants. It must account for movements and forces due to temperature, creep, cracking and imposed loads. It must also ensure that the design is practically buildable within acceptable manufacturing tolerances of the materials. It must allow the architecture to work, and the building services to fit within the building and function (air conditioning, ventilation, smoke extract, electrics, lighting etc.). The structural design of a modern building can be extremely complex, and often requires a large team to complete