the wider discipline of engineering that deals primarily with the design, construction and analysis of load bearing structures including buildings, bridges and the like. Structural engineers are highly qualified engineering professionals involved in the design of buildings and load bearing structures. They need to ensure their engineering designs satisfy pre-determined criteria based on safety, serviceability and overall structural performance.
ROLES OF THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
The role of the structural engineer is a key component in the construction process. Unlike architects, who must focus on the appearance, shape, size and use of the building, structural engineers must solve technical problems - and help the architect achieve his or her vision for the project. Below are the key roles of a structural engineer
- Design: Many structural engineers deal primarily in the design of structures - calculating the loads and stresses the construction will have to safely withstand. Structural engineers should be able to factor in the different qualities and strengths delivered by a range of building materials, and understand how to incorporate support beams, columns and foundations.
- Geo-technical investigation: Before work can begin, structural engineers are involved in the investigation and survey of building sites to determine the soil characteristics and the soil bearing capacity for the structural requirements of the upcoming project.
- Communication: Structural engineers will be required to co-ordinate and consult with other members of their projects, including engineers, environmental scientists, architects and landscape architects. They may also be required to assist government bodies in their own inspections relating to the project.
- Management: Structural engineers are often responsible for the organization, delivery and inspection of materials and equipment for the needs of the construction project. The supervision and management of on-site labour may also be a necessity to ensure good quality of the workmanship.
The structural engineer therefore plays a key role in the real estate industry as he is a key component in designing and delivering the product.