Structural engineers can work on the construction of new structures or with existing structures. The types of new structures are dams, bridges and buildings and roads. When the process of designing begins for a new structure it is usually a group composed of engineers (structural mechanical, electrical,) and architects, along with other disciplines. In the case of new structures the structural engineer will collaborate with the owner and/or architect to bring their vision to life. They will strive to accommodate their desires and requirements for the specific structure. The addition of structures on existing buildings is a frequent task that structural engineers are working on. This is an unusual kind of project since it is a brand new structure that is being added an existing structure consequently the existing structure has to be strong enough to support new loads. It is often necessary to reinforcement to accommodate the new load.
Projects that address existing structures involve strengthening of structural components to accommodate the new load or modifications to load bearing components. Structural engineers are often contacted when tenants or owners of buildings need to include heavy equipment to their structure that was not originally planned for in the initial design. Equipment that is electrical or mechanical can be a huge weight and can override the live load design that the structural structure is designed to support. Engineers in structural engineering are faced with the task of finding the most efficient and cost-effective method to support these extra weights, whether by strengthening the current structural components or developing an entirely new structure within the structure already in place. One project I was involved in was the installation of several large and heavy pieces electrical equipment on the 4th floor in a historic building. After conducting research and design work, we concluded that it was more practical to construct steel structures higher than the floor in order to hold the electrical equipment, instead of putting the equipment directly on the floor and then reinforcing the floor below.
Structural engineers can also work with architects to complete renovations in which the architect usually would like to modify or eliminate certain of the building’s load bearing components. A few of these modifications involve the removal of columns or walls that bear load or altering the type of space that is utilized for. New load paths must be built when structural elements are taken out. This can be accomplished by the construction of columns, beams or braces, or the foundation itself can be expensive. When it comes to the renovations or alterations to existing buildings, it’s crucial for a structural engineer to be able to draw on a broad range of expertise on various kinds of building materials and structures because they’re going need to deal on any structure that is underneath the finish of the structure. If there aren’t any drawings available for the structure, they will need to make use of their research skills to figure out the construction method and how the architect originally was planning to resist the forces upon the structures.
The structural engineers also handle rehabilitation of existing structures that have suffered as well as structures which have shown issues. Each structure has a time and, when structural components begin to degrade or the strength and integrity the component is compromised it is our duty to develop a plan to restore its structural strength. One kind of structure that is often damaged faster than other types is the parking lots, since they are frequently exposed to vehicles which bring salts and water to the surface of the structure. Building envelopes can also be a component of a structure that requires maintenance or repair since it’s a building’s primary line of defence in protecting buildings from weather elements like rain, wind and snow. Engineers working on structural engineering will collaborate with architects, building owners or building owners to develop ways to restore or replace a damaged envelope for a building to ensure the interior of a building is shielded from external elements.
I hope this provides you with an idea of the kind of structural engineering projects they have to deal with on a daily day basis. If you’re interested in learning more about the processes the process of structural engineering, and how structural engineers develop structures, please contact Luff Pier.