A structural engineer has expertise & can provide guidance in areas regarding the structural soundness of your home. It is the Structural engineer who will give life and safety to your house. He will make the house both economical as well as durable, life lasting. Based on the design philosophy and plan prepared by the architect, the structural engineer will suggest alternate structural systems and materials. The structural engineer is not merely one who designs only RCC structures / beams, columns etc…
Also Read: Role of Civil Engineer at Site
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There are various duties a structural engineer has to play and they are as below:
- He will finalise the structural system and type suitable to your house, your budget and the environment in view of the availability of the local materials.
- Once the structural system is finalized he will prepare the structural framing plan, which only will give an economical design for both gravity load as well as horizontal loads like earthquake, wind etc.
- He will check the architectural configuration from the seismic / earthquake consideration point of view and suggest expansion joint, if any.
- He will also suggest and advise location of expansion joints if needed from thermal / earthquake point of view.
- He will also check the horizontal and vertical symmetry of house from seismic i.e. earthquake consideration.
- On completion of the above he will carry out the structural analysis and design i.e. Calculation of the loads, considering the loads due to natural hazards like earthquake, flood, wind, fire and ofcourse from load due to gravity i.e. dead loads i.e. the weight of the structure etc.
- He will calculate the size of the structural members. If it is an RCC structure he will also design the grade of concrete, steel and number and location of reinforcement bars in all the structural elements like slabs, beams, columns, footings, lintel etc., which is technically known as detailing.
- He will prepare structural drawings for execution based on which the contractor will carry out the construction work.
- He will also finalise the type of foundation based on the soil investigation report and if required in consultation with geotechnical consultant.
- He will also determine the depth of foundation.
- Many architects ignore or are unaware of seriousness of threats to the safety of the building due to poor configuration and unsymmetry. Hence the design once finalized must be consulted with structural engineer for both economy and long life.
- One should be vigilant enough for selection of good structural engineer as your entire safety and life of building is depending on him.
Remember you should never economies on this items
02. Good team of consultants (Architect, Structural engineer), as they always save your money.