In Egypt and Greece, designs such as the pyramids and the Acropolis were built using structural engineering principles thousands of years ago. Today’s structural engineers have access to an extensive body of knowledge that accurately predicts the structures’ behavior under load and stress. This article explains what structural engineering is, what structural engineers do, and the benefits of hiring them.
What Is Structural Engineering
In structural engineering, the laws of physics, mathematics, and empirical knowledge are applied to efficiently develop the skeleton design and load-bearing elements of constructions.
A structural engineer designs buildings, bridges, towers, and other structures. The structural engineer must determine the structural elements’ resistance to forces so that the design can safely withstand natural forces.
Note: On our blog learn about Canadian Forensic Engineering, which is in a downward spiral.
Traditional Vs. Modern Engineering Structures
Traditional engineering structures ensure constructions are built to resist seismic, wind, and gravity forces, including buildings, bridges, towers, and dams.
Current structural methods include:
- Analyses and experiments in seismic engineering
- Studying structures made of concrete, hardwood, and fiber-reinforced concrete and their strength
- Research on the behavior of structural metals and concrete
- Analyses of metropolitan variables
Who is A Structural Engineer: Job & Expertise
Since ancient times, people have designed and built increasingly complex and high-tech structures, from primitive huts to the International Space Station, offering a glimpse of the future.
We have lost the names of the earliest structural engineers to antiquity. There is no way for us to know who designed the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Parthenon, or the Roman aqueducts. But, modern-day structural engineers are still leaving a legacy behind, and they’re doing so with help from advanced technologies and sciences like physics.
The ability to understand physics and mathematics is essential for structural engineers. Additionally, structural engineers must understand the properties of various materials, such as their weight, hardness, tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, and bending strength.
Various materials twist, bend and vibrate differently, structural engineers consider this. Each construction project is designed using scientific and mathematical principles to ensure safety and stability.
Structural engineering tasks involve the following.
- A study of structural systems based on experimental data
- Examining potential issues and assessing their impacts on the project by analyzing traffic patterns or environmental conditions
- Checking the construction site to ensure the project is built in accordance with the design specifications
- Knowledge of different types of structural elements and systems, how different loads affect them, and the fundamentals of material properties and construction analysis.
- Design & characterization of structural materials
- Studying blueprints, maps, reports, and topographical and geophysical information
- Concrete, steel, and masonry structural design
- Assessing the condition of buildings and equipment
- Calculating the cost and quantity of materials, equipment, and labour
- Monitoring structural health with advanced materials
- Using composite materials
How Are Architects And Engineers Different?
Are an engineer’s and an architect’s job titles the exact same? The answer is no. Both architects and engineers have important but different roles in the design of a building.
According to the Civil Engineering Institute, an architect would design a structure based on its shape and appearance. In contrast, a structural engineer would design it in response to its framework and skeletal tissue.
You’ll understand the difference between these two fields with an example.
Imagine your apartment, and answer the following questions.
- Do you like the way it looks?
- Do you think it’s going to survive an earthquake?
A building with pleasing aesthetics and comfortable spaces indicates that the architect did a good job designing it. However, the structural engineer’s work is evident in the building’s stability under various pressures and conditions. Regardless of how much snow is on the roof, the construction remains safe and comfortable for its occupants.
Benefits of Hiring Engineered Structures
Every day, structural engineers contend with gravity, wind, frost, and moisture to create outstanding structures for the world to enjoy. Structural engineers work closely with clients to understand the project’s purpose to provide an economical, secure, and constructible solution.
Structural engineers are brought on board whenever a building owner plans to change its use, add more floors, or expand a building. Any structural element should be altered with the assistance of a professional engineer to avoid severe damage. It is possible for a building to collapse partially or entirely as a result of unadvised tampering.
Engineers are also consulted when a structure is damaged by fire, corrosion, environmental degradation, impact, or wear and tear that threatens public safety or results in a loss of capacity.
Roar Engineering Structural Team
Structures must be safe and stable to function correctly. Structural engineering focuses on the design and development of these structures.
Fire, explosions, ice damming, water damage, wind damage, snow load, vehicle impacts, and ground movement/vibration all cause structural damage. Our expert structural team can estimate and evaluate the damage.
Additionally, we have specialized knowledge of leakage, seepage, and geotechnical engineering issues. Building codes and standards are addressed before Roar Engineering Structural Engineering Service creates design plans and specifications for any rebuild.
We hope this blog helped you better understand what structural engineering is and what structural engineers do. In a society where structures are all around us, and we use them every day, structural engineering’s significance can’t be overestimated.
Our expert structural team, led by Stephen Côté, specializes in structural design for new construction, restoration, reconstruction, and renovation of buildings. We also have engineers with experience in project management and construction supervision.