Top Qualities to Look for in a structural Engineer

Posted on: 1 September 2017

One of the most critical components to any construction project is the choice of a structural engineer. When the selection of the professional is done right, it can substantially enhance operational efficiency and optimise the overall cost of your structure. While it is obvious that structural engineers differ in knowledge and experience, knowing who to hire is the real test that will determine the success of your project. There are three critical stages in evaluating and selecting structural engineers. These stages are: the statement of qualifications, the scope of work, and proposal presentation. Below are some of the guidelines to use when assessing the value and fitness of a structural engineer for your job.

Holistic Approach to Projects The approach of your potential structural engineer is a good indicator of the kind of results you will get at the end of the process. Credible engineers do not simply look at your project as an isolated problem, but rather part of an entire system. The approach of your potential candidate should consider a suitable design that yields a structure that is fairly easy to construct and how operations will go on within the structure.

Well Defined Scope of Work Normally, the scope of work document is prepared by you, but your structural engineer should look at it and where necessary enhance it. This document simply translates your ideas as the client into workable designs and ultimately used to create a proposal. It is the scope of work and its thoroughness that determine the cost estimate. The engineer should thus be able to analyse the scope of work and refine the document to your satisfaction.  

Technical Competency This mainly comes from education, previous experience, and the ability of the engineer to apply learned skills to specific situations. Therefore, in addition to looking at the papers, the engineer must satisfactorily explain the difficult problems encountered in their career and the kind of solutions devised. It is also important to enquire whether the engineer has specific experience handling a project similar to the one you have.

Familiarity with Building Codes Since every jurisdiction has its own published building codes which outline the minimum acceptable level of safety to be observed in constructed buildings, your structural engineer must understand and demonstrate an ability to follow the code guidelines. In addition, your potential candidate should be innovative, up to date with technology, and duly registered as a professional engineer by the industry board.

For more information, contact companies like Jeffrey Hills and Associates.


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