Can Civil engineers build houses? (solved)

A lot of people ask if civil engineers can build houses or not. For this reason, we made this post to explain that in detail.

In this post, we will discover if civil engineers can build houses or not and. Also discover what civil engineers do in house buildings. So keep reading to learn more about this subject.

Can Civil engineers build houses?

A civil engineer can build houses alone without a need of an architect if he is an experienced man. In other words, he can build a house without the need to have help from anyone because a civil engineer is responsible for the most exciting part of the building, which is the structural solidity of the building or a house.

To explain, more civil engineers care about structural solidity. Which is how much the building can support weight and pressure. It also cares about the ground or the foundation the building is standing from.

  • So a skilled and experienced civil engineer can replace an architect’s role and make an external design structure.
  • At the same time, a skilled and experienced architect can replace the role of a civil engineer and build a house without its help.

But both conditions refer to building small houses, not bigger buildings. In the case of having a bigger building, civil and architect-engineer must work together to ensure the safety and efficiency of the building.

An example of a civil engineer occupation in house buildings

Civil engineers also care about the outside house installations like water pipeline positions, electricity, installation, and sanitation. An architect could not take this occupation.

For instance, to build a small house, you will don’t need to have a civil engineer, but when things become serious, like bigger projects such as G+4 or more. You will need to have a civil engineer to ensure the structural design of a building.

So when we talk about skyscrapers and buildings, we find civil engineers and architects working together.

to build a house in international norms, you will need to follow these 3 steps:

  • firstly you need to have a Geotechnical engineer verify the ground solidity like soil and check if it suitable for construction
  • the second thing you need to have Structural engineering  to design and make a calculation of the strength of a building
  • finally, the Architect cares about the exterior design and elevation of the building

So in the first and second steps, you need to have a geotechnical engineer and structural engineer working on the project. Both geotechnical and structural engineers are civil engineers.

What do civil engineers do?

Civil engineers deal with designing, constructing, and maintaining man-made, like buildings, roads, bridges, etc, and natural build environments like a solid foundation and all environmental components.

civil engineering is divided into 5 principal majors:

1 – Structure engineer

A structural engineer designs the structure of buildings, bridges, and highway facilities. Their principal role is to ensure the solidity and safety of a building.

In other words, his role is to make and design a structure to not collapse itself by making the right calculation of the load and the stress of a building. For instance, determine how much force will be exerted on a pillar and foundation.

in general, a structure engineer studies courses like:

  • statics
  • structure analysis
  • structure design

Structural engineers can build house foundations and replace even architects with experienced ones. In other words, a structural engineer can safely build a house, then an architect can take care of the design and elevation.

2 – Transportation engineer

the job of a transportation engineer is caring about how people can move in civil facilities like bridges, stadiums, highways… efficiently. Their goal is to make a good traffic measure and design a building that can support this demand.

For instance, if we have a bridge, the transformation engineer is taking care of what:

  • the capacity of the roadway, like how many cars should support
  • the speed of drivers

transportation engineers give complete guidance and blueprint to structural engineers to follow to work together.

Transportation engineers are considered civil engineers, but they can’t build houses like structural engineers. Because their whole occupation is to take care of human resources.

transportation engineers can also work on some other and different projects like:

  • highway design
  • facility design for airports
  • tunnel

3 –  Environmental engineering

Environmental engineers work by making designs that protect the environment. It is done by saving a lot of natural resources. The goal of an environmental engineer is to provide designs that save and manage natural resources.

environmental engineers work in these 3 principals following industries:

  • water and treatment
  • air pollution management
  • solid waste management
  • hazardous waste
  • hazardous material
  • energy management
  • recycling

Environmental engineers focus on chemical and biological aspects. It is a broad domain that has a lot of areas in life. But in general, it covers all the elements that focus on minimizing the loss and encouraging the recycling process.

If you want to know more about environmental engineering, you could read this article.

Environmental engineering is considered civil engineering but doesn’t have the ability or can’t build buildings because they are away from human facilities and management.

4 – Geotechnical engineering

Geotechnical engineers are close to structural engineers, but their specialty is comprised and focused on solid and rock foundations.

In other words, they are responsible for making sure if the ground is good and acceptable to build a house or any other building.

they use some principal of :

  • rock mechanics
  • soil mechanics
  • evaluate the soil stability
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is leaning-tower-1024x576.jpg

as we can see from the image we have about the leaning tower in Pisa(Italy), this results from bad calculations that geotechnical engineers made. As a result, cause the building will lean by 11 grades.

Geotechnical is hard because it is all base on soil calculation and expectations. Many times things go out of control.

5 – Coastal engineering

we will let you this video explaining to you what coastal engineers do


if you want to know more about this subject, you can watch this video.


if you want to know more information about this subject you can watch this video.


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.