Best Architectural Engineering Tools

  • Architects and architectural engineers focus on the designing and planning of structures and buildings
  • They work with many different trades and industries throughout the course of their projects
  • They use a diverse range of tools and techniques to help them come up with the best solutions possible

Architects are known for their work designing and planning structures and buildings. Architectural engineering is the design of all building systems, ranging from electrical/lighting, mechanical, construction, acoustical, and structural among others. Whether you are an architect, or an architectural engineer, you will be tasked with designing the buildings of tomorrow. Therefore, you will need a set of tools in your imaginary bag. Modern day architects and architectural engineers use a combination of technology and traditional tools to get the job done. Let’s go through some of the essentials:

Scale Ruler

Drawings need to be measured accurately while they are being planned out. Because of this, architects use a scale ruler that has multiple different scales on each side to be able to quickly measure while drawing. This is so important as even if a drawing is a fraction off, it could jeopardise the structural integrity of the structure.

12" Architectural Scale Ruler Aluminum


Drafting Board

To be able to draw and plan out structures efficiently, architects use a drafting board. This allows them to place their paper at a comfortable angle, while also keeping all of the tools that they need close for convenience. Artists and other designers can also use drafting boards for drawing.



Another measuring tool that is essential for architects is the T-Square. You can typically adjust the T-Square to various angles, and it will allow the architect to quickly and efficiently measure and draw at different angles. Most T-Squares are made from aluminium, but you can get some that are constructed from plastic or even wood.



While this may seem like an obvious and basic tool to have at their disposal, having a compass at hand allows architects to draw circles easily. They can also be used to measure distance between two points and compare distances. Architects use compasses every day, so a quality option should be chosen as they need to last for years.


Lining Pens

If you are familiar with architects, you will know the look of their markups and sketches. Fine lines going in all directions that give everything they draw a professional and artistic look. These lining pens have varying sizes of tips that allow architects to draw lines of different thicknesses. Lining pens are essential for architects and give them the ability to draw to a high level of detail.

Mechanical Pencils

A high-quality mechanical pencil can be a useful tool in an architect’s tool bag. Sketches can be drawn before a final design is settled on. Mechanical pencils are typically used before lining pens as the pencil can be erased and therefore several designs and/or solutions can be tried before coming to a decision. A high-quality pencil is what should be purchased here as they should last for years to come.

Electric Eraser

Ever heard of an electric eraser before? Any type of eraser is fine to use for drawing, but if an architect is looking to go the extra step to upgrade their tools, an electric eraser can be very useful. They come with a fine tip so accurate erasing is possible and some artists can actually use these to create negative space in their drawings.

Tracing Paper

A quintessential image of an architect is them with tracing paper going over a drawing, and it is a common image for a reason. Architects use tracing paper constantly for sketching out plan ideas and going through various design solutions. This inexpensive paper is invaluable to have when they are exploring different options in the initial stages of a project.

French Curve

A french curve is a useful tool that architects can use when drawing out curves. Curves will undoubtedly be smoother and more accurate when this tool is used. This is a tool that may not be used every day, but could be a life saver on certain projects that require it. Save time and effort when drawing curves by using a french curve!


Architectural software makes the lives of architects and architectural engineers much easier. They allow them to create designs in 3D and 2D conveniently on their computer. Design choices and solutions can be tested out without even wasting paper, or any other materials for that matter. Some examples of architectural software are: AutoCAD, Revit, Civil 3D, SketchUp etc.

So, what do you think of the tools on this list? Do you use any of them? Or use something that you think belongs on this list? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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