Draughtsman, Architects, Engineers & Surveyors


What do Architects do?

Draughtsman, Architects, Engineers & Surveyors :

What are the differences between them?

A Draughtsman, aka Draftsman, is a term used to describe an individual with the experience of drafting technical drawings.

These drawings can be used for different purposes, such as Engineering, Architectural or Construction purposes.

Draughtsmen originally drew on paper,  modern Presently they make use of CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) software.

CAD systems helps them to create and modify, optimize as well as analyse drawings and generate 3-D models and artistic renderings.

They often work under the supervision of an Architect and Engineers.


An Architect is someone specifically trained, with a degree in Architecture and registered with SAIA and SACAP.

They lead the process of creating functional spaces, from concept to a full realization of those designs.

Architecture is an art that works with science to design places where people can live, eat, work and play.

They are qualified to head projects, from small additions  to large projects like hospitals or entire neighbourhoods.

Architects are highly skilled, trained professionals who plan, design and oversee the construction of buildings.

The SACAP scope of works allows Architects to do drawings greater than 500 m/sq.

What Does A Construction Engineer Do?

Construction Engineers are registered Professional holding a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree in Civil Engineering or related field.

They handle big construction projects and are responsible for preparing blueprints for projects and supervising the construction.

Their mandate is ensuring projects that are about to be built are functional and safe for the end users.

Their work start even before the actual design and building of the proposed infrastructure takes place.

One of the first things that they do is:

  • Look into the maps and other data gleaned from surveys.
  • Determine that the area would serve as a stable foundation for the structure.

Engineers have advanced knowledge of material strands in the construction industry and complex building methods.

Construction Engineer

It is only after preliminary deliberations have taken place that they begin draw up detailed plans.

They are knowledgeable with various CAD systems, as this is their tools for doing technical drawings.

Engineer planning include other pertinent information like:

  • Estimate time for completion of the project.
  • How much it would cost.
  • The materials required.

As the responsible appointed tradesman, they oversee all aspects of construction.

They work together with supervisors in order to ensure that the project deadlines are met.

Engineers also see to it that the resources are allocated as planned and the people hired do their jobs.

Constant inspections determine that different parts of the project are constructed as they should, in accordance with the approved plans.

If he notices problems during construction, he should be proactive enough to think of solutions and implement them.

After the building is completed, they do final inspection to confirm the structure is safe and durable.

When an Engineers is satisficed with the construction, he issues a completion certificate.

What is a Surveyor and what do they do?

Surveyor is someone who establishes official land, airspace, and water boundaries.

They work with Civil EngineersLandscape Architects, and regional and Urban planners to develop comprehensive design documents.

Mainly working outdoors in many types of terrain. However, they also work in offices to prepare legal documents and other reports.

Surveyors typically do the following:

  • Measure distances, directions, and angles between points on, above, and below the earth’s surface
  • Select known reference points and then determine the exact location of important features in the survey area using special equipment
  • Establish official land and water boundaries
  • Research land records and other sources of information affecting properties
  • Look for evidence of previous boundaries to determine where boundary lines are
  • Travel to locations to measure distances and directions between points
  • Record the results of surveying and verify the accuracy of data
  • Prepare plots, maps, and reports
  • Work with Cartographers (mapmakers), Architects, Construction managers, and others
  • Present findings to clients, government agencies, and others
  • Write descriptions of land for deeds, leases, and other legal documents
  • Provide expert testimony in court regarding their work or that of other surveyors

Surveyors guide construction and development projects and provide information needed for the buying and selling of property.

Whenever property is bought or sold, it needs to be surveyed for legal purposes.

Their duties include determine the precise location of roads or buildings and proper depths for foundations and roads.

Working with Global Positioning System (GPS), a system of satellites that locates reference points with a high degree of precision.

After verifying the GPS results. Their data is fed into a Geographic Information System (GIS), to create detailed maps.

What are the benefits of using a Architectural Draftsman?

It’s tempting to use someone with basic knowledge of drawing plans – like a friend who completed one year of Architecture.

Ultimately the cost of not using a registered Professional may be high and time consuming.

The NBR Act., states plans may only be approved by Local Authorities and drawn up by registered SACAP members.

It is advised that you employ a draftsman if you want the job done right.

The benefits of using an Architectural Draftsman over Architects, is primarily financial.

According to the SACAP scale of tariffs, Architects may invoice at a higher rate than that of Architectural Draftsman.

The SACAP scope of works and scale of tariffs very depending on the registered member’s qualifications and experience scale:

  • Architectural draftsman.
  • Junior technician.
  • Senior technician.
  • Architect.
  • Engineer.

During their apprenticeships, Architectural Draftsman, work under the supervision Of Architects or Engineers, and in so doing gained valuable experience.

It is common practice for Architects to do the artistic designs and forward the plans completion to an Architectural Draftsman.

After years of supervised drawing experience, most Architectural Draftsman skills match those of Architects.

So the question is: Do you require Architectural services at draughtsman’s rates?

With over 30 years’ experience in the South African building and designing industry, you can draw on our experience for your next project.

Drafting plans

Architectural Draughtsman - CAD operator

An Architectural Draftsman can help give you design ideas and guide you in the right direction and produce drafting plans.

For a smoother running project, an Architectural Draftsman can help keep you informed making sure the project stays on tract.