Do I Need Chemistry For Architecture

What is chemistry

Chemistry is the branch of science which deals with the study of the composition, structure and properties of matter, as well as the changes it undergoes during chemical reactions. It is a highly complex subject, divided into an immense variety of areas such as organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry, to name a few. Chemistry is essential in a wide range of fields, from medicine and environmental protection, to engineering and architecture.

The role of chemistry in architecture

Chemistry is vital in the practice of architecture. Chemical processes and materials are used to protect structures against temperature changes, natural hazards and weathering, as well as to enhance their performance. Moreover, architects implement chemistry-derived building materials like cement, plastics and steels to create robust and creatively designed constructions. Architects also need to be constantly updated about innovations in the industry and must have an understanding of chemistry in order to apply these new techniques efficiently.

Areas in which chemistry is relevant to architecture

In architecture, chemistry plays a key role in the fabrication and implementation of various building materials and in the development of new construction techniques. Key areas where chemistry is involved include:

  • Materials: Chemical principles are used to create building materials such as steel, concrete, plastics and glass. These materials can be manipulated and treated to create different forms and structures.
  • Design: Chemistry is used to design new materials that can be used to create innovative designs to achieve the desired aesthetic and structural effect of a construction.
  • Surface treatments: Chemistry is used to apply different surface treatments, like paint, to enhance the performance and look of an architectural structure.
  • Chemical treatments: Chemical treatments are used to protect the surface of a building from corrosion and weathering, or to enhance the performance of materials.

The importance of chemistry for architects

In order for architects to effectively carry out their work, understanding the fundamentals of chemistry and the principles of material science is essential. An architect must be knowledgeable about the chemical and physical properties of different materials, as well as the processes used to treat them and make them suitable for use. An understanding of chemistry also allows architects to incorporate new technologies into their designs, such as green building materials and more energy efficient designs.

Chemistry courses for aspiring architects

In most architecture schools, chemistry is an important part of the curriculum. It is usually included in the foundation courses to provide students with an understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry and its applications in architecture. Courses related to material science and theory of design may also contain chemistry topics, as they are relevant to the study of architecture.


In conclusion, chemistry is an essential component of architecture and a key part of the engineering process. Architects must have a solid understanding of chemistry in order to create efficient, robust and aesthetically pleasing constructions. Chemistry courses in architecture schools are usually included in the foundation courses in order to give students the baseline knowledge they need to pursue the field.

Anita Johnson is an award-winning author and editor with over 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, design, and urbanism. She has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of print and online publications on topics related to culture, art, architecture, and design from the late 19th century to the present day. Johnson's deep interest in these topics has informed both her writing and curatorial practice as she seeks to connect readers to the built environment around them.

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