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February 23, 2017

Selecting the right structural engineer for your project is an invaluable and critical component to the construction, growth and cost efficiency of the structure. It is crucial that research is undertaken to ensure the viability of the building’s structure: this does not necessarily mean that the engineer requires a degree, but only the ability to ensure that your needs, and those of a structurally sound building are met.

When considering which company will provide you with structural engineering services, it’s important to undertake research so that you are sure that your overall project will be seamlessly completed. This means that you will need to consider the true value of each firm to make an educated decision on which is best for you.

Financial considerations are undoubtedly a concern when comparing businesses, however that should not be at the detriment to a secure, proper and just service. Three things are key and should come as standard when you are being provided structural engineering services: a statement of qualifications, a scope of work, and either a pre-proposal interview or a proposal presentation. Other than these ‘musts’ for a structural engineering partner, here are our top five things that you need to consider.

1) Scope of work

A scope of work is essentially a document that discloses the full expectations of the client, sometimes elaborated on by the engineer, that proposes the work to be undertaken and the cost of this to the client. Without a thorough and complete scope of work, the project may end up:

  • At a financial loss to the client – Without a proposal such as this, the financial estimate is likely to increase due to issues arising that will increase the overall cost of the project.
  • Overdue, as unforeseen problems due to a lack of scope of work will undoubtedly increase the length of time to complete.
  • Not complete to the best standard – Without proper plans in place important components of the process may be overlooked and underachieved.

2) Abilities and competency of the structural engineer

As with any successful business, the more time spent in a role, the better established one becomes in that role. A four year degree at an accredited university before subsequently passing a formal examination are the steadfast assurance that you need when selecting your engineer. More so, time ‘on the job’ should be taken into consideration when researching so that you have the peace of mind that your project is in the best, and most qualified, hands possible.

3) Access to the best materials for the job

It is integral to any sound structure that the best materials are sourced and utilised throughout. Firstly, you must assess what kind of structure you are creating, then you will need to take into consideration which structural engineer or company will provide you with the necessary materials and expertise required to execute this. You will need to discuss:

Materials: Brick, concrete, steel, etc.

Structure types: Shopping centres, pipelines, industrial plants, material handling, storage facilities, chemical plants, roofs, towers, churches, etc.

External influences: Earthquake, fire, wind, etc.

4) Construction Knowledge

While many structural engineers can provide a thorough proposal, it is necessary to the entirety of the process and structure, that extensive construction knowledge is held by the engineer. It is paramount that they can complete your structure within the bounds you have agreed to – financially and in terms of time frame – but it is so vastly important that an engineer assures you of ‘constructability’. That is, that the proposal they have provided you with is achievable and will be structurally sound.

5) Innovation & Creativity

When selecting your structural engineer, a certain level of innovation and creativity should be taken into consideration. Unless you are asking for something specific with rigid guidelines, it is important to assess the uniqueness of your project and the engineer’s capabilities in terms of creating something ‘out of the box.’

Green Structural Engineering offer a truly end-to-end service in terms of structural engineering and will go above and beyond to ensure that your building is not only structurally sound, catered to you and cost effective, but they will do it with a level of unrivalled finesse and of the utmost standard possible. They are the perfect partner be it residential or commercial, and provide everything that you need for your structural project.