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Building a building?

If you think constructing a building is just about erecting four walls, putting one concrete slab over another, fitting in doors and windows and lo, your house is done, then you are terribly wrong. And if you also think it is something masons, carpenters and labourers can do, then you are even more wrong. There is a creature called the architect who has the expertise to handle such critical tasks.

Be it a single-storey house in your neighbourhood or the world’s tallest BurjKhalifa Tower in Dubai, the architect is the one who is at the centre of it. BTW the BurjKhalifa is 2,722 feet tall, has 160 storeysand has a neo-futuristic design plan. It was built with US $1.5 billion. Now these are mind boggling figures. So let’s get back to our career talk as an architect.

Architects plan, create, design and execute all big and small structures. That calls for a blend of technical skills and artistic vision. This field brings technology, art and design, aesthetics and creativity, environment and culture together. It gives you skills to design and create new buildings — from private homes to shopping malls to hotels to skyscrapers. Architecture courses are highly competitive and often spread over five years. They include plenty of practical training through internships.



For admission to a 5-year B. Arch degree course you must have passed 10+2 or equivalent from a recognized Board/University with Mathematics as a subject.

If you want to make it to the top architecture schools, you have to write the National Aptitude Test in Architecture, NATA.

The National Institute of Advanced Studies in Architecture (NIASA), Pune, conducts NATA for admission to B. Arch degree course for institutions in India that run the courses. Students are admitted on the basis of valid NATA marks. NATA is conducted at various designated centres all over India in March every year.

 You can get the details of test centres and NATA registration at:

Director, NIASA, Pune, Mobile: 09423582528, niasa_2005@yahoo.eo.inniasa@rediffmail.com.



You are exposed to a variety of subjects during your training where you develop a strong sense of technical requirements, innovation, artistic designing, building materials etc. It runs something like this:

Architectural Design- Learning and applying basic designing for buildings of medium complexity e.g. schools, dispensaries, shops and houses, etc.

Building Construction -Knowledge of various methods of constructions of medium complexity with timber, stone, bricks, concrete etc. including foundation, walls, roofs, staircase, joinery and finishes.

Building Materials and Sciences -Knowledge of basic building materials and their behaviour such as bricks, stones, metals, timber and finishing materials.Effects of climate and environment on building materials.

Architectural Drawing and Graphics -Ability to present all elements of design in graphic form.Study of shades and shadows, textures, tones, colours, geometrical form, perspectives and projections, free hand drawing and rendering.

History of Architecture - Study of various styles of architecture and methods of construction through the ages in the world.

Workshop Practice -Ability to make building models with various materials such as card-board, wood, plastics, plaster of Paris and metals. Ability to make simple joints in timber, pipes and other materials.

Landscape Design -Understanding of landscape elements like trees, shrubs, plants, water, rocks and development of landscape planning and application in architectural design.

Structural Mechanics and Theory of Structures -Understanding the structural concepts and behaviour of structural elements, simple calculations for columns, beams, frames, footings, slabs and walls in concrete, steel and timber.

Building Services and Equipment - Study and design of water supply, drainage, sewage disposal, electricity supply, wiring and lighting for buildings.

Humanities - Study of sociology, economics and culture, as applicable to design of human settlements.

Principles of Human Settlements -Study of man and environment. Biological and behavioural responses to human settlements. Design for living, natural and built environment.


Architectural Design- Planning and Thesis – Design of complicated buildings and campuses involving analytical studies of building and spaces from sociological, economic and cultural points of view such as universities, industrial estates, housing schemes etc.

Building Construction, Materials and Specifications - Study of advanced building construction methods with new materials such as plastics, metals, synthetic boards and latest techniques in the use of concrete.

Building Sciences and Services - Study of acoustics, air-conditioning, heating, cooling, mechanical installations, fire-control, water supply and drainage system for complicated buildings.

Town Planning (Theory) - A general understanding of town planning principles as they have evolved through the ages.

Professional Practice - The examination in professional practice is designed to assess the knowledge, skill and maturity of the architect to fulfill his professional duties. Building bye-laws – study of building regulations  and laws.

Structure Systems - Study of new structural technology such as space frames, pre-stressing and shells. Understanding of the limitations and scope of these techniques.

  • Title: Building a building?
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