What Does a Structural Engineer Do?

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What Does a Structural Engineer Do?

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Many times we run into people who don’t understand what it is that structural engineers do. We thought it would be a good idea to put together a description that helps people to understand what role we play in the construction process of buildings. Remember that Structural Engineers also design bridges and other structures too. Often times Structural Engineers are confused with Architects. Architects perform quite a different role than that of a structural engineer. Architects design the interior layout and function of a building. They determine how the spaces will work together with one another and where doors, windows, and necessities such as restrooms, and utility rooms will be located. They are also responsible for developing the way the exterior of the building looks. This is in part a function of the spaces inside, but the exterior finishes, materials, and colors associated with the building are also their responsibility. Structural Engineers are basically physicists that focus o

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As a structural engineer, he or she will face the challenge of analyzing and designing structures to ensure that they safely perform their purpose. They must support their own weight and resist dynamic environmental loads such as hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards, and floods. Stadiums, arenas, skyscrapers, offshore oil structures, space platforms, amusement park rides, bridges, office buildings, and homes are a few of the many types of projects in which structural engineers are involved. He or she will develop and utilize knowledge of concrete, steel, aluminum, timber, and plastic, as well as new and exotic materials. To make certain that the plans are being followed, he or she will often be on the construction site inspecting and verifying the work. Refer to the websites of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Structural Engineers Association of California, and the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California.

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A structural engineer is responsible for the design and evaluation of anything that supports or carries a load. The role of a structural engineer can be divided into two primary areas, buildings and non-building structures or devices. In order to become a structural engineer, you must complete post-secondary education in civil engineering, as structural engineering is a specialty within this discipline. Structural engineers who focus on buildings are responsible for evaluating schematics and ensuring that the building meets the building codes for structural safety, is safe for occupancy and is able to withstand the elements. The daily tasks of a building structural engineer are divided between site visits and design review. During a site visit, the structural engineer inspects the foundation, infrastructure, curtain wall, insulation and building envelope. Through careful inspection and comparison to the approved building plans, the engineer can ensure that the actual building meets the

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The structural engineer will make a site visit to evaluate the desired modifications, look at original structure plans, and assess the impact. Depending on the project, he’ll do some measuring, and possibly some surveying, particularly if perimeter drainage issues are involved or if soil has washed away from the foundation. Each construction project requires a structural engineer to employ different research. Factors such as wind speed, snow loads and occupancy loads must be considered along with the plans detailed in the architectural drawings.

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