The Role of a Structural Engineer – what a structural engineer can do for you?
Structural Engineers are highly trained professionals that work closely with architects and surveyors. Every standing structure that you see has had to be carefully constructed to ensure that it does not vibrate excessively or collapse, to ensure that it can withstand the stresses and pressures imposed through environmental conditions and human use and that it remains stable and secure.
The role of a structural engineer is often confused with that of an architect – both design buildings. The difference is that an architect is responsible for the layout, look and function of a structure where the structural engineer is focused on the stability of the building framework, or the “skeleton” behind the drywall. In other words, the structural engineer makes the architect’s dream a reality. Structural engineers typically work for, or in conjunction with, architects. It’s the combined efforts that create a successful and long-lasting structure.
Structural engineers work not only with architects and contractors but also owners, design builders and individuals. Getting a structural engineer involved early on in a project can help with project decisions, such as what building materials to use and determining the most cost-effective designs. If working on a renovation of an existing structure, a structural engineer should be consulted if there are any modifications to the building framework or load bearing walls, if the intended use of the building is changing or if any large equipment is being added. If in any doubt, consult a structural engineer.