What is a Structural Engineer?
Structural engineering is a branch of engineering that addresses the design, construction and maintenance of construction works. A structural engineer pays the most attention to infrastructures, such as buildings, bridges, tunnels, transportation routes and water treatment facilities.
Residential structural engineers have specialised knowledge and training to calculate forces in residential buildings. Structural engineers can make sure that the structural members in your house are the correct size (not too big and not too small) to resist and transmit forces in buildings. They do this by using Australian standards to calculate forces in members and member capacity manuals to check that the members are strong enough to avoid collapse or too much deflection.
What is Engineering?
Engineering is the process of getting a building engineer to inspect supports, loads and building materials used throughout the design and construction process, to determine if they are safe and can withstand certain conditions.
Building engineers are structural engineers who specialise in buildings. Buildings need to be able to hold up under all types of loading, including the weight of the building, the weight of the people and other things inside the building, and natural forces such as wind, gravity etc. A building engineer will consider all these forces and make sure the building is designed to be structurally sound.
Why do you need an Engineer when building a new home?
When building a new home from scratch, a building engineer essentially ensures that your home can resist the elements. They review proposed plans and make sure they follow building codes and regulations. They will also check the lot and surroundings of your proposed home, to ensure your plans integrate factors such as slope, existing features, and the surrounding environment.
Why do you need an Engineer when adding or renovating your existing home?
When adding extra rooms to your home or expanding a room, the load that your house must carry will change. A building engineer will be able to tell you how your house and its foundation will be affected by the added weight of a new room, a second story, or an expanded room, as well as solutions for your situation.
When remodelling, a building engineer can tell you if the wall you’re planning to knock down is load-bearing or not, and suggest what to do if it is. They can tell you how your remodelling will affect the structural integrity of your house, and what steps you can take to strengthen your home so you can knock down that wall.
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