The majority of structural engineers work primarily as consultants to architects or design-build contractors. The architect or design-builder comes up with a building layout, and then it is the structural engineer's responsibility to create a structure that can withstand the different types of normal loading that it will encounter (such as self-weight, general imposed load, wind, snow etc), the severe loading it could possibly encounter (earthquake forces, aggressive storms, high impact blasts etc) and the ground conditions it is to be built on. The structural engineer must fit the structure to the architecture and decide on which structural systems to use depending on economic, constructible and surrounding site constraints. The structural systems include steel, concrete, masonry, timber and other materials from which the engineer selects beams, columns and other members make up the building support.
Structural engineers can produce drawings and specifications, perform calculations, review the work of other engineers, write reports and evaluations, and monitor construction sites. The work carried out will be tailored to suit your own project requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a structural engineer?
What factors have to be considered?
Structural engineers analyse, design, plan, and research structural components and structural systems to achieve design goals and ensure the safety and comfort of users or occupants. Their work takes into account safety, technical, economic and environmental concerns, but they may also consider aesthetic and social factors.
Consideration is also given to durability of materials against possible deterioration which may impair performance over the design lifetime.
The entire process of structural planning and design requires not only imagination and conceptual thinking but also sound knowledge of practical aspects, such as recent design codes and by-laws, backed up by ample experience and judgement.
What is the process for opening up my lounge into my kitchen to make a big open plan space?
For small works we will make an appointment with you at a mutually convenient time, attend your property and discuss with you what building work you would like to carry out. We will then measure and draw up your property, check wall types and floor spans/types and from this information we will produce drawings and calculations for any beams required to allow for the removal of the wall.
This will be emailed to you in PDF format ready for submission to building control by yourself or your builder. Once you have our drawings and calculations your builder will be able to provide you with a quotation for the works. Building control will make inspections as the work progresses and produce a completion certificate once finished.
I am thinking about having an extension to my house,
what do I need to do?
The first step is to instruct an architect and discuss what requirements you have. The architect will carry out a measured survey of your existing property and produce plans of the proposed works. From the plans, the planning permission/permitted development applications can be applied for. Once successful we can carry out the structural design from which your builder can then provide a quotation.
We can provide a list of architects which we recommend and work with.
I have a larger project which requires a structural engineer and I already have architect plans, what is the next step?
If you already have the architectural plans these can be emailed over to us so that we can review them and give you a quotation for the structural design work to meet building regulations.