05 Feb 2019

One of the most common questions when dealing with building code and building drawings is what is the difference between an architect and architectural technologist?

Architectural technologists are concerned more with the technical and functional elements of the building, including building code, drafting and CAD, conceptual drawings and 3D models They also generally cost less than an architect. Architectural technologists know how to ‘put a building together’ and can use the appropriate software to do so in the design phase.

Architects will look at the technical aspects of the building but also are focused on the art and the science of the building. Architects take into consideration flow, function, style, building code, bylaws and overall design.

In addition to doing drawings, architects also oversee many aspects of the project and liaise with the engineers and other members on the project to ensure everything is going as planned from the initial drawings and outline. You will find the fees for architects are higher as they have more training, can oversee more of the overall project and also have mandatory insurance.

Building designers are not architects. You may be surprised to learn that there are a variety of building design professionals in the industry under a variety of names. In the past, the common catchall term for someone who designed the plans for your home or building was architect. Today, however, only registered, insured and properly licensed professionals can call themselves an architect and in Ontario, architects are certified by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board.

What about Building Code Identification Numbers (BCIN)?

Designers in the industry of residential and building construction require a BCIN to demonstrate they have passed exams in their area of practice. This includes architectural technologists. All of their submitted drawings will be stamped with their BCIN number. But just because someone possesses a BCIN does not mean that they are an architect.

In fact, architects are exempt from the BCIN process as they already have enough training, knowledge of building code, and possess mandatory insurance for practicing in the profession.

Read more about the BCIN process in our previous blog post.