A structural engineer enters into a construction project in the early stages of planning. Their role is to ensure that buildings and structures are safe and can withstand the elements. Also, Structural engineers work to improve the structural integrity of existing buildings, as well as, preparing reports, designs, and drawings.
Required Skills and Aptitudes of a Structural Engineer
A structural engineer ensures the safe, sustainable construction of a building by applying physics, math, and mechanics principles. Therefore, they need to have the followings:
- Strong analytical skills
- Advanced knowledge and ability to apply mathematical principles
- Expert-level creative problem-solving skills
- Leadership skills and management experience
- Strong interpersonal communication skills
Responsibilities of a Structural Engineer
A structural engineer’s primary responsibility is the design and physical integrity of buildings and other large structures. You need them because their role in ensuring your project’s safety and durability is paramount.
Many structural engineers deal primarily in the design of structures. This includes calculating the loads and stresses the building will have to withstand. Also, they need to weigh out the qualities and strengths of various building materials and select the right combination of support beams, columns, and foundations.
Planning would include specifying windows and doors to make them suitable according to the building’s purpose. Also, For publicly accessible facilities, installing security access doors and panels would allow easy access for authorized personnel while protecting electrical, plumbing, and HVAC components from interference or tampering.
Before work can begin, a structural engineer must survey the building site. This is to ensure that the earth is suitable for the upcoming project.
A structural engineer needs to work with government bodies and team members, including architects, engineers, environmental experts, and landscapers.
Supervision and Management:
Structural engineers are often responsible for the organization and delivery of materials and equipment for the construction project’s needs. In addition, the supervision and management of on-site labor may also be a necessity. This is because, it heavily reduces design clashes, saving time and resources.
Design Codes and Permits:
Structural calculations and plans for complex structures must meet building codes to secure a permit. A structural engineer takes required safety measures according to regulations to comply with local code,
An architect is responsible for the appearance, shape, size, and use of a building. However, a structural engineer focuses on plans to ensure a building can withstand heavy winds, gravitational loads, and even earthquakes. Detailed calculations determine the best design structure using columns, joists, beams, slabs, trusses to make up the building’s frame.
Building Strong Foundations:
Structural design engineers provide plans for solid foundations to ensure the foundation can bear the load of the building, securely anchoring it against wind and earthquakes. Careful planning protects the foundation from damages, factoring in typical wear and tear, and the impact of poor soil conditions. As a result, these measures protect the foundation from cracks, settling, and sloping.
Renovations – Identifying Load Bearing Walls:
When renovating a building, structural engineers can identify load-bearing walls because removing this kind of wall requires unique measurements and calculations. Based on that, they can provide proper direction on how to properly remove and reinforce the building to preserve the structure’s stability.
Seismic Retrofitting – Modifying an Existing Structure:
Seismic retrofit engineering involves reinforcing an existing structure to make it more stable and resistant to earthquakes and natural disasters. Therefore, a structural engineer must do a site inspection to determine the seismic retrofit requirements. Based on the result of the inspection, they should offer design suggestions to enhance the structure.
Structural engineers must follow strict standards to ensure safety and stability. In order to achieve this, the most important way is continuous learning. This is a must for every structural engineer to keep them updated with new methods and materials as they roll out, along with staying up-to-date with safety rules and regulations.
Chris Jackson is an experienced Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the construction industry. He is currently working with Best Access Doors, an access door supplier in the US and Canada, and has been working for the company for more than 12 years now. His area of expertise is on Negotiation, Roofers, Sales, Project Estimation, and Facility Management (FM)